I went walking on that day

past straggling tombs

hawthorn gripped

where limestone and  marble

shot dull glances as

time had furrowed these streaking brows


      and steadfast pets stood proud but chipped

      to sense those long lost hearts

      and memory of owners gone ahead

      where ramblers walk among the dead.


Remote mausoleums, museums

of the everlasting soul

sarcophagi in regency rows

nestled in where earth exhales

and steps cut in to guide us on

each new level pressed the spirit

to view the next leviathan.


      Then of a sudden a patch of earth

      newly marked just tempted the sun

      as it sadly lit some monoliths

      and the beds of leaves turned orange and gold

      like the dying of a tale untold


and I saw a simple wooden cross

with a piece of cardboard fixed thereon,

and in rough black pen ALEXANDER LITVINENKO

resting uneasy my body moved on.






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Sat 23rd Jan 2016 17:14

many thanks Martin. I'm happiest when describing things and those words have a certain gravitas to go with the graveyard.


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Martin Elder

Fri 22nd Jan 2016 22:56

I love the richness of your description in this poem Ray
'Remote mausoleums, museums

of the everlasting soul

sarcophagi in regency rows'


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Fri 22nd Jan 2016 11:50

Thanks Colin . Nice that it struck a personal chord - it can all get overwhelming !

Thanks Wolfie for putting this into a perspective. A deeper meaning can often be revealed with such a simple experience . It says a lot that Buck House can be appreciated openly but the other property is a symbol of the repression of secrecy . Semtex, anyone? I was attracted by the atmosphere pure and simple!


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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 22nd Jan 2016 05:33

Nice piece Ray,

you know how much I like Highgate Cemetery.

I was working at Witanhurst house for a while last year, (between my incarcerations in Kabul) it is the largest residential property in London outside of Buckingham Palace. It is less than a mile from Highgate cemetery. The property is worth over 300 million sterling and owned by Andrey Guryev, one of Russia's wealthiest men.

His family made their money on the back of the Soviet proletariat of the old USSR, they ran the then state owned fertilizer company, now it is his.

It struck me as I wandered around its palatial interior that the proles had paid for it, over the communist years, and the tsarist peasants before that. Marx lying in his grave not 600 meters away would have detested this man and his greed.

And then poor old Litvenenko cold in his grave also, a pawn in the game.

Fuckers! I thought. Thanks for this thought provoking piece.


<Deleted User> (13762)

Thu 21st Jan 2016 21:33

thanks for reminding me I should go visit Highgate Cemetery one day Ray. I once spent an hour or so searching for Jim Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris many years ago. Wonderful places. I found him eventually but didn't leave a cigarette - He seemed to have a plentiful enough supply at the time.

Always enjoy reading your poems. Hope you are well.

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