Battle of the Somme

Today marks 98 years since the Battle of the Somme (July 1, 1916).  One of the ultimate expressions of military & general human folly.  I've written another occasional poem (for my ongoing folly, Ravenna Diagram).


The trench was like a twisted river
of manure and rust.  Bent-
over Al & Bertie, faint
now in memory.  That ravin’ conniver

H.G., with the bloodshot eye –
souvenir de Louie?  “A touch
of the royal”  not much.
Slaughtered under a Ruskin sky.

All three.  South of Ypres-jeepers,
beside the sleepy Somme.
This somnolent hum
of toothy cogs must end, the weepers

say.  Someday.  When rabid dogs
cease racketing around by
Snuffy’s Drive-in (west end
of Mendelssohn – past the Log

Cabin – in the long grass, by the lake).
Remember the Limping Lady?
Cartwheels no more, sadly.
Tears well.  & for God’s sake.

There is only one kingdom, only
one king.  We’ll see her through.
That aureole around a blue
moon, Jeanne... born before we.

She cycles through ruin, absolutely.
Up from the crooked well,
like a gleam in a lake.  Sea-shell.
To bear it all, enfant.  Anew.  Étoile-épée.


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