On Numbers (33)

Rank, name, regiment

Embossed in memoriam

“The Great War” claimed them


n.b. It is interesting how “The Great War” is generally thought of having ended in 1918. On this memorial the dates are clearly marked 1914 ~ 1919. The discrepancy may be due to deaths occurring in Russia, where Allied forces were sent to fight Lenin’s Bolsheviks in support of the White Russians.


CLP 16/11/2020

On Pain (Norfolk)

Young men side by side

British, Czechs, Poles, and Germans

Buried together.


n.b. Farmers’ fields reclaimed from airfields, except this hallowed ground that holds sons of Europe, (and Australia, Canada and New Zealand), whose souls have flown.


CLP 10/09/2020

The Mournful Call of Red Kite Chicks

Out of the pines tilted on the tip of the ridge

Wheezy cries limp across the heath

Sounds of an aged asthmatic held hostage in a loose bed of twigs

Drawing out creaky breaths in a sickly rhythm

Plaintive, pathetic pleas for attention from a speechless chest

On an open ward where the staff are busy

Taking a coffee, or answering less urgent emails

Where the breathing apparatus has been shut off

And nature’s course is entering the final turn


CLP 25/07/2020

Uncaged Birds

From that moment, when his shadow fell

we children ran amok, mouthing our repressed pain in shouts

betrayed so young by hope of better times now held fast on a nightmare

journey of frustrations, compounded over bitter years in one long-drawn slow, silent scream


n.b. Stealing from a prompt based on Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” that includes the line “his shadow fell shouts on a nightmare scream”. I have broken all the rules about how to do this, with apologies to Bjorn at dVerse ~ Poets who set the challenge originally.

CLP 12/05/2020