Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

In Flanders' Shadow

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

In Flanders' Shadow

Article excerpt

(with In Flanders Fields by Lt. Col. John Mcrae)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

over Helmand's hills under blowtorch sun

Between the crosses, row on row,

boulders scorch; soldiers' spirits searing, run

That mark our place; and in the sky

through hell, and poppies drink their blood to grow

the larks, still bravely singing, fly

red paper buds pinned on lapels to show

Scarce heard amid the guns below

we haven't learned that wars cannot be won.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

from tenderness and half-remembered fun,

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

departure's brave confetti's now become

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

dust; and we are freedom's sheep sent below

In Flanders fields.

to sleep in Helmand's hills.

Take up our quarrel with the foe

frustrated with honest missions undone

To you from falling hands we throw

by tribal superstition's foolish gun,

The torch, be yours to hold it high

we bind with scarves of shame what we can't know

If ye break faith with us who die

of sacrifice, where life costs but a blow

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

of opium, numbed by IED suns

In Flanders fields. …

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