Those flattened fields of Flanders
scream of battered souls
and muffled screams which pressed
beneath time’s tread has crushed
the cry of hurt beneath firm soil.
The heaving shape of shouldered pain
is locked by grasses -green terrain,
which grips and holds imprisoned fast,
the rotted world which once had passed:
in steady tread and muffled roar,
a raging spread of weeping sore.
The silence now holds heavy court
upon the place where thousands fought
and died with no-one there to see
them sucked beneath the seething sea;
a muddy grave which beckons still
with glutinous grin alive and well
beneath the veil of fragile green.
1988 – following a visit to the ‘trenches in Ypres.