The Stone Garden

This poem was inspired by a visit to my grandparents cemetery plot in West Bay, Florida. The graveyard is located beside the West Bay Baptist Church and is typical of such places that hold the remains of so many memories.

The graveyard is surrounded by large old oak trees that are covered in spanish moss. There is no grass being there is no irrigation and the grounds are stark and somber.The earth is a sun bleached sandy white which can make you squint your eyes to avoid the glare

It is an old cemetery and has a lot of old wooden markers and collections of sea shells that mark the older graves.

My brother, Roy Lee, and I were visiting and had brought some flowers. My mother was cremated. Roy and I didn't know what to do with her ashes so we put them in the earth on the north side of her parents. We used a post hole digger and dug a small round hole. I had purchased a funeral urn and so we placed her ashes in it and buried it there.

My mother never liked cut flowers nor artificial ones so we try to carry her some potted flowers and place them where her ashes are interned.


I gaze upon a garden all quiet and serene

Sun reflecting on the sand’s gritty sheen

On mounded earth sets an errant crow

It’s perch garlanded by faded ribbons and bows

Love ones nurture this barren ground

Watered only by our tears, endless sorrow resounds

From this ground grow only cold grey stones

Their roots, broken vases and moldy old bones

I tread softly to avoid the broken seashells

That denotes a person’s long forgotten knell

From the grave I hear the haunting sigh

As you are now so once was I

Memories ripen here like fruit on the vine

Softened by remembrances of a lifetime

Soon we like them shall wither and fall

We fade like flowers, our epitaphs call!