All Now Dead Lie Low

A recent poem that some will call morbid. Others, I hope, will recognise the feelings that are expressedFor me, the thought of anyone weeping because of someone’s absence through death is difficult to bear. Our memories should either be moments of joy or should be forgotten. The dead can do no harm nor feel any pain.

All Now Dead Lie Low

 

As children by the churchyard play

It matters not what words they say

Nor the length of time they stay

The dead will not awake

If, in the church, bell ringers ring

And choirs, hymns and anthems sing

They cannot life to the fallen bring

Nor from them solace take

 

They lie among grey stones and grass

Beneath stained panes of glinting glass

And, however many people pass

The dead will hear no noise

They’re buried deep beneath the earth

Their seeds were sown before their birth

Their lives began midst shouts of mirth

They were once girls and boys

 

They made of life the best they could

Though now enclosed in coffin wood

Their bodies rest where trees once stood

They can, now, nothing cherish

For them the voice of the reaper screamed

No-one knows what they have dreamed

Reality no longer what it seemed

The mind with body will perish

 

Some may make peace before that time

By spoken word or written rhyme

Or even by the art of mime

We choose our means of expression

But they cannot, now, on bad deeds dwell

No evil thought, no fearful smell

Nor can they wish the living well

Nor banish their depression

 

Some dead lie low in shallow graves

Sailors sunk beneath the waves

Bodies burned, or left in caves

A process fast or slow

You who wish them to live again

Must from your saddest thoughts refrain

Joyful memories should remain

Shared thoughts do not lie low

 

Think of the belovèd – long lost, just gone

Who feeds the soil we tread upon

Whose skin will never feel the sun

Whose cheeks will never glow

They live on only in the minds of others

Be they friends or enemies, sisters, brothers

All were equally loved by mothers

But they all, now dead, lie low

 

The priest may shout beneath his steeple

That men and women will all die equal

But, to death, there is no rational sequel

That non-believers know

One can imagine another place

Where good and bad may show their face

Where there’s no distinction of religion or race

But down here, all now dead lie low