*For Pvt. Thomas Beardmore
You are remembered always.
Died 18th Sept 1918, Age 21
(He lied to get in, hence 23 on he grave)*
Who saw the devil in death?
Behind eyes of corrosive waste
Where mangled memories blur
The buried lines of mans disgrace,
As we marched to destruction were
Answers held in our cold breath?
Once we walked where flowers grew,
The ground so green with reverence,
Where in the sunlight passion flowered
And hands were held to temperance,
Here love’s hopeful heart showered
Across Europe’s skies of cobalt blue.
Did those in England see our toll?
See the green turn shades of grey,
As pockmarked greed soaked up the dead,
With darkening tenderness we fade away.
Could they know of all we bled?
One by one we stare into cessation’s soul.
Do you hear our anthem?
“Among the bitter granite flow
Vermilion poppies, row by row”
What message did you take? To end sorrow?
Or were we fodder for tomorrow?
We are the dead, remember we lived.
Poem © Phen Weston 2014