The Graveyard (where Time Passes; But Not Always)

Around the supper table,
he grows his lexicon
while I seem to lose mine.
Until smell and taste and seeing
reduce “simplicity”
to “sublime”;
where diction stutters to a stop
and words – redundant vessels,
an empty mouth and sleeping tongue  –
find calm amid verbose festival.

Setting out on a fugitive stroll away from
this garrulous carnival
we find
in nature's skeletal library.
And with nothing to do
but breathe:
we lay us down upon
old green winter grass
to stain our shirt sleeves verdant
and noses to the mossy earth.
We become you Mr Mole,
 still alive and temperate
  among the porous bones
   of all their years; and
    echoed round us
     up and down the valley
      the coo-eed calls of
        neighbourly greeting
          that after centuries salute our coy teenage smiles
            and critique
              the aching grubby feet of one man's ancient foraging:
                 the gossiped comings and goings
                   of every single step
                       meet all our thoughtless leavings and
                          these knowing country faces watch
                              as our every mistake arrives and fades
                                   and is made and unmade
                                         before and before and before...
                                  staining a village history
                          with all life's pleasure and mourning
                   from warm baby breath to icy crippled death.
           Gaze held against gaze
       we merge into one another,
   changing so little and
 merely replaying and replaying our historic acts
on a Saturday evening in the 21st century
where time passes
but not always.

(January 2012)