July 14, 2018 by Mike Madden
It was the darkest night.
Shades of black confused my eyes,
And offered little to reveal the landscape.
As I entered through the cemetery gates,
Gravestones were but shadows,
The trees mere thoughts,
An outline at best,
Creaking in the cold night air.
And in that place the darkness nurtured,
As it caressed the long dead bones beneath my feet.
My breath was sharp and clear,
Before it too became immersed,
As one with the swirling mists,
And I hurried towards an instinctive light.
The silence was never perfect.
Soft footfalls ever changing.
The rustling, crunching, crackling
As autumn leaves succumbed,
And beyond an orchestra played,
As the wind whispered.
“Beware the shadows”,
Its voice seemed to warn as onwards I walked.
I stiffened against the night,
And the hoot of an unseen owl ebbed away.
A dog barked in the distance,
Whilst close by a creature scurried,
Pursued by unknown foes.
But these foes could not be mine,
For mine were stronger, fiercer, deathly,
And borne of my mind.
The branches drew me closer,
Then the sky shifted and a barren moon lit that mournful place.
The graveyard was still.
An ageless memorial,
As the sleeping souls mocked my tentative steps.
Spurred on by the fleeting light,
That was all too soon imprisoned by naked clouds,
Plunging me once again into the pit of bleakness and despair,
I heard the sound of laughter far away,
The inky blackness enshrouded my body,
Eating my spirit,
Until at last the end was in sight.
A glow in the distance brightened as I quickened my pace.
With a nervous laugh I left the faceless names behind,
And soon that spirit was whole again.