I’ve been here for a while now,
Can’t remember when I came.
The men? Dog tired, so am I,
In the featureless land that all seems same
Bombardment’s heavy. Shells,
Fall like spring rain, but
Water nothing, cultivating death,
Ploughing up land and men as one
Who have I lost? Smith, Johnson - both shells.
Mead, a bullet through the parapet
A slow, gargling, choking death
I remember that. One of many.
Who, Rasping bloodily for his mother,
Died terribly. But I’m lost too. I don’t know,
Why I’m here, What we fight for,
Blindfolded we walk towards death
The rifle is a comfort to me, its
Death-grey barrel glinting coldly in the winter sun
Five bullets, we were told, all for the “murdering Boche”
Lined up snugly inside, like men on parade
Death walks no-man’s land
Each day, gaily swinging his scythe,
Moving men from one
World to the next with graceful ease
It has not caught me in its wailing silver arc,
Its fountain of earth, a brief end to an even briefer
Life. But that doesn’t matter out here. I will wait for it,
In the land of mud where once-living beings sleep.