Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pepperbox Hill

The trees in their battle fatigues
camouflaged from what’s above.

Red bird hovering before
plummeting. A spitfire roll

and a salvo of song
bursting along the old track.

A platoon of partridges
and a khaki-coloured egg

shell all smashed to smithereens
and sheep droppings strewn like grenades.

Unexploded pine cones sit
next to a trench filled with last

autumn’s propaganda, boxed
in with barbarous barbed-wire.

The fields, mustard and gas blue,
surveyed by the spy-black rooks

mud, a sucking Somme slop
that sucks at my boots as we

halt here, firing smoke puffs,
from our Zeppelin cigars.

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