Crows in a Cotswold Churchyard. #Poetry

The ribald, grating cries of crows,
indifferent to our passing, echo
among the silent, brooding trees,
where, stone teeth piercing the bone-salted ground,
listing right and left, weather-blurred 
headstones stand in vain remembrance,

Mustard and white, the ancient lichen
cling to faint, time-smudged names which once drew
memories of ale and pipe-smoke.
Now they fall like scabs from the eroded 
stones, lost to present memory.
Though crows still call, hoarse as unshrived sin.

Snow fell and thawed and summers bloomed
and died. Bright shards of birdsong glittered like 
fleeting blossom in the patient trees.
While endlessly the people came and went;
a rough procession clothed in their 
temporary flesh. Changing yet the same.

Making their winding, eternal 
way through the passing centuries. Along 
the narrow weed grown scuffing paths,
amid countless, unchanging lifetimes. And 
still, the village where they knew their 
tender days, echoes to the haunting crows

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