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trenches (Remove filter)

Mistletoe In The Cellar

conceived in a cellar, of

a Tommy home on leave,

mother waving mistletoe,

shortly she would grieve


official dad inert upstairs

exempt due to his arches,

Tommy back to trenches

bullets or forced marches


killed in action in the mud

in my blood's a war hero,

official dad a profiteer,

moral fibre less than zero


the duality in mistletoe,

fertile of ...

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dusk in the copse is foggy, and after rain there's

mud, so you watch your step as rubber

boots kick life into the mess.

no rainbow

lights the ploughed churning, or stars sputter at such

perfect mire, it harks instead at

mad trenches, branches

dripping onto brambles sharp as barbed wire.

can worms survive this clay or do

gills get jammed as mouths and rifles did, each


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Archaeology was my chosen field,

Artefacts and pottery sherds, that sort of thing

Above all I strove to date that

Bronze Age hair those white thighs, her

Confusing layers of strata.

In muddy trenches our

Trowels clashed and one wet field trip

We excavated each other.

Epochs later I observed her digging in a charity shop

An old ruin now,

A bit like myself


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Why I went back

Why I went back 

A posthumous poem in the voice of Walter Tull – 28.04.1888 to 25.03.1918


Until you’ve been under fire

hunkered down in some funk hole

you’ll never know terror, the horror

or the damage to the soul

that just one barrage can do,

before you ever hear the whistle’s blast

that, sadly it’s true

for all too many,

signals this’ll be your last.



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BiographicalcharacterTrue StoryFact BasedWalter TullBlack HistoryBritish HistoryWorld Warww1The SommeFootballFootballerIbroxSpursNorthampton TownwarThe horror of warThe trenchestrenchesblack BritishBritish ArmyArmySoldierbiography

Adagio of the Heart

I went to an extraordinary exhibition last year called "Spirit of Anzac" which was touring all over Australia. It came closer than anything I've seen in capturing the daily experiences of those who fought, and died, in the First World War, and especially in trench warfare on the Western Front. I have tried to express something of that experience, as I understand it.


Adagio of the Heart


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