Dark Angels of Highgate

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Below is the poem entitled Dark Angels of Highgate which was written by poet Debbie Guzzi. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Dark Angels of Highgate

Enough Angelina, drop the bouquet of harebells.  
The flowers wilt as your graying hands stiffen. See, how grave
is our newborn son. We gift him a black crêpe layette.
Say Darling Edward, say, Golubushka, make me come alive.
Leave this chapel, return to his cradle, quicken your deadwood.  
Come, rock his sweet little boat, croon, sladkiy bairdark.
 
Your shade sighs as the mourners trudge into the dark
of All Hallow's Eve. A breeze stirs the hairs on my nape. Bells 
toll, the ringer incants “Unto the Church, I do You call, Death              
to the grave will summon all.” Freshly turned gravel
rolls from the burial mound, the earth’s answer to life’s 
reticence. Our son, whom I cradle, mutely lays.       
 
See, the ground moves.  There, there, my boy. Love's only mislaid.
Father, Mother, take the babe, go, shield him from Highgate’s darkness.
I stay. By will alone, I'll not let maggots deface beauty that lives.    
My Angel, please, tug the cord housed in your coffin so the bell
will ring, rouse London’s rigor. You will waltz on this grave,
speak of Siberian winters, then scoff, roll eyes at the vigor of death. 
 
Insubstantial lips brush the babe’s forehead, even death
cannot stay her reply. Ed’ard, Mother will take him home to lie. 
A chill north wind rises as if to show your sorrow from the grave,
clawing the headstone with twigs and pebbles; clouds darken
the moon. Your shade screams; a bough whips Mother's cheek, the bell  
on its gold cord is silent. Wind nigh swallows my howl, Angelina, live!
 
We are alone, Angel, save for those cemetery ravens which liven
roan weeds. Three nights I've troubled Highgate, plucking deadheads   
from your boney wreath. Obstinate wife, revive the grieving bell.
I hear them calling Ed’ard, Come. I am torn from your stone: waylaid,
outnumbered, locked in our bedchamber. At the next darkening,  
the babe's rattle rings, calling your name. I escape to your grave.  
 
Nightclothes drenched and shoeless, I topple onto the grave.
Yea though I walk … ring, damn you, bell, ring! Curse this life!
The sky cracks open, sheet lightning pierces the craven darkness
as if in answer a mother oak’s limb shatters. The deadweight
crushes me against the granite angel where you lay.
At sunrise, church bells rang Angelus prayer from the chapel’s belfry.
 
Angelina, Angelina, our grown son visits our grave to honor the dead.
He is our true afterlife; all my fears have been allayed.
All is too calm and well 'til his eyes darken as he batters your bell.

A collaboration by Debbie Guzzi and Cyndi MacMillan, 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 11/6/2014 10:00:00 PM
Great story, and grats on first place !!
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Date: 11/6/2014 12:23:00 PM
- I'm a little late ..... But, I will congratulate you with a 4th place Debbie and Cyndi - a great winning poems! - oxox // Anne-Lise :)
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Date: 11/6/2014 7:39:00 AM
Congrats Debbie,this stands out.
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Date: 11/5/2014 4:05:00 PM
Excellent ghost tale, both of you!!! You kept my keen attention from beginning to end, even in such a long write. Congratulations on placing first in this contest!! // paul
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Date: 11/5/2014 9:36:00 AM
All ghost poems fall short, after reading this amazing collab !! How can one compare with this masterpiece? Wow...the two of you should write a book ! :) Congratulations to the dynamic duo !!
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Date: 11/5/2014 4:39:00 AM
Congratulations Debbie and Cyndi on winning first place with this masterpiece.
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Date: 11/4/2014 9:02:00 PM
I was just blown away by this incredible ghost story. I loved how you told it with such rich detail. An amazing piece of writing, Debbie & Cyndi! Congratulations on your well deserved first place win!
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Date: 11/4/2014 7:35:00 PM
I like your comment to Richard lol. I can believe it was not easy but therefore a masterpiece was made. Congratulations
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Date: 11/4/2014 1:43:00 PM
Totally unique take on the Halloween theme - I REALLY enjoyed story and the amazing imagery:-) many congrats on your win:-) Hugs Jan xx
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Date: 11/4/2014 1:26:00 PM
A scary co-write and also very original. Congratulations on your win, Debbie and Cyndie!
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Date: 10/16/2014 10:52:00 PM
Dear Deb and Cyndi, This poem is both frightening and thought-provoking. The story is told very well in free verse style. Ladies, you did a splendid job with your collaboration and I wish you success in Diane's contest! Sending you a Soup mail, Deb. Love you, Carolyn
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Date: 10/16/2014 2:55:00 PM
What an amazing compilation! To gifted poets working as one.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 10/16/2014 4:05:00 PM
and it wasn't EASY LOL rewarding but not easy 2 chiefs and no Indians!