Forever and Ever, a poem by Michael Ball at
Michal Pokorny

Forever and Ever

Forever and Ever

written by: Michael Ball



Wide, squatting tombstones andForever and Ever, a poem by Michael Ball at
thin, ever aspiring obelisks
manifest dreams of permanence.
We pretend identity is forever,
and will rise at the trumpet sound.

Grieving and even guilty progeny
buy engraved blocks of eternity,
claiming tiny plots in a necropolis.
Those are ancestral genuflections.

Colonial-era burying grounds show
two versions. One is sandstone that
you could etch with thumbnail or knife.
Such soft rocks blur to illegible smears.

Poor people can’t afford marble, granite,
or slate. What is in their budgets quickly
weathers and the plain folk disappear.
Squint, but faded stones no longer speak.

Permanent? No, a few generations pass.
We are but pimples on Earth’s cheeks.
As Shelley’s Ozymandias wryly had it,
“Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Likewise, in All Saints, Iberia Parish,
Zydeco wizard Clifton Chenier’s stone
shows his name and dates. He never
claimed his monument will last forever.

He often said, “When you live, you live.
When you’re dead, you’re gone.”

Latest posts by Michael Ball (see all)