I’ve always liked graveyards. Not the sort of highrise blocks of niches with plastic flowers and laminated photos that you find in Spain, but proper British graveyards with grass and moss; where the slate and granite is so worn and weathered that you have to touch the stones to trace the names.

old graveyard at night
I love cemeteries when the snow softens the contours of the tombs; perhaps I love them even more when snowdrops peep round the headstones; later, too, when shock-headed clumps of daffodils challenge anyone to deny the resurrection, or when tides of bluebells flood between, around and over the graves.

In summer, there’s less to recommend them, although there are usually more bunches of dying flowers, scraps of cellophane and florist’s ribbon.

For most people, graveyards come into their own in autumn, and specifically at this season of Hallowe’en, All Saints’ Day and All Souls. I was surprised, then, to find no one in the local cemetery tonight and no evidence of visitors or of fresh flowers having been left. There was nothing but damp in the air and a few leaves from the nearby plane trees scattered like fallen stars across the grass, but I took a few pictures anyway.

Most of the photos weren’t anything special, but I rather liked this one. If you look closely, you’ll see a stream of light from the grave in the centre foreground. Whether he was coming or going, I don’t know, but it looks as if I wasn’t as alone as I thought.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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