Monday, 11 May 2009

The One-Legged Man.

Propped on a stick he viewed the August weald;
Squat orchard trees and oasts with painted cowls;

A homely, tangled hedge, a corn-stalked field,
And sound of barking dogs and farmyard fowls.

And he’d come home again to find it moreDesirable than ever it was before.
How right it seemed that he should reach the span Of comfortable years allowed to man!

Splendid to eat and sleep and choose a wife,
Safe with his wound, a citizen of life.
He hobbled blithely through the garden gate, And thought:
‘Thank God they had to amputate!’
Siegfried Sassoon .

Friday, 1 May 2009

Bring on the Dead

Solemnly we remember you but once a year with sullen face,
And reward you with false flowers and prayers.

And as we make our way back to normality without a backwards glance, happy with our conscience! We forget you for another year .

are we the Grateful ones?, happy to breathe the chilled air and hear the lark twitter gay on a cold November morn, to know that there’s always tomorrow for us.

But I would ask you this! Who would trade places with you now
Oh! Grateful dead! And see what you had seen and march on without a fuss ?

And should you speak but once again would you not say “tear down your bloody cenotaphs and give us what is rightfully ours there is no Glory in death, but for blood did we not lust”?

Stolen youth! Oh! Wasted seeds of Europe, no bloodline for you to continue your lineage, just cold earth for now lest greed take away your resting place
And what then do we remember?

Was this reward foretold you by some ancient sage before your supreme sacrifice should you still walk into the teeth of the Hydra before that last November?

And could you speak for one last time should you say “was nothing learnt by our parting, our deaths did you not trust?”

And lastly! Why did God not cry “Enough!, Enough!, Enough!” ?

(Arther dentwood)
Isaac Rosenberg

Louse Hunting
Nudes -- stark and glistening,Yelling in lurid glee.

Grinning facesAnd raging limbs Whirl over the floor one fire.
For a shirt verminously busy Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
And soon the shirt was aflare Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
Then we all sprang up and striptTo hunt the verminous brood.
Soon like a demons' pantomine The place was raging.
See the silhouettes agape,See the glibbering shadows Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
See gargantuan hooked fingers Pluck in supreme fleshTo sutch supreme littleness.
See the merry limbs in hot Highland flingBecause some wizard vermin Charmed from the quiet this revel When our ears were half lulled By the dark music Blown from Sleep's trumpet.