“Standing in Pine Grove Cemetery” By John Robinson

In the woods above Cornstalk Lake, a light, April wind moves through pine trees
that encircle this clearing.
From one edge of the graveyard spring grass swells at my feet,
at lichen-covered stones.
A veteran flag stands erect before mottled rock.
The first flowers have erupted like scattered seeds beneath maple and oak.
Clusters of sedge lean in wind-shaped arcs.

On the other side where leaf-beds meet moss, almost invisible,
the ground undulates of many sunken, unmarked graves.
This place pulls at my mind, lures it; that arcane knowledge of names,
lives of plowed ground, endless rivers, mines, factories—
each one taken beneath this blanket of soil.

I feel myself pass into thought, things I never say to anyone.
This spark of life stuns my brain, withers into ebbing earth.
Generations of labor tell me I will die in this valley, the sun blackened with snow,
though I hear laughter, children playing at the water.


John Timothy Robinson is a traditional, mainstream citizen and ten-year educator for Mason County Schools in Mason County, WV who holds a Regent’s Degree. He has an interest in Critical Theory of poetry and American Formalism. John’s poetry has appeared in fifty-five journals since August 2016, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, electronic and print. He has also published several literary critical essays. As a printmaker, John has published thirty-six art images which have appeared in ten journals and websites in the United States and Italy. 

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