Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fields of Flanders

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.


  1. Fantastic poem. Ugh. So sad. Wonderful - lyrical, incisive, vivid, beyond sad. Well done. k.

  2. Yes, a glutinlous grin indeed. You visit these war scene and they look so peaceful and you wonder how we could have permitted such stupid things to happen. But then we do it again.

  3. Nice weaving of those muddy graves of soldiers and battered souls ~ I am always hopeful that peace will come one day ~

  4. Roslyn, beautiful expression of the experience of being in such a place as Flanders. A fitting tribute to John McCrae's peom "In Flanders Field."

  5. oh clap clap...great forma nd meter that really carry well your verse....sad for sure...i think the rhythm makes it rather haunting...the gluttonous grin of the grave is rather eerie as well...

    1. Thanks Brian. If you look at old photos of the trenches the mud was like glue.

  6. 'beneath the veil of fragile green' -- so beautifully expressed. So much is so fragile.....lovely words after having visited the 'flattened fields.' When will we learn?

    1. @Mary, with 100million dead in the two big wars and wars still being waged one wonders if we ever will. I remain an optimist.

  7. Wonderfully compelling piece. A great write that improves with rereading.

  8. Roslyn, I sent you an e-mail requesting to share this for Thursday dVerse prompt. Please let me know if it's okay. Victoria