An Indecorous Sweetness
It conjures bloodied mud and men,
yet there were sunny days,
and grass and flowers grew
between shell holes and trenches.
Blue skies stretched over Flanders,
khaki and stone-grey clothed figures
whistled and smoked and did not fret
over third-lit cigarettes.
The drone in the air might be apian
on these fine days, and not airmen
writing legends with red coloured wings.
Tokens moved over maps
by day and night,
so troops moved over ground
- although peach-cheeked subalterns
believed the contrary.
But the lights were dimmed,
for some, on cool evenings,
sniped out from some distance;
the glint of white vellum
signed with love or kisses
enough to draw the final lot.
An indecorous sweetness,
to be thinking of hearts and homes,
as one stops and the other is lost forever.
A drone in the air is counterpoint
to the bells of hell going ting-a-ling-a-ling
for them and not for us.