Graves Forgotten – Born and raised in the state of Colorado, I have spent considerable time wandering in the mountains of old. It isn’t just the beauty of nature that brings me back time after time. I have always been drawn to the tales of those who lived and died in the Rocky Mountain frontier long before I ever stepped foot in the mountains. Scattered throughout the mountains are the lonely and lost cemeteries of graves forgotten with the passage of time. One of my favorite quotes is by the naturalist John Muir, who simply said “The mountains are calling, so I must go.” Those that are buried in the graves forgotten just as I have – heard that call of the mountains – and just like me they followed it. As I walk amongst the wooden crosses and tombstones with camera in hand, I sometimes become overwhelmed with emotion after reading the sad stories of some of the epitaphs on the graves forgotten. Just a word or short phrase that marks that a person that had hopes, dreams, and failures was buried there and that they use to walk the earth as a mortal being. It is evident from my walks among the dead that those that braved the high adventure of the Colorado mountains in those frontier years died an early death. The mountains, they learned are callous, hard, and not very forgiving. At any given moment, sometimes I feel the need to reach out and touch a wooden cross or long forgotten tombstone and I can feel the energy tingle in my hand and arm of those that have passed. I know then and only then that their physical story ended here in the dirt under my feet, but their spiritual life has not ceased. I am not sure what to think of that.
Lonely are the ones, graves forgotten,
Cemetery signs are gone, wood has rotten.
Tombstones tilted and grass gone to seed,
Darkness falls, mournful wails simply plead.
We loved and were loved before we died,
Forget us not for eternity here we reside.
Rain, snow, autumn leaves have rotten,
Lonely are the ones, graves forgotten.
Poem by Kurt James
Kurt James © 2016