Sunday, January 1, 2023

Poem #8: In a Cemetery

Happy New Year! I ended 2022 on a high note with an Honorable Mention in the Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest in the Free Verse category. The seeds of this poem, "In a Cemetery," were sown all the way back in 2004 during a grave rubbing exercise at a local cemetery in Frederick, Maryland, for one of my college Biology classes. Talk about a work in progress, but worth the wait:

I stand before my work and gather odd satisfaction.
Tracing others’ heavy layers of mortality
            (rubbing facts, figures, and inscriptions),
            I ignore my own.

I find myself on a roadway between eras.
Modern plots to my right, ancient ones to my left—
            One side glittering rows of teeth,
            The other a nest of jutting bones.

I’m filled with a peculiar joy that I’m here and it’s such a pretty day.
That I’ve ambled along these quiet pathways,
            Standing next to graves lined in perfect, sunken rows,
            And feel at peace among them.

"In a Cemetery," copyright 2023 Amelia Cotter (Honorable Mention, Free Verse Award, Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest)


  1. 'And feel at peace among them' favorite line! I listened to your interview on 'The Grave Talks' and that you write poetry. I write poetry and short stories as well, and much pertains to my endeavors into the spiritual world. Tony interviewed me for the show, though I have little in the way of publications in the field other than sending many of my experiences into his other podcast...'Real Ghost Stories Online.' I also have a Facebook page 'Witness to Phenomenon.' I grew up in Maryland as well and worked in Rockville, Wheaton and other areas. I currently reside in Va. I've always wanted to take things to a higher level...but I got started somewhat late in life after a life altering experience at an overnight job! I will look deeper into your writing and experiences! Happy Ghost Hunting! Tom Owens

  2. Thanks so much, Tom! It really sounds like you do a lot in the way of sharing and supporting experiences. I'm looking forward to checking out your episode and page! My mom grew up in and around Wheaton, that's so cool. Happy Ghost Hunting to you, too!

  3. My first real job was in Wheaton Plaza at a store called Gallenkamp Shoes. My Brother was the Asst. Manager and Got me a job there right out of high School...I'll wager your Mom spent some time at the Plaza. We're talking mid 70's. There was a Little Tavern across the street and an amazing bakery across from the shoe store...Oh, the memories!

  4. I'll have to ask her! She also lived in Laurel sometime in her teens. She and my aunt and uncles have great adventure (and spooky) stories from around there, Mitchellville, Wheaton, a lot of the Montgomery/Prince George's County area. I grew up further north in good old Bel Air.

  5. I lived all over PG County...Camp Springs, Oxon Hill, Hillcrest Heights, Greenbelt...often ate at the original Ledo's in College Park and there was one well known club there...can't recall the name, but it was the place to go in CP. Moved from Md in 85 when I got hitched, to boring, but beautiful Va...Nokesville and then out to Sperryville...which is an amazing little town. Do you ever vacation in the Outer Banks?

  6. I've never been to the Outer Banks but spent a week on Topsail Island when I was a teenager!

  7. May have to put that on my list! They say Blackbeard's Treasure is buried there! I've been going to Outer Banks since my kids were small. I now go twice a year with a group of friends from High School. I also own an RV there that is parked year round. However, I just recently put it up for sale as it's just not being used enough to justify the cost. I have a ghost location to suggest if you've never been. 'Wayside Inn' in Middletown, Va. Very haunted! My daughters took me there for my 60th birthday and I got 2 direct response evp's in one room and in another, just after I said to my daughters; "I'll bet there's a spirit in that rocking chair laughing at us"; an orb rises from the chair. Also got some knocks coming from a wall after I told a story about an evp I once got that included 3 knocks and a 'Hello.'