100 Years

1918 - 2018

Marking the end of World War I

Culture of War

By Geraldine Colson

Villers-BretonneuxIn the village far away, his eyes, his thoughts convey, eliciting
Wide-eyed welcome over herd of goats and bucket trailing
Silent caresses, small resistance, hopeless abandon, wild disarray,
Hell a world away and love subsumed in mud and laughter
Small recompense for pain and grief and the morrow’s fear

A wind whips up and horror overlays cruelty, death, decay
Become the norm in places where small houses, gardens, churches stood
Awaiting quiet contemplation and friendly play
Now stand appalled, stark, grey
Strewn with bloating corpse, bent steel, and the day’s dark end

Man inhumane, capable of enormous suffering, stoicism, foolhardiness
Pits against man the same, idiocy piling on decisions made in haste
Or made at leisure in leather chairs urbane, with cognac, whisky, fine
Wines and men who bat, starched shirts and calling for the port to pass to the
Left and devil take the laggard

Geraldine Colson, 2018

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