Boneyard Dogs

This entry is part 4 of 20 in the series Highgate Cemetery Poems


Her faithful pet

for RR

How does one lay out a dog for burial?
Do it wrong and its ghost will circle
endlessly, unable to lie down.


Live dogs aren’t permitted in the cemetery.
We look for their stone snouts among the angels.


Has anyone considered that dogs may not want us
with them in heaven?
That we would frighten the wolves?


A cemetery is the last refuge of invisible friends.
Here’s someone with a map to celebrity gravesites.


Trees at Highgate need not fear the lifted hind leg.
They go wild, permitted
every extravagance except death.


I write these notes six weeks later
in a silence greater than any in all London,
sitting in the darkness,
trusting my faithful pen to find the way.

Series Navigation← Hedera helixMutiny →In Loving Memory →

4 Replies to “Boneyard Dogs”

  1. Lucy, I too have the ‘dog stuff’ thing! There’s a book by Beverly Nichols… now there’s a writer whose name I rarely hear these days… that despite its sentimental tone had me weeping at a description of the author returning in a dream to the garden of his youth, and hearing the approaching barks of his long-dead dog as it bounded through the woods and fields of a perfect English summer, joyful that its master had at last returned home. Yup… there I go!

    Great piece Dave. Highgate cemetery certainly gave you a heap of inspiration. Keep ’em coming. Love the elegiac tone of the last verse. Is that a little tear in my eye? Mmmmm, ‘fraid so! (Note to self: toughen up man, for Christ’s sake!)

  2. Yup, you’ve got the measure of us, Dave. Weepy dog stuff. None among your commenters, I imagine, has seen the Futurama episode Jurassic Bark. It is almost unendurably sad and I wept buckets when shown it by the children. Buckets and also barrels. Don’t watch it, dog people!

    But it’s the final four lines that do it with this one. How lovely. Thank you. And Maizy thanks you too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.