Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"

On this Armistice Day, I'd like to read you a poem written by a young Welsh poet, Owen Sheers:

Mametz Wood

For years afterwards the farmers found them -
the wasted young, turning up under their plough blades
as they tended the land back into itself.


A chit of bone, the china plate of a shoulder blade,
the relic of a finger, the blown
and broken bird's egg of a skull,


all mimicked now in flint, breaking blue in white
across this field where they were told to walk, not run,
towards the wood and its nesting machine guns.


And even now the earth stands sentinel,
reaching back into itself for reminders of what happened
like a wound working a foreign body to the surface of the skin.


This morning, twenty men buried in one long grave,
a broken mosaic of bone linked arm in arm,
their skeletons paused mid dance-macabre


in boots that outlasted them,
their socketed heads tilted back at an angle
and their jaws, those that have them, dropped open.


As if the notes they had sung
have only now, with this unearthing,
slipped from their absent tongues.


From Skirrid Hill by Owen Sheers, published by Seren.

Comments:
go on then, read it!
 
lol Claire ... I just did!!! You deaf???
 
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