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John DeDakis

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Books by John DeDakis
  Cemetery at Sunset
by John DeDakis
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Not long ago, I took a walk through Rock Creek Park, a wide swath of undeveloped forest that cuts the District of Columbia in two from North to South. Suddenly, without warning, I came upon a quiet cemetery beside Rock Creek and the Parkway that runs alongside it. The memory has stayed with me for months; today -- Easter 2008 -- I finally put the experience to words.


They sleep near the swish and swirl of traffic;

By the rush of creek water over and around ancient boulders


They sleep in the lengthening shadows of a dying day

Beneath cool emerald blades of shimmering grass.


Their lives have stopped, yet the souls of

So many others speed past them, oblivious.


I stop and stand silent on a patch of sacred ground,

A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating

Life from eternity.



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Reviewed by Diana Wiles 4/30/2012
This is utterly beautiful!...You have put into words what I have often felt and experienced...The photo is a perfect complement...
Reviewed by D Johnson 9/12/2011
John, an absolutely beautiful piece of writing...

Reviewed by Robert Cosmar 5/17/2011
Excellent use of the word "hush" to show respect. An excellent tribute, John, and well done. Nice to meet you, I'm new here.
Reviewed by Sandi Schraut 3/3/2011
The reverence in this piece is pronounced and quite moving! lovely! Sandi
Reviewed by s g (Reader) 2/2/2011
Hello John, so well written. Susan
Reviewed by karen logan 12/24/2010
Very Very reverent and charming. I really enjoyed the read. Thank you so much for sharing. Karen
Reviewed by Nancy Denofio 10/13/2010
John, I understand and enjoyed your words. I mentioned a post I left at my site here at Authors Den "You Asked Me To Dance." I know you will enjoy it. The story is true, which I have many like this due to many losses in my life at an early age. I certainly enjoyed your poem. Sincerely, Nancy
Reviewed by The Poetess 8/22/2010
Beautiful call for silence to listen.
Reviewed by Magic Sala 4/21/2010
Wow shed a tear here. How beautiful this is and thank you for writing it.

Reviewed by Sharon Rose 3/17/2010
"I stop and stand silent on a patch of sacred ground,

A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating

Life from eternity." Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 2/23/2010
Love this, John...
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Inspire Hope 11/18/2009
These words penned are very profound!
John I found this poem interesting,
"A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating
Life from eternity."

Much Love,
Inspire Hope
Reviewed by Janet Caldwell 10/16/2009
I can respect this and enjoy at the same time. I love to look at the really old head stones and imagine who they were. Thanks for this John.

PS. Hush, you just might hear them
Reviewed by M. Andrew Sprong 9/24/2009
I loved the picture you painted with your words.
Reviewed by David Hightower 9/10/2009
John - Loved the contrast of the peacefulness of the cemetery and the roar of the Parkway,


Their lives have stopped, yet the souls of

So many others speed past them, oblivious.

The "oblivious" works on both the literal and figurative level.

The repetition of "hush" throughout the poem creates a gentle peacefulness in sound and meaning, especially that last "hush."


I stop and stand silent on a patch of sacred ground,

A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating

Life from eternity.


I'll be back to read more. - David

Reviewed by Gene Williamson 6/29/2009
I'm a bit late getting here, John, but so glad I finally
got the chance to read your beautifully crafted Cemetery at
Sunset. Having spent a number of years in the District, I am
quite familiar with Rockcreek Park--and in fact miss it.
Reviewed by Tina Mitchell (Reader) 6/20/2009
You wrote:

A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating

Life from eternity.


* * *

...straddling the short distance...

Heard, if only.
Understood, if we dare.

Great work here, John.

Be blessed!
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 5/5/2009
Very nicely penned. This poem gave me a peaceful feeling. Hush
Reviewed by Jerry Engler 4/3/2009
I echo the thoughts of others here that I greatly appreciate the contrast between the hush for the dead and the place as connected to the bustle of the living, a well-done contrast coupled with the feelings of respect and awe....Jerry
Reviewed by Michelle Lowrie (Reader) 3/4/2009
The eerie part of this for me right now is that they just issued an arrest warrant to that Salvadoran illegal alien in the case of Chandra Levy (whose remains were found in Rock Creek Park - for those unfamiliar with the case). May she now rest in peace.

It's been a long time since I last walked through Rock Creek Park, but in spute of all of the hustle and bustle, I think we should heed the warning an hush.
Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce 2/23/2009
You not only capture the serenity of the cemetery of the ones who have earned their peaceful rest; but also the busy bodies who are striving everyday to get there.

I love this poem!!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Linda Zebsokey 12/27/2008
There is nothing like the solemnity of a cemetery to turn our thoughts to deep and mysterious musings. Thank you for sharing "Cemetery at Sunset."

Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/12/2008
You provide pause for reflection, John. Mayhaps that's why I want to be cremated. I do love the way you expressed this though. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Wanda Miller-Berry 6/27/2008
Intense and compelling. Superb writing!

Reviewed by Lois Christensen 6/13/2008
My Father's birthday March 23 1908 and also his death day March 23 1972. I love to visit the cemetery and now have to go see Hubby Tom Aug 17 07, I probably told you his date before, anyway this photo is so fantastic, and your write is so endearing to me. I just have a thing with cemeteries and won't let go. I am so glad I read you write today, it will be in another month Tom would have gone a year, and I still don't know where I am coming from or going. Mostly that is quite frustrating too. But therapy is the den and the good poems here too.
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 6/9/2008
Love the opposites in this poem. The peaceful cemetery versus the busy road. Love the use of "Hush" here - it shows respect and continues to enhance the different scenes. The last full line is thought provoking. Great imagery~
Reviewed by Dee C. 5/4/2008
Your words have captured the picture perfectly!!
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 4/27/2008
I'm glad I backed up to check on postings while I was away from the den or else I would have missed this one! A very intense offering my friend, deep and moving indeed! You take the reader there with your outstanding imagery...thought provoking, and very compelling, lingers on one's thoughts!
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Stephanie Murray 4/8/2008
This is deep and soulful. The photograph adds to the intensity of the poem.

Reviewed by Gloria Gay 4/5/2008
Great writing.
Reviewed by Kathryn Carrington 4/3/2008
What a marvelous play with words and great penmenship! A moving work of art...indeed...and might I add... a very thought provoking poem displaying creativity and raw talent. Thanks for sharing.
Reviewed by ~ Holly Harbridge (Reader) 4/1/2008
A compelling write, Holly
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 3/31/2008
I read this poem twice...first quietly and then aloud. sound and in imagery.
Reviewed by Axilea MU 3/30/2008
Deep peaceful atmosphere described with all those "s" and "sh" sounds. I love the imagery in
"Their lives have stopped, yet the souls of
So many others speed past them, oblivious"
full of contrasts, full of truth.

Reviewed by Bernice Lakota 3/27/2008
Amazing poem....hush....I should hush now
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 3/26/2008
Beautifully and profoundly penned.
Reviewed by Connie Faust 3/24/2008
A cemetery can be a place of refuge from the stresses of life, a quiet place to reflect and pray. You have written a gorgeous poem, accompanied by a gorgeous photograph.
Very fine piece.

Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 3/24/2008
Intriguing. Conjures many ponderings and brings me to the thought that nothing ever really ends, but is only transformed to something else.
Reviewed by Cedric III 3/24/2008
it can take a while to put words to experiences...
sometimes words refuse to stick to internal feelings...

i think you have captured my attention well and drawn me into this experience...
you know... i used to be petrified of cemetaries... i couldnt go near them and if i did i never slept for weeks afterward.
im not sure why i stopped being so scared of them but now... now they can be such peaceful places, far from the hustle and bustle of life.

what strikes me most about this piece is the seemingly forgottenness of this cemetery and therefore those who rest there.
its too easy to forget those who have passed away... not on purpose...just life keeps happening and our grief runs out of time somehow...

beautiful piece.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 3/23/2008
Done so skillfully. Great repetition of Hush. Can't be better and what a topic!
Reviewed by John Leko 3/23/2008
...your write...holds quiet moments...and in solitude...your words speak peacefully...of reverent ground given much beauty in your imagery.
excellent pen here John...
Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 3/23/2008

OH!!! Sighhhhh A Gorgeous Photo!! I Love Cemeteries, Graves, & Mausoleums. I hope to visit an underground Mausoleum someday soon.

Your Poem Is Fantastic! I Love It!

"I stop and stand silent on a patch of sacred ground,

A solitary figure straddling the short distance separating

Life from eternity."

Beautiful!! & True!


Reviewed by Jean Pike 3/23/2008
Oh my gosh, John ... I don't know what to say. This poem is magnificent, a true work of art. I feel embraced by the quiet of your cemetery, in awe of the absolute truth of what you have conveyed. I almost want to cry, but maybe it's just my mood. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
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