Graveyard Shift




Choices of Suggested Audio:


[1] The Cave Singers “Dancing On Our Grave”



[2] The Orb “Little Fluffy Clouds”



[3] The Rolling Stones “In Another Land”




Further reading – The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton





Let’s go to the Faraway Tree! It’s nearby, in the cemetery. Just a stone’s throw away from where I word slay!

It’s dank and cold so with chicken scarf asphyxiating me, I link arms and merrily walk Greykeeper to the Crypt Keeper. Or so the horror whore in me imagines.

There’s no crypt in this sterile modern post-70s planting ground. No character, no ravens, no ivy clad seraphim with broken wing and eternal grin. No cracked vaults, no crematorium. No little stone chapel behind wrought iron gate. Crass carnations glare gaudily from children’s graves. Bought from petrol stations by emotions too numb… eyes too dumb. No excuse for those pink harlots. Weedol where are you? Do the right thing for these bones with souls departed. The living can’t cope!!

Along concrete path we walk noting dates, ages, strange names, until an unassuming tool shed appears. Straight laced concrete and shattered porcelain. Glass green with moss, damn, no-one gives a toss. But one person does. Not the owner of the beer can or curious left white Reebok.

A man bursting with creativity like a keg holding gun powder. Ready set to explode onto the ASUS keyboard with letters worn away. Brutality most dark always ending with warmth and light. Yes. Warmth and light ooze like lava from every passionate pore. Greykeeper of the dark chapel is just a lion who likes to purr.

Standing by the Tumtum tree, I gaze up the Faraway tree. It’s bark worse than its bite, aged from the elements and withered away by the mourning ever around it. Leaves absent awaiting spring but life readying set to explode. Blasting away the bones caught up within its roots. Greykeeper’s guardian on lonesome evenings looks a sorrowful state but is merely slumbering ready to awaken. Protect.

Protect. A word one would wish upon all whom you love. The Faraway tree is Greykeeper’s escape route. The lands at the top ready to be visited after a quick visit to Moonface and a snap biscuit from Silky. Lands which inspire, eager for exploration. The Enchanted forest long replaced by a concrete jungle of sterile generic gravestones. But the Faraway tree still stands proud beside a writing spot so precious.

He’s no character in a Dungeons and Dragons game. Greykeeper is real. Real in every possible sense of the word… and more yet undiscovered. Not enough words in the Thesaurus define how real this lone ranger is. Laptop on lap his magical fingers, words bleed from his arteries. A flow unstemmable, letter exsanguination. Death by creative loss not happening, he’s survived and survived again.

The Faraway tree suddenly lurches, tilts and heaves. A dark shadow stretches across its gnarly reach, a new land above. His sincere crystalline place here yet again. A land of childhood imagination? A grim expanse crawling with Silent Hill inspired creatures? Candyland with a creep who loves kids? No. Sorry to disappoint but this new land is here and now. Where Greykeeper has found love and sight.

Where a rabbit and a mouse, ears pricked up and noses twitching, spotted this intriguing being looming around in the shadows. They saw his tracks and inquisitively sniffed the first footprint. Rabbit was bowled over, her love found at last! Mouse, who also felt a surge of emotion in her tiny heart, knew they were on the right tracks, onto a winner. Soon all their trails connected and the story of the lion, the rabbit and the mouse sprung forth like the buds on the Faraway Tree.

From writing screeds of help in a dank characterless graveyard a lost king of the beasts was found. No more greeting Mr 1973 or the 1989 kid covered in carnations, two vital sparks lit the blackened coals in his heart and the graveyard wasn’t The Nothing anymore. It became a positive writing spot. Like Brer Rabbit’s laughing place, lion loved to rest under the Faraway Tree and do what he does best… Claws out and word slay!







Sharon Lawson





© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™





  1. I forgot how emotional this was! A tribute from a tiny mouse’s heart to a dear friend. Believe in yourself, you are not The Nothing. Much love always to you both.

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