OffCourse Literary Journal

A Poem, by Ward Kelley.


The cemetery in my soul is growing,
new plots are being annexed, the wrought
iron fence is being extended to encompass
more ground. I view additions suspiciously.

More people I know are dying, more surprise
phone calls interrupt endeavors I thought
were very important; more answers of, "Not
so good," to my greeting of how're you doing?

One small solace in this building boom is I
get to write the epitaphs the cemetery attendants
chisel on new monuments and grave markers, so
I am able to comment to my own satisfaction

when I eventually complete each new burial.
My own mausoleum is in the center of this
ever expanding complex, and inside I have built
a secret passageway out of the bottom, similar

to those secret tunnels in the best pyramids
which will allow me, after my own death,
to slip away from my cemetery and rejoin all
those I loved who are dancing, dancing elsewhere.


Ward Kelley has seen more than 1400 of his poems appear in journals world wide. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose publication credits include such journals as: Plainsongs, Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Midstream, Zuzu's Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Pif, Whetstone, Melic Review, Offcourse, Thunder Sandwich, Potpourri and Skylark. He was the recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001. Kelley is the author of two paperbacks: "histories of souls," a poetry collection, and "Divine Murder," a novel; he also has an epic poem, "comedy incarnate" on CD and CD ROM.

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