Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! 11.11.: TO THE FALLEN


Embattled in that mud - and blood-red poppies;
flooded trenches holding 'them' at bay;
life or death a coin's flippant toss-up;
deafening shellfire near by night and day -

for us, these horrors now are others' lives,
impossible to truly comprehend;
yet in my own mind's state, I recognise
these battles are still raging without end:

the mud, the clung-to life, the enemy
imagined - these, we strive still to invent.

Their thoughts, at death's door, lost to memory:
'I love you...' - gone, a family's content.

We owe to them to live a life of love
as if we were transfused from their own blood.

Submitted: Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Edited: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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Comments about this poem (! 11.11.: TO THE FALLEN by Michael Shepherd )

  • Rookie - 40 Points Ashraful Musaddeq (6/3/2009 5:42:00 AM)

    'We owe to them to live a life of love
    as if we were transfused from their own blood.'

    Wonderful poem, I love these lines most,10+++ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Daniel Tyler (3/26/2009 1:14:00 PM)

    A fine piece- superb last line (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 12 Points Fay Slimm (8/21/2008 5:16:00 AM)

    Yes we truly owe to them a life lived in love Michael. This covers the horrors of any 'we and them' war which would unfortunately describe almost (or all) conflict. My admiration for your masterly usage of word. Fondly from Fay. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 341 Points Colin Jeffery (7/23/2008 1:52:00 PM)

    This is a truly great poem. Brilliant. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,195 Points Jerry Hughes (8/4/2006 1:47:00 AM)

    There's been enough killing, God knows. Flowers of all nations plucked and placed in grievous rows. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Esther Leclerc (7/28/2006 9:51:00 AM)

    No, we can never fully know or begin to imagine the horror of WWI, but you take us to the grief and loss soaked in that ground. And your final line says it ALL. Thank you for this... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Samuel Nze (3/23/2006 3:58:00 AM)

    Mikolo, I think you do yourself perennially proud - way to go, man! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Laura Cummings (3/2/2005 5:32:00 AM)

    WOW! there are no words. this is fantastic! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Charles Flesfader (2/4/2005 8:27:00 PM)

    Thank you Michael.

    Very touching, and wish I had said it! Have tried in different ways. Loved it!

    Charles (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »

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