The Boneyard

The Boneyard

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

On the thirteenth day of the seventh month

Big Max came into town,

He came with a clutch of plans, he said,

We’d be ‘mad to turn him down!’

He walked right into the council

And he huddled up with the mayor,

The mayor could only see dollar signs

As he sat him down in his chair!


We’re just a common old country town,

There’s not much happens here,

The town grew up around farmers,

Pioneers of yesteryear!

There’s shops and government offices,

A bank and a couple of pubs,

And the highlight of the weekend whirl

Is a night at the social clubs!


We also have two cemeteries,

The ‘Old’ one and the ‘New’,

There’s not been a burial in the Old

Since 1852,

It sits right there, at the edge of town,

All weeds and overgrown,

A bit of an eyesore, tell the truth,

While the New is nicely mown!


The news went round like a forest fire,

Big Max had bought the Old,

He wanted to build a Burger joint

And a Pizza Bar all told,

And then the parking, fifty cars

Should take up all the ground,

Where the bones of our pioneers had lain,

The founders of the town!


The moans and mutterings grew apace,

The mayor was brought to book,

How dare he sell off the hallowed ground?

This Max might be a crook!

The council went in a huddle

And approved the mayor’s plan,

They quoted some ancient ordinance

While the people shouted: ‘Scam!’


But then the heavy equipment came

The dozers, trucks and rigs,

With men they hired from the city

To compound his dirty tricks,

While Max looked on, a complacent smile

Was fixed on his ugly face,

‘Just wait ‘til you’re tasting the burgers!’

He’d reply, when they’d shout: ‘Disgrace!’


As fast as the headstones tumbled, they

Were laid around the edge,

‘They’ll come in handy for fencing,

We won’t need to grow a hedge.’

But then the coffins began to rise

And they spilled their cache of bones,

The dozers piled them in heaps, as if

They were shunting piles of stones.


That night, a wind in the eucalypts

Swirled round that hallowed site,

It moaned with a grim and haunted sound

And it howled to the dawning light,

While Max, they threw him out of the pub

And told him he’d have to roam,

With the souls of the dead uncovered there

As his men took off, went home.


The lightning flashed as he walked the streets

And the thunder chilled his spine,

The rain came down in a stream not seen

Since the winter of ’59,

He sought relief by a dozer, sheltered

Under a locked up truck,

Then heard a sigh, as a ghost went by

And a hundred more rose up!


He tried to run, but the ground, undone

Was a series of pits and holes,

He ended up to his waist in one,

And turned, and prayed for his soul.

The last of the standing headstones there

Then toppled, and pinned him down,

When the sun rose up in the morning

One of the council found him, drowned!


The ‘Old’ has become a pretty park

In the shade of the eucalypts,

The headstones laid, flat to the ground

In a lawn that is kept well clipped,

The pioneers have been laid to rest

Once more in their holy ground,

And we’re more than blessed, though I must confess,

There isn’t a burger in town!


David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget

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Featured Review

I enjoyed the story. I like the way you led the reader into the good history of a town. I like the ending a lot. We must respect the dead. No weakness in this amazing story. Thank you for sharing the outstanding tale.

Posted 11 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


What a bloody ripper!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

On second read, a truly awesome piece of work, a wonderful tale with suspense and engaging humor. Love this

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Its an interesting way to show that we should respect and preserve the past in the face of greed. We show so little respect to our past and are often complacent when its destroyed for the sake of another tacky shopping complex. There was once a time when commerce didn't sprawl all over the planet, when it didn't outnumber in space the places were we lived. When people converted their homes to their businesses, whether it was the blacksmith shop out back or the innkeeper with a large house renting out extra rooms. The death of cottage industry came with the pursuit of profits, and I'm not sure it was for the better. Perhaps with the Internet as a selling platform, cottage industry will make a resurgence, and the greed built eyesores that mar our landscape will begin to disappear.

Posted 10 Years Ago

What a great tale. LOL I think the mayor and council got off pretty easy though!

Not the perfect craftsmanship I'm used to seeing in your work here, but still very well done with just a few places where the rhyme seemed a bit forced.

Still, an enjoyable tale that has elements of poems past but tells a fresh story.

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is fabulous. A pretty amazing story. it's awesome :))

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A really good ballad. A Halloween sort of thing. I knew early on that there could come no good from bulldozing up a cemetary plot...

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Such a great story poetically presented, elloquently wrought and insightfully finished with just enough humor to delight and inspire!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Wondrous the stories you tell! Great read!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this was a nice read,I like it alot,thanx Tate for asking me to read this one

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I ate up every last bit of this. The story amazed me, it was absolutely hysterical. Loved it, loved the ending, loved it all down to the dots on the "I's"

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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36 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on May 27, 2012
Last Updated on May 27, 2012
Tags: council, mayor, bones, headstones


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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