Friday, 11 November 2016

A poem for Remembrance Day





No Birds Sang

Through the smoke the wire coiled,
snagged with the remnants of humanity.
Fighting paused for a single moment.
In the forests, no birds sang.

~*~

A creeping menace, sulphurous, deadly,
seared the lungs and ignited fear.
Shouted warnings through the trenches.
In creeping silence, no birds sang.

~*~ 

Men waiting, huddled together,
for their turn to head over the top.
Bonds formed and friendships destroyed.
Before the signal, no birds sang.

~*~ 

The trenches slick with mud and blood.
Dark humour from those who survived.
Glory is not a prize worth having.
In hell on earth, no birds sang.

~*~ 

The cold grind of metal machines,
a huge, deadly crushing force;
the ground torn in staccato bursts.
Amidst the chaos, no birds sang.

~*~ 

Heat and dust, hidden faces
Who to trust, no-one knows
A IED shatters the silence.
 In the cold of night, no birds sang.
~*~

In quiet graveyards we remember.
Ghosts crowding around the tombs.
Poppies show past sacrifices.
For one brief moment, birds will sing.