Great War Poems by Adrian Henri
The same old soldiers walking along the same old skyline
Dead hand through the sandbags reaching out for the creamand white butterfly
mud/water under duckboards/mud/rats scamper in starshell darkness/mud/smell of shit and rotting bodies/mud/resting your sweaty forehead on the sandbags OVER THE TOP the first men in the lunar landscape.
What did you do to the Great Whore, Daddy?’
Poppies slightly outoffocus and farmcarts bringing in the peaceful dead.
The ghost of Wilfred Oven selling matches outside the Burlington Arcade.
Seafog. Red flaring lights from the shore batteries. The roar of shells rattle of machineguns. Water running in the bilges. My feet slipping on the damp cobbles of the quayside.
DON’T BE VAGUE BLAME GENERAL HAIG.
four white feathers clutched in a bloodstained envelope
a skull nestling in a bed of wild strawberries/boots mouldering green with fungus/saplings thrusting through rusting helmets/sunken barges drifting full of leaves down autumn rivers.