Hole with a View

David Cobb


a little sunshine
the sexton portions it
with a ball of string

I can work out more or less where it will be. The “old half” of the village churchyard, downside of the bank which in gently undulating Essex is styled a “cliff”, on the church side of the brook, admits no new corpses.

Nowadays we of the village, when we are “called up”, reassemble on the top shelf, like a squad at drill. Guess how many years are left to you, multiply this by the average number of burials a year (five or six), and this again by six for the allowance of feet per grave. You come up with a number that, using eye or boot, you can measure to find roughly where you’ll be in the universe until the sun burns up.

how urgently
the mourner fills the can
with his own water

Mine won’t be up teetering on the cliff edge, for that area is kept for the leftovers of those who don’t want to be buried.

cremation ashes
its nose into everything
the bounding puppy

Even though this is a prime spot. Not because the edge of the cliff has more sunshine, or is nearer the oaks and ash trees where the songbirds gather, or is closer to the bells that ring for weddings. Simply, it has the best view when the whole village, or most of it, comes together on Christmas Eve for carols by candlelight.
Passing between the worn headstones of the ancient squires, they slither for a little while along the greasy, grassy path, pattering the earth in which their forebears lie.

But, further from the edge, there are cherry trees around the graves.

within the shadow
of the blossoming tree
my shadow


Ersteinstellung auf Haiku heute: 10.09.2006
Englische Erstveröffentlichung in: David Cobb: Business in Eden,
Equinox Press, Sinodun (Großbritannien), 2006