11 Nov 2014

FOOTFALL

Step lightly mid these resting blades,
Green shoots among the dappled shades.

To earth dyed crimson in the fall
Our most selfless souls gave their all
A barricade to fear to build.
So many, in this way were killed.
Full knowing that their lots were cast,
They fell in waves to bleed their last.
Unstoppable in heart and mind
They braved the trenches lip to find
A land of shells and gas and wire
Churned into liquid, bleeding mire.
Each footfall that you make will sow
Into the poppied ground an echo.
As with sodden thuds and falling fast
A memory of valour from the past
Brave soldiers threw away their lives
In tattered, torn and faceless piles.
To apprehend the twists of fate
Drawing humanity to the gate
Of living hell on earth that day
As neither force could gain headway.
Attrition built on shoulders of the dead
In no-man’s-land they blindly led.
Years of struggle, months of pain
For no apparent, worthwhile gain.
Falling helpless into the maw
Of mans’ most deadly ever war.
The mighty, selfless, helpless dead
Heroes all, for none had fled.
Step lightly now, let sunlight fall
Across the blanket covering all.
For this is more than just a field
Our bravest hands did never yield.
Blood and bone and flesh and sweat
Lie here so we will not forget.
The hills and paths beneath our feet
Are shaped with victory and defeat,
As opposing forces gave their all
In the deadliest war of all.
Now our soldiers’ blood has drained away
They cannot fight another day.
Step lightly, as you heed their cry,
The millions brought here to die.
But we must know they gave their best,
To pit their essence to the test,
To end all wars for years to come
At Flanders Field, at Ypres and Somme.