but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
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(Framed by blog author)
Light was muted then,
tamped down by soiled clouds
hanging low over
conquered ground, but still we wore
our horizon blue
and ate thin soup from jars
at Bois des Buttes,
or gnawed the sawdust bread
left behind in blitzed towns.
In the trenches, we felt full
of life, even surrounded by the bodies
at Verdun; the earthworks
became our mother in a reversal of birth
but something of comfort
to lean against in the dark,
shelter a struck match,
cushion a cheek in sleep
until day called us
to our deaths.
The land died with us,
trees became charcoal though still
many stood scratching the sky
to tears while the skin of fields lay peeled
or gouged to bleeding lumps of flesh.
But the rivers ran on, and we washed
our clothes at Sainte Menehould
while one kept watch on the bridge.
Waiting for the sun.
With constant talk of the World War 3 to be heard these days, as hostile super-powers size one another up, I was so moved by this collection of photos colourized by graphic artist, Frédéric Duriez. 'The horrors of the First World War trenches have been brought to life...' Read more: HERE
Poetry Pantry #348 is hosted by Mary.
April 9, 2017 marks the centenary of The Battle of Arras. Thanks to Kim, the Cheeseseller's Wife.
Since the images have automatic links to be shared on multiple social platforms, I have selected one for this post. If the owner of the image objects to the manner and purpose for which it is displayed, please contact the Blog author.