For nine days the artillery barrage
rained down on us
that June of summer in the Somme
machine gunners like me waited
in our concrete bunkers deep in the earth
When the shelling stopped
we rushed to the surface
and began our job of mowing down
the slow walking British Infantry
stoically advancing as if in another war
in another time where they might choose
to die bravely and with honour
a hero fighting for his life
his king and country
But here he dies unknown
by the chance turning of my gun
in his direction at that one moment
and the random number of bullets
left to fire.
Poems are skeins of wool waiting
to be knitted
and pearled by readers.
Filed under Language, Poem
Poems slink into dank rooms
stale with human sweat and spit
smash the dingy windows
and flush the stench with salt drenched air.
Fifty Seven winters besieged your brow
gouging deep ruts in your beauty paddock
Quick witted armoury surrendered now
sparking like the neurons of a haddock
The Celtic black hair so thick and so strong
Now salt and peppered grey and sparsely thin
And where has that fiery tempered man gone ?
My one time brave and fearless larrikin
You’d take up the cudgels, face any fight,
survive any skirmish, stoush or battle
Your banner unfurled for the good and right
But these days, nothing your cage can rattle
Arise my champion you are not too old
A thousand warm nights before you grow cold.
First published in THE MOZZIE,Volume 14, Issue 6, July 2006
No grecian urn nor sculpted monument
can live beyond the realms of space and time
But in these lines of skilled form and content
you will live on, the centre of my rhyme.
Ozymandias, mighty king of kings,
colossal statue turned to desert sand
Yet, Shelley’s verse awoke these lifeless things
immortalised this man from antique land.
Both clock and scythe circle with the seasons
We cannot escape Fortune’s deadly wheel
None are free from Nature’s laws and reasons
Yet. in this verse you are divine and real
Your beauty and worth forgotten never
You will live in this poem forever.