The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

A Cemetery Soloist Sings Amazing Grace

(Some of you know that I enjoy poetry, and that I even write poetry. Sometimes, it is good to share my poems! Here is one. – Sam Candler)


Listen to Dean Sam Candler read this poem:


I watch so many old singers now,
Their dear bodies grown erratically
Into dripping faces and spotted skin,
Swollen hips or round bellies,

And their thin legs
Like twisted trees,
Gnarled and snapping,
As they make their way along these hills.

We are at the cemetery,
And their feet have been forced
Into shoes and heels, flats and sharps,
Not meant for soft soil.

They don’t very often step away from sturdy marble floors
And easy carpets, or asphalt driveways, concrete walkways;
But they do today,
On this morning for the funeral of a dear friend.

No one knows exactly where the grave is,
But they see the green undertaker’s tent
Set up above them,
So they mount the rise,

Cautiously stepping into odd pits
And sunken slips in the grass,
Around various slabs of bronze resting in strange sets
Of random lines and letters of names they once knew.

No one knows exactly where the grave is,
Except somewhere below them,
And everywhere around them,
Among these old slopes and hazards,

Notes rising and falling
And modulating along the ground.
I sing the last verse a tone higher.
Gracefully, everyone is amazed that no one falls
Today. Our time is not yet come.

The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip