The bombs blew the tombs wide open

And the bones of the dead rose

into the sky like deathly snow.

Every day I stand here beside

the grave of a child I baptized

and sent to god in the church font.


And the old man digs new holes

where childhood’s joy lay interred

with a gold ring around her neck.


He thinks no one saw him when

Its glint caught his magpie eye

And he decided to pocket it.


Yet Mr Gravedigger worries not

his secrets won’t be inferred

To St Mary’s motley lot


They won’t miss him amid the mud

Or care his blood mixes with soil

not until they too need a hole


in the sum of his thieving toil

where bombs fell like ungodly hail

and committed both our souls to hell.


©Talia Hardy 2014

The Desert Conquers All

© All rights reserved by Alexander



From 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 it is estimated London was levelled by over 30,000 incendiary devices. Numerous lives were lost in the blitz and were buried in cemeteries not decimated by missiles. It was not until the ceasefire that church restoration began and new burials recommenced within parish churchyards that disinterred mortal remains were discovered. And, as the poem implies, as the dead gave up fragments of their lives so too committed to the grave were the secrets of the living.

In the new millennium cremation outranks interment and many of the affected churches which became redundant due to cultural shifts and population migration are used as alternative spaces—spaces with the possibility of divulging darkness if the walls could talk.


12 thoughts on “Committal

      • Oha,

        that’s rough I guess. But then, the fee paying issue was always debated in university, even if it was a few dollars. I have to confess that I too didn’t enter. I really should I have a boxful of work lying idle; some of which I feel isn’t publishable.

      • I haven’t done contests except a couple of First Book awards (poetry). My focus or success for going on three years have been with indie pubs. This year I’m working on a couple of First Books, and getting my short fiction manuscript out there too. I’ve paid fees before and have nothing morally against them, I just can’t afford them. 🙂

      • I’m working on that unpublishable stuff this year, editing etc and trying to up the quality. Yes again on the fees if I could enter and enter and pay and pay I would! 🙂 I do for some select.

  1. A poem that pulls you along with every world. Definitely an envious talent. Great to read something with so much meaning first thing in the morning..

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