Wednesday, 27 July 2011


“A couch of thorns, or an embroidered bed, are matters of indifference to the dead.” - Theognis of Megara

Another busy day today. The frosty morning gave way to a beautiful sunny day. Promises of Spring everywhere as buds swell and bare branches start to show hints of green. Spring bulbs are blooming and the days are noticeably longer. Still a strange melancholy seems to be hanging in the air, justifying perhaps the ancient Roman belief that Spring was a gloomy season…

The Grave

Spring starts to stir around me once again,
And tendril tentacles of green extend,
In tentative efforts to ensnare me.
Oblivious to the awakening, I, in my dark hole,
Dig my grave below, ever-deeper.

Faint sounds of laughter, cries of joy
The noise of running steps, of dancing
Of maying games and contagious play resound.
Alone I dig, in my subterranean vault,
Wishing to reach the depths of Tartarus.

Youth dressed in purple garb leads the revelry,
All-powerful queen she orders, commands,
And all bow deeply in obeisance.
I know not of her rule, not ever being young;
So in ignorance I close myself up in my sepulchre.

My heart is pressed hard by the clammy clay,
Cold, heavy earth falls covering me
And marble slab with finality seals the tomb shut.
All I can see around me is blackest darkness
And in Erebus I am doomed to roam, one of the living dead.

Time passes, years merging with centuries,
As round the grave crops of poppies bloom and rebloom.
The marble slab of the tomb still sparkles
And invites two young lovers to sit and rest.
The text eroded on the marble,
Resembles ancient patterns graved,
And unknowing of the hidden catacomb,
The two lovers, laugh and kiss, mindless
Of the restless sleep and shifting sighs of the undead below.


  1. Oh beautiful! beautiful! beautiful!

  2. Oh, I love this poem, Nicholas! it is so sad but somehow quite uplifting too. Very strange!

  3. Nice poem. Is this meant to be a comment on Greece's economic woes?