Cobbled Streets

bombed-village-of-tain-in-france-wwi-photo-print-2

This is a poem submitted for the poetry competition a few years back. Again the theme is war, the First World War in particular and the affect it has on once peaceful towns and villages.

As I walk down the windy cobbled road,

As I watch the thrushes calling in the oak trees,

As I look at the grazing cows in the inaudible fields,

Home seems everywhere.

When I saunter up the calm flagged road,

When I gaze at the blackbirds in the weeping willows,

When I squint at the braying donkeys tied to wooded poles,

Home is everywhere.

I amble through the muddy fields,

I admire the blue tits filtering away,

I regard the horses loping and cantering around,

Home was everywhere.

But then the war came, and now the cobbled roads are gone,

Now filled with sludge and soil,

And screams of dying men on carts pulled by

Those humble horses that cantered around the calm fields.

But then the war came, and now the trees are gone,

Now filled with shelled holes, waist deep puddles of gore

And chucked bodies filled with blood and pus.

There is no one who can help them now,

The blind, the lame,

The demented… with those eyes filled with such fire,

The tormented… who are whipped mercilessly by cruel fingers.

When it’s over will the fields ever be back to their original beauty?

Will the horses once again graze in the passive grass?

Will the birds once again fetch food for their fledgling?

And will the roads return to the cobbled roughness they once were?

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