By Findlay Milne (He/Him)

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By Findlay Milne

Tombstones to the left and right,
and the shadow of the yews
once is gone all life and might
such shall be my only views.

On my ninety-third birthday
this will surely be the scene;
I, long since beyond the veil,
will slumber there most serene.

What of the many journeys
etched while I, upon this earth,
did roam in the roaring breeze
will remain by my last berth.

Feats induced by alcohol
and ancient barroom gossip
will not lay down wreaths nor bawl
out their eyes. They won't show up.

The friends that I've made and lost
won't stand by my epitaph,
they won't last a further frost
than the ones that I will have.

Texts I've sent and books I read
for the good they might've done
won't mean a jot once I'm dead
and rotting – my own midden.

What little then can be hoped
once my flesh and bones are dust?
Will some remark be a quote
remembered as quite august?

Ultimately, will I, like all before
not return again from dust unto dust?
So should I not content myself with more
aspects that are beautifully modest?

The sun warmed stones that lounge upon the beach,
steep slopes of valleys submerged in grasses,
dark little copses of ash, elm and beech,
each form grains that slip from my hourglasses.

Across the ceiling above my deathbed
will flutter the ghosts of memories lapsed,
like paving stones long over tarred and tread,
which sprout, flower and into one – collapse.

Some ferly steady stream that grows heavy
with the wonderful weight of the near past
sindle from which has ane wished themself free
so fruitful a wame is life so amassed.

Let then, from that common source – misery
germinate once again the good of eild,
the company of ane's own family
and so the strife of memory be quelled.