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Poems for the People   -  Poems by the People

About the Poem

This poem was written by me, Rachel, (Age 15). I wrote it after my own real experiences visiting many of the Parish Churches of Cornwall, England. Many of my ancestors lived there. If you happen to have an ancestor from the Penna line that lived around Rose, e- mail me. Perhaps we can share some genealogy.

Saturday Morning Walk

I step carefully on the gravel path, trying to make my footfalls
quiet as not to disturb anyone.
I smile to myself.
I am alone.
Nevertheless, I try to step softly, because I realize there are hundreds
of people that surround me,
watching in silence.

There are places I tend to be silent instinctively
once I cross the threshold:
libraries, art galleries, cemeteries.
Perhaps it is because they are the mortal remnants of men,
the only thing left, vainly trying to live in the dead man's stead.

In respect, I fall silent and try to listen to these voices from the dust.

These weathered stone lips have been mouthing
the same words for generations.
This mouth is beginning to close,
never to speak again,
battered into eternal silence by rain, moss and vandals.
But with what voice do the dead who never had an epitaph
or whose stone has been destroyed speak?
They speak in one massive stone chorus in the center of the cemetery and
sing with bells and see with stained glass eyes.

The parish church of Kea has been standing,
it's squatty square tower straining towards heaven,
for many hundreds of years.
I lean against its cold stone.

I wonder what tumult this small plot of land
will know when the angel blows his trump.

Softly, I begin to hear music from above.
I crane my neck as it increases in volume.
From the open window, I realize that I am privy
to someone's weekly organ practice.
I stand and listen to those complicated,
unfamiliar hymns for a long while,
the sole living member of an audience of thousands.
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© 1999 Rachel Osborne Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

1 Visitor Comments

Melissa
Way to go Rachel! So young and yet, so talented. Keep up the great work. If you have the opportunity, keep traveling.

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