It is so very still and peaceful

In St Peter’s country churchyard –

Flower filled, flower replete,

Undisturbed yet quite complete.


People tend the graves of the dead;

Families together clipping the grass,

Tending flowers; speaking in low tones.

Do not wake the sleepers!


There is love for this quiet churchyard.

See!  New Life!  Hundreds of daffodils!

The clock in the belfry strikes four

But only for the living do clock hands move.


Above the graves in sunlight warm

They speak in hushed tones again,

Lest they should wake the dead

And then have to explain their doings.


Away from the graves, what memories?

What days of delight remembered?

What joyful occasions or sad times together?

Lives of the living and lives of the dead.


But look!  It is the grave of a small child -

A small boy who grew not to fruition;

A small child who knew not manhood

Or fatherhood, but was cheated of life on earth.


In this churchyard, between river and hills,

Tears fall, hearts break but birds sing.

Time does not heal the hearts of the mourners

And yet the clock hands move on for the living  


Tick tock Tick tock Tick . . . . . to eternity.



Copyright on all my poems



Main Poetry Index Yorkshire Poems Spiritual Poems The Clock of Life

This is one of almost 400 poems chosen for publication by teachers in many schools across my home county of West Yorkshire in 2010.  I hope you like it.  This church is in the next village to my home, about twenty minutes drive.  I often go there for I love the peace of the church and grounds - - - and the smell of "old" that greets you in this very old and lovely church. We'll have a cup of tea together if you're in the area.



By Josie Whitehead

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