An Epitaph

Scene: a small graveyard surrounding the church of St Mark outside Vienna,
7th December 1791 beside a common grave. Present: Sussmeyer, Salieri, Baron van Swieten.

Shivering in the cutting East wind I gaze about..
Where are all the people?
There should be crowds.
Why aren’t people lined up ten deep around
this insignificant hole?
This death affects the entire world.
Babies unborn will be lulled by his work.
Generations to come will mourn
this life cut short too soon.

The scent of crushed grass tickles my nostrils,
Making my eyes water unaccountably.
Grown men don’t cry. Do they?

The prompt at Octpowrimo today asks for an epitaph poem.  I confess this one’s not new, but this day is a frenzied one for me.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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8 Responses to An Epitaph

  1. Such a sensory work here, Viv. Well written!


  2. Oh I love this, the premise of it and the fact that Salieri was in attendance. Also love the line about babies in the womb. I’m tempted to go downstairs and get a Mozart CD to accompany my computer work…right now. Gonna do it. Often I wish you lived nearby, Viv. I’d love to have tea together.


  3. Mike Patrick says:

    Thank you for this comment at this time. My son, the one I went into business with, passed away unexpectedly Sunday morning. There will be people around that empty hole, but nothing will ever fill the hole in my heart.
    Mike Patrick


    • Dear Mike, That is terrible news. Every parent expects to go before their offspring, and I can well believe in the unfillable hole in your heart. I hope you will be able to be strong to cope with whatever the next part of your life throws up at you. Thinking of you with sympathy.


  4. siggiofmaine says:

    Thank you…
    hope the frenzy has turned to calm for the day.


  5. brian miller says:

    oft it is only after they are gone we realize their true significance you you….


  6. one never knows what others will think or feel when one is gone. On that day, may there be those who weep and know they weep for loss of all we brought to their life.


  7. colonialist says:

    Very powerful. According to the sensationalists, Salieri would have been sniggering, but I doubt it. He was also very talented. Just not quite as much so.


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