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11th-Nov-2009 11:33 pm(no subject)
Sanderstead hand axe


Last Post by Carol Ann Duffy



In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin

that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud ...

but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood

run upwards from the slime into its wounds;

see lines and lines of British boys rewind

back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home -

mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers

not entering the story now

to die and die and die.

Dulce - No - Decorum - No - Pro patria mori.

You walk away.

You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)

like all your mates do too -

Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert -

and light a cigarette.

There's coffee in the square,

warm French bread

and all those thousands dead

are shaking dried mud from their hair

and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,

a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released

from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.

You lean against a wall,

your several million lives still possible

and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.

You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.

If poetry could truly tell it backwards,

then it would.

20th-Dec-2008 11:29 pm - Mercian Hymns I
George Jessie Will 1916 wedding
King of the perennial holly-groves, the riven sand-stone: overlord of the M5: architect of the historic rampart and ditch, the citadel at Tamworth, the summer hermitage at Holy Cross: guardian of the Welsh Bridge and the Iron Bridge: contractor to the desirable new estates: saltmaster: money-changer: commissioner for oaths: martyrologist: the friend of Charlemagne.

'I liked that,' said Offa, 'sing it again.'

14th-Oct-2008 06:46 am - Home
Sanderstead hand axe
12th-Oct-2008 06:13 am - Away
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