Blackberries and burial grounds

I’ve become a bit too interested in dead bodies recently, partly from watching Britain’s Biggest Dig on television but mainly from writing blog posts about Reverend Henry Fearon for the History and Heritage website I run.

It started with going to look for his grave in Loughborough cemetery, only to find I had to fight my way through thickets of blackberry bushes to get to the headstone.  Standing in strong summer sunshine, I ate one of the blackberries – the largest and juiciest blackberries I’ve seen for many a year – and it was delicious.  So I ate a few more, then stopped, wondering whether there’s a gory reason for their lusciousness.  That later led to Googling ‘how long does it take for a body to decay in a coffin?’ and a couple of hours which should’ve been spent writing lost down the tunnel that Google opened up.  It was quite a deep tunnel and Katherine Parr was down there, as well as a number of ‘death’ professionals talking about what happens to us once we die.  Goodness knows what the Police would make of my search history – fingers crossed they’re never called on to look.

As for blackberries, the reason they were so fat and juicy is indeed quite possibly gory, so I won’t be eating any in graveyards again, just in case.

Anyway, I walked through the graveyard again yesterday, on a ‘get lots of exercise’ circuit to the post box, and noticed the berries don’t look as juicy as they had mid-summer.  And whilst I was there, I knocked together a bit of a poem.  It’s rough round the edges with some very twee bits, and I don’t think Pam Ayres need worry I’m going to nick her spot.  But it made me laugh writing it, so I’m sharing it never-the-less.

September Cemetery 

The blackberries are past their best
where Rev’rand Fearon’s laid to rest.
They surely should be twice as sweet
from growing at such ven’rable feet?
I’ve no idea who lies beneath ’em,
so thick the brambles covering o’er them,
but guess they never thought that they
would be obscured so in this way,
no longer in life’s rough and tumble
and feeding fruit for someone’s crumble.

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