The Somme

A Roman road runs through the Somme
Determined, straight. With no hint of regret, remorse,
It marches blindly on –
A symbol of regimented, fearful, military onslaught,
It talks of it’s own lonely, deathly, massacred, discourse.

Beneath it lie a million bones from countless human souls
Gathered there in death’s mud-filled embrace.
They fed the corps of departed patrols
But now their corpses feed the earth they grimly deface,
In this evil, benighted, soulless place.

Their trenches are gone beneath the farmers’ plough
Which disturb their long unknown graves
Their deaths inevitably forgot (it was so long ago!)
As they fought (for what?) – no freer than those Roman’s slaves –
To fall, broken, destroyed, in human flesh-filled waves.

The rats grew fat in the Somme,
Their bellies distended from this fleshy burial ground.
But now those rats – like the men – have gone,
So the bugler plays his mournful, apologetic, sound
Whilst visitors chat, take photos, as they stand, cold, hanging around.

Even colder are the souls of the fallen who died (for God knows what?).
They congregate within the frozen earth
And wonder why it was they who died in the filth, the muck – and not
Some other poor bastards selected by evil fate of random birth –
To lie shivering, forgotten, destroyed, in this hell on earth.