Graveyard - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Graveyards need not be grave, yet can be a place of new life and the reaching of blossom from tight bud. The graveyard can be a place to bring the joy of rebirth and renewal to the spirit and wish our loved ones well on their onward voyage. Sometimes I think of them as trees in a park rather than this place of stony regimentation. It think of the people I have loved as a forest and let them rest there in beauty. In this life we can make our own monsters, yet we can also make our own angels, our own memory parks that nourish and give to whom we are and are destined to become.
Moss-laden bricks of grey-orange, fitting as guards on the threshold. Behind the fool’s-ancient wrought-iron gates. Where rows upon rows of crumbling mounds stood in various interpretations of upright, their pores bathing in light from an ill moon, ailing. Porous trees hunched over most of the void spared by the sickening light’s expanse, plunging the rest in healthy shadow. The place echoed.
To enter, I must skirt around a pile of wet leaves. Today there is no weather; there is no wind, just howling. The temperature is of a mild apparition and so I hear the winds company more so. The leaf barbs that bar nefarious entrance are of little consequence to my apt overage and the grey-orange guards do little but deposit their dust upon me and my cloth.
Moss-laden marble pillars stood as despairing guards on either side of the cemetery threshold. Behind the ancient wrought-iron gates were rows upon rows of crumbling gravestones, their engraved epitaphs bathed in light spilt from an ashen moon. Gnarled trees hunched over most of the expanse, plunging the rest in shadow. The place echoed with painful grief and the emptiness of heartfelt loss.
As the bodies of the beloved return their matter to the earth, their souls, ageless since birth, return to our maker. I let my feet tread lightly over the soils that support new spring growth, white-bells and green wands of grass, until I am there, my eyes resting on his name, my heart hearing the sound of his voice as if he were right there with me. Perhaps it is the memories that are the real bridge, that sense of love a key to open doors into the worlds beyond, yet here I am in the graveyard, these moments of reflection our everlasting bond.
Rows of tombstones stood erect in silence to the left and right, in front and behind, like a sea of the dead. Some were crumbled with the weathering of centuries, some were smooth marble with new black writing and laid with floral tributes. Most though, were overgrown and unkempt, for now even their mourners had joined them under the clay soil. An upon the hill a new grave had been dug to await it's new occupant. The black hearse slowly wended it's way down the central lane followed by a procession of black limousines.
The graveyard was spooky. It was full of gravestones covered in some kind of slime. He walked over to his father's tombstone, under his name Jonathan was an engravement, his last words, "Don't touch my cream of wheat son". There was a eerie sound, the graves started to bulge and some collapsed. Skeletons started to rise out of graves that have been dormant for years. Zombies rose from graves only dormant for days or weeks not giving the corpses enough time to rot. They ran at him and he ran for his life.
Gravestones lined the eerie graveyard, Some recently placed, whereas others, cracked
and crumbling. Mould covered the engravings dedicated to the dead, trees leaning towards the stones, branches reaching out to each other. Spiked, black fences surrounded the graveyard almost like it was a prison. The smell of old stone filled the dry air, weeds covering the graves of the dead, loved ones long since stopped visiting. Gravel paths weave through the maze of graves, allowing passers by to pay their respects to the people lined up in the earths embrace.
In the city the real estate had become so valuable even the dead could not stay without finding the money to rent a spot in the crowded graveyard. Only the super-rich could afford a traditional burial and even then their corpse only remained undisturbed for as many weeks as they had paid for in their will. Then they were dug up and cremated the same as the paupers and scattered in the already grey estuary and washed out to sea.
The graveyard was so neat. Row upon row of white marble tombstones all rising from the manicured grass. Each one was perfect, polished and exactly the same as all of the others, except the name it bore. They were lined up perfectly with those in front and behind, a city block for the dead. How Dad would have hated this place; Dad who loved everything eccentric and unique, obscure music and old poets; Dad who loved to be impulsive and could never be still a moment; Dad who was drawn to wild bracken and ivy over rhododendrons and roses. He was drafted into the mechanical core, he should have been safe away from the battlefield. But there was an explosion and he was given a soldier's grave. So now he lies in this exalted place, a fresh white rose every day and gardeners that fuss about with assorted machines. My hands are empty as I pass through, no personal effects are allowed. I keep a steady count, one hundred twelve across, forty nine down, and still I am at only the edge.
How could a place be so full and empty at the same time? All around are the tombstones with their faded etching, a roll-call for the people who cannot answer. For when their bodies became still and cold they became a cadaver, not a person. Their soul, their living being had moved on to God, to walk with Jesus and be healed. I stand with in the watery light of the early morning, living, breathing, my life stretching ahead. Whatever I came here for is not here. This graveyard is full; full of stone, moss, yew trees and the decaying remnants of bone and flesh. But it's empty. There's nobody here but me.
Life is but a roaming shadow, a pitiable thespian. Who struts and frets his few moments upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale imparted by a foolish wit, full of noise and fury... yet meaningless nonetheless. A beautiful lie. A depressing truth. Beyond the hedgerows and white picket fence, a new grave...
The graveyard was my favorite place to eat lunch. I would wonder amongst the tombstones reading the inscriptions. Here I could map out generations of families, wonder what their lives had been like and contemplate both the meaning of life and the permanence of death.
The graveyard was no more than a series of wooden crosses of random sizes stuck in the grassy loam. Mostly they were painted white and bore a scribbled name, perhaps a date. When the marker rotted the grave was re-used, by then the mourners had moved on with their lives and the body was thoroughly decomposed. There was no fence around it, no signage to give it a beautiful name, or any name at all. Even the locals just called it "the place on the hill." Often the wind blew across it harshly and it was utterly exposed to the storms that frequented the area. The living here could ill afford sentimentality for the dead and so though their grief was as keen as the folks in the big city, they buried themselves in the gritty business of staying alive and caring for the young.
The disembodied voices of souls that once walked the earth seemed to be carried through the fog that was rising from the cracks in the porous path. It sounded like wind was whistling through the trees, but...there was no wind and not even the tiniest breeze. Tombstones were crumbling from the weathering that they had experienced throughout the years and the engravings had nearly disappeared.
She walked past the heavy gates and closed so no one would suspect that she has entered this place. If you do not have anyone to mourn upon, you must not disturb the peace that hovers above the death bed of many or you will be haunted but she did not care, as if they would do any harm to her. As long as she had her mother’s necklace embedded on her chest, a tiny cross carved out of holy wood, she would be left alone by the restless crowd-it was a common belief.
A knitted blue scarf, made by her favourite Aunt, hung around her neck loosely and it flew as the billowing wind brushed through her auburn hair. The sun was sinking fast below the horizons, giving her hair more reddish hue.
The girl bent and picked it up from the knocked over stone markers, only to find the scarf a nuisance. She hid it underneath her clothes, the bulk on her left-side pocket enlarged. When she caught a glimpse of movement and realized she was not alone, she hid behind an old chapel’s scattered remains, carefully not ripping her dress with the huge fallen chunks of debris.