Keith McFarlane

St Nicholas’ Churchyard, Lincoln.

I came across a field of stones,
and on each stone a single date,
and on one stone were graved
two words: a child, an infant,
born asleep.
Such motes in starlight hold what must
of memory,
mute witnesses inscribed in dust.

The playground colours draw the eye,
the blues and pinks, the words,
the windmills, crocks and petals,
and in that moist and morning green,
the stones bedecked with dolls and dreams,
with wilted flowers and present tears,
the parents echo, crowding round,
the sound of children singing rhymes.

From first to last the sleepers wake
to unborn future,
a stone, a name, a single date,
some hours or none,
a child long dreamt,
a breath once taken,
held once, then gone:
a life remembered.

Keith McFarlane is Scots. He grew up
in Dunblane, Perthshire and holds a
doctorate in physics from the University
of St. Andrews. His interests, in addition
to poetry, include the visual arts, arts’
criticism, chemical and nuclear power
safety and environmental impacts. He
edits the on-line groups, Artworld and
Portraits Africa.