Grave Tribute Poems

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Details | Iambic Pentameter |

Like tender loving arms, they wrap around
   old monuments of stone set on the ground.
Those silent sentinels that stand their guard
   above the souls, we honor and regard.

To honor and regard through all the years
   where loved ones come to speak unhappy tears.
Beneath the summer rain and winter snow,
   these monuments of stone, their sorrow show.

Like tender arms, the vines embrace the stones
   to comfort them, these guardians of bones
who bear the sadness brought to them to share,
   by those who stand and weep in silent prayer.

The tender vines grow thicker 'round the tombs...
   create a leafy shawl that lives and blooms,
and shows the hope of new life after death 
   which tangled vines embrace with living breath.

Like tender loving arms, they wrap around
   these lasting monuments where peace is found,
and frame the name of each whose life reclines...
   now resting safe and sound, caressed by vines.

Sandra M. Haight

~3rd Place~
Contest: Your Best Rhyming Poem 2
Sponsor: John Hamilton
Judged: 02/03/2017

~2nd Place~
Contest: Overgrown With Vines
Sponsor: Broken Wings
Judged: 10/08/2016

Copyright © Sandra Haight | Year Posted 2016

Details | Rhyme |
Bob had been a lonely man ever since
His wife of fifty years had passed.
“Lord, let me join her.” he would pray.
“Let this day be my last.”

Each day, he went to the cemetery,
Just a short walk down the street.
After their talk, he would water her flowers
And hear passers-by whisper, “How sweet.”

One gray and misty morning,
He had hoped for sunnier skies
To plant fall bloomers at her graveside;
But there, to his surprise…

Stood an old dog beside her stone;
Thin and dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as Bob approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”

He sat calmly as Bob planted flowers,
Carefully sniffing each one Bob put in place.
After the last one was planted, he sniffed it;
Then turned and licked Bob’s face.

Bob smiled. “I had a dog when I was young…
Pal…he was a mighty good one too.
So, if you don’t mind old fella,
That’s what I’ll call you.”

Pal may have been an old dog,
But he was smart and handsome in his way;
So they made a deal, Bob would give him a meal
And a bath, if he decided to stay.

Pal loved his bath, then rolled in the grass.
He slept on a blanket in the den.
In the night, he dragged it next to Bob’s bed. 
He intended to be Bob’s best friend.

Pal was such a good dog, housebroken too;
Never made a mess or got in trouble.
He knew about newspapers, slippers and Frisbees;
And when Bob called, he‘d come on the double.

Yes, Pal gave Bob’s life new purpose.
A special bond of friendship was cast.
And never again did Bob pray, 
“Lord, let this day be my last.”

For twelve years, the very best of friends,
Together night and day;
And so it was, until one evening,
Pal quietly passed away.

Bob held Pal in his arms and wept.
“Oh, Pal…my best friend…you saved my life.” 
He caressed Pal as he reminisced;
Then, sometime in the night, Bob joined his wife.

The next morning, an old woman,
Tears welling in her sad and lonely eyes,
Brought fresh flowers to her husband’s grave;
But there, to her surprise….

Stood an old dog beside the stone, 
Thin an dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as she approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”

He sat calmly as she took old flowers
And put fresh ones in their place. 
He carefully sniffed the fresh ones,
Then, turned and licked her face.

She smiled through her tears.  
“I had a dog when I was young...
A good one too.  His name was Pal.”

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |
Temperature dip
urban leaves turned
Autumn, sniffing around
for a place to settle
no Farmer's Market
in San Francisco today.

Copyright © Jen Franks | Year Posted 2013

Details | Dramatic monologue |
The day becomes night;
As a comrade transcend 
To true world beyound.
Oh! Finally, a jolly good fellow drops the baton;
A justice of peace with unstained character,
A sacrificial giver who neglected his needs.
Death, you never cease to amase
As you drive home valiant colleagues.
Death! Hope you know?
Here a while we must be parted
For a while the tired body
Erupt in sleep.
Soul and body reunited.
Thence; death, nothing shall divide 
Father, mother, child and brethren.
Nevertheless, the dead, you were great while alive
And great in death.
The pens, sleep till we meet and part no more.

	0092348081195600, 0092348131176767

Copyright © EDORE PAUL OYAKHILOME | Year Posted 2013

Details | Light Poetry |
We sing
Dance in the sky
We form societies
To read aloud
What others dare not say
From Shakespeare to Byron
Poe to Moe
We sit around smoke filled lounges
Spewing words forth
Love, hate, Hemingway’s mojitos staring in mirrors
Whiskey permeates the air
Smokey flavors absorbed into flowing ink
Towards the graves
We always gaze onward towards the graves
From the inside out, and looking up on coffin roofs
The seas of depression like waves to surf
Some might say we any maniacal and crazy
Today we welcome a new member
Mork from Ork

Copyright © arthur vaso | Year Posted 2014

Details | Ode |
I’m scum, I know, I am an ass
I knew through cardboard you could pass

You chewed and chewed a great big hole,
I wish I knew you had a soul

You ran and laughed, but what you saw
It stomped you flat, it was a paw

That cat, he smirked and ate you raw
He stuffed you in his great big maw

My dear sweet babe, I won’t forget,
Your tiny life and what you met

The fault is mine, and I must pay,
Though when and how, I cannot say

The day will come, my life’s all done,
Until that time I’ll have no fun

Copyright © Susan McDermott | Year Posted 2016

Details | Rhyme |

Granite blocks of stone Stand vigil all alone Lean as if in prayer Forever Where seldom footsteps tread Here among the dead Memories interred Forgotten Faithful through the years Where long bereft of tears Remnants of a past Lay silent A lifetime etched in stone Name and date alone In loving memory of Whomever

Copyright © Bob Quigley | Year Posted 2013

Details | Iambic Pentameter |

Mossy vines served as camouflage for 
a decaying headstone buried there below.  
The hidden stone that peeked from earthen floor
soon held my eye with the desire to know...

was this an old headstone above a tomb
neglected in these weeds from long ago?
If so, who lies here sleeping in death's womb;
something inside told me I need to know.

I pushed aside the camouflage of vines
and shallow letters showed through years of wear.
But when I saw a name that looked like mine,
my heart was stunned, and all I did was stare.

Green mossy vines had camouflaged this grave
that guards the edge of grandpa's vacant farm.
Today, I found his dad who died so brave...
a soldier, guarding country, from war's harm.

Green mossy vines held secret this dear place.
What led me to the farm I know not why.
Perhaps great grandpa called me here with grace
to find his name engraved beneath the sky.

And now I stand here at his tomb and sigh,
where mossy vines embraced him all these years,
brought here by fate to humbly say goodbye;
my feelings camouflaged in flowing tears.

Sandra M. Haight

~2nd Place~
Contest: Camouflage Me A Poem
Sponsor: Broken Wings
Judged: 07/10/2016

Theme: "Mossy vines served as camouflage for a decaying headstone."
The theme selected is the first line / and second line if needed in the poem. 
Use the Word "hidden" in the poem.

Form: Iambic Pentameter.  Due to contest rules of using the exact phrase, the first two lines equal 20 syllables, but the  first line has 9 syllables and the second line has 11 syllables. 

Copyright © Sandra Haight | Year Posted 2016

Details | Elegy |
I broke my foot, and you kissed me that night, in front of my car.
I could barely walk, but I floated away.
It all began and ended, as powerful as a hurricane.
What we had was taken too soon, and your mother didn’t approve. 
She never did like me much, but that didn’t stop you.
We blossomed, like a flower on a warm sunny day.
Until that fateful day when I heard the news.
There had been an accident. The driver didn’t see you.
Frozen in time, as I was informed of your demise.
I couldn’t move, as my heart sank to the depths of the cold dark ocean.
Frost bitten, as time stood still. 
Ship wrecked as my world came crashing down.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I couldn’t believe this was the end.
I couldn’t believe you were gone.
Emotion like waves crashing and turning.
By the time my foot healed, you were gone.
The funeral came and everything blurred together.
Your art on display, a museum dedicated to you.
Your mother, finally recognized me, as I looked over you laying there.
I’ll never forget the pain in her eyes, as she thanked me and apologized.
This ship has run aground, unable to ever sail again.

Copyright © Mike Beard | Year Posted 2017

Details | I do not know? |
Whose corpse this is I think I know. 
Its grave is in the churchyard, though; 
It will not see us stopping here 
To hear its ghost cry out in woe. 

My little boy must think it's queer 
To stop without a graveyard near 
Between the woods and frozen lake 
Whereat the corpse's upon its bier. 

He gives my hand a wrenching shake 
To ask if there's some mistake. 
The only other soul's the shade 
Of coming Death for his end's sake . 

The corpse is grisly, foul, and decayed, 
But I have Death to then dissuade, 
And pleas to make because I'm afraid, 
And pleas to make because I'm afraid.

Copyright © Ngoc Nguyen | Year Posted 2015

Details | Rhyme |
An army in green
ever vigilant, ever
silent, ever still.
Their honor ever
their shields,
falter, they never

They've fought their
served how and when
they were needed.
They've earned their
reprieve from the
harsh, glaring
but their post,
after all this time,
they still haven't

Stones, shaped to
stand and dressed in
mark where they lie,
mute through the
Not voiceless,
though, for there
are those who
remember their
when called on by
one such in need,
their steadfastness

Carrying on their
legacy, are those
who continue to add
to their venerated
Some call them
soldiers, some fools
and some heroes;
some see the endless
marble formation and
give thanks.

Down the somber rows
reflective feet
seeking friends,
family, or simply to
respect those who
gave all.
Regardless of race,
gender, creed,
religion, or
ever onward, kin
they are; ever
together they stand

Never forget why
they're in those
green fields; the
battlefields they
the kin they left
behind, to grieve
and remember.
Regret young and old
gone too soon,
innocence and family
forever lost,
but don't begrudge
their sacrifice -
with our lives burns
their eternal ember.

Copyright © Andy Sprouse | Year Posted 2014

Details | Pantoum |
And the cemetery was sculpted by numbers on plots 		
Anticipating a frame to explain the gravely residents		
To offer considerable homage with venerate thoughts		
Of a journey long taken by soldiers and sycophants		

Anticipating a frame to explain the gravely residents		
An empty stone awaits the gracious terminal account 		
Of a journey long taken by soldiers and sycophants		
And those who survived differently but died tantamount	

An empty stone awaits the gracious terminal account		
About this bloody battle that ended a war of sabotage		
And those who survived differently but died tantamount	
For they are our freedom from this absurd civil barrage			

About this bloody battle that ended a war of sabotage		
Gratitude is given to the cowards and the brave alike		
For they are our freedom from this absurd civil barrage		
Now dignity doused in tribute forever bleeds ghostlike			

Gratitude is given to the cowards and the brave alike		
To offer considerable homage with venerate thoughts		
Now dignity doused in tribute forever bleeds ghostlike		
And the cemetery was sculpted by numbers on plots		


Copyright © Lukas Ficklin | Year Posted 2016

Details | Nonet |
Ivory-clad finger carves a path; signs of neglect incur her wrath. Minuscule motes swirl aloft; lungs are clogged as hands waft. Blanket covers all on floor and wall. Was just fine, this shrine: mine. ------------------------------------------ March 2017 For the "Dust" contest sponsored by Shadow Hamilton - Ninth Place.

Copyright © John Michaels | Year Posted 2017

Details | Sonnet |
As He Paid Tribute To All She Ever Gave

He stood at his mother's new grave again
remembering her face, how she loved rain.
How she loved rain, new puppies born in Spring
looked skyward, could almost hear angels sing.

Morn's glistening dew covered the new grass
he wondered would this huge pain ever pass.
As he laid pretty flowers on her grave

Then just before tears were about to fall
his kids cried out, that hurry up dad call.
Life returned and he knew her big smile came
as he heard her softly whisper his name.

She had gave him bright stars shining above
now he spoke of his returning her love.

Robert J. Lindley, 12-15-2016

Copyright © Robert Lindley | Year Posted 2016

Details | Rhyme |
within the under belly of
this hob bull ling Leviathan beast
induced roaring hungry soundcloud issued
within abdominal folds
finding they in creased

never diminishing, matter
whether I turn north, south, west or east
this adult desired,
soon after he envisioned
buttered crispy dish eyed fancily feast
culinary cut throat Michelin meisters
(pit a less lee) pitted
against Pillsbury doughboy greased
imaginatively gobbling hectare
thousand island inlaid
juiced kickstarting least

unable to pay thee Monsieur's consigliere –
damn, hard cold cash just shy by a nickle
aye first taken got taken hostage
as a wreck loose poet,
the anti write cadre
strip searched
every stitch of clothes I wore,
then subjected me to an aye tip pickle
pun hush ment,

where this deplorable basket case
stood aghast as hounds from hell
got loosed by thee Don Rickle
lathered canine chops
slapped by foamy salivating tongues
poised to ham er and

make mince meat out this pop sickle
but...lo and behold, as vicious
snooping doggy dogs
approached within a hair breadth
minecrafted fingers fluttered
in the air asper ready to tickle

whereat the snarling killers (bon jove)
rolled with faux pas in the air
kicking, laughing (or a similar
fox simile thereof),
inciting Major Domo tuff flair
his nostrils (like...well
an amazing dragon)

with blood red eyes didst glare
while fur sprouted over his bare skin
honor ably dispelling every last hair
which bizarre circumstance, an opportunity
to escape from this thieving Magpie lair

approved by the ghost of Rossini,
who suddenly prestidigitatiously
magically brought to my defense William Tell
(in the guise oven
instant activating App) pull lick caisson
thus juiced by a whisker avoiding a scare.

Perhaps the realm where dormant ideas germinate
will coalesce into sturdy tomes even if posthumously late
recognition gets affianced with a memorialized slate
where no body will lie,
cuz this mortal will get his ashes sprinkled
intermixed with wildlife,

who will unknowingly consecrate and sanctify
rack and pinion traction, 
where dost dust will fertile lies
to become reincarnated
via blessings sans creatures who defecate or urinate.

Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2017