Keelby Church Scene

The title is self explanatory – it is written to a tanka syllable structure.


Keelby Church Scene

Glimpsed from my bus. A

pregnant spoil of displaced earth,

piled to fill a grave.

Some flowers too. Not many.

No hearse. No crowd of mourners.


A wreath shows Dad’s passed.

Just “Dad.” Enough. A father.

He had squeezed her hand

and breathed his last breath sighing

for love past – and that ahead.


The girl stood alone

kicking at the grave earth pile

wringing tear-chapped hands.

He was all she ever had

he was not much – just her dad.


I took a picture –

I could not trust that image

just to memory.

As the bus moved past the scene,

it crossed my mind to wonder,


would tomorrow bring

another weeping mourner?

As the graveyard thrives

the shrinking village dies. Then

who digs for the grave-digger?


The bus returning

twilight cools the lonely field.

No sign of the girl.

A brooding separation

hovers, heavy, lowering.


His daughter’s home now

making tea and being brave.

Dad’s remains remain

slowly returning to dust

in the sanctum of his grave.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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I think you have captured this sad scene very well, so many lines stand out and add so much to the poem.
It made me think that this girl was the only one there: but at a graveside we are all the only one there regardless of the amount of mourners around.
The going home to a shared loneliness between the home and the empty field was very good. Sue.


Very effective poem. Nice to see you writing stuff other than performance poems – and doing it very well.


A lovely emotive poem,As Sue says, we are always alone in that situation. I have experienced it recently, and I still stand alone at her resting place every Sunday morning.It is not easy, Coming home to an empty house is equally hard. Thank you for sharing, it brought tears to my eyes..Peter.

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