Bodies on the battlefield


Strange to see them all, suddenly no more.

Yesterday they had thoughts. Fear, certainly,

But perhaps still hopes, wishes, even dreams.

Now they are defined by their strange absence;

Lying here, but not being here. It’s odd.

Some had warnings, time to prepare, for sure;

To visit the priest and forgotten mates,

Or spent years flat out and bombed up on drips.

For others, it came from just around the corner;

No chance to say goodbye or tell the boss,

Give a nod to the neighbours, settle bills.

Everything: knowledge, emotions, secrets,

Every fact they had known and remembered,

Has gone with them somewhere, maybe nowhere.

Like diaries burned, or a slate wiped clean.

◄ Climate Change (and us?)

Daleks at Fenchurch Street on a rainy day ►


Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Fri 2nd Oct 2020 16:45

Thank you to everyone for the comments and likes. On the bigger questions, I tend to sit on the fence a bit. The line:

"Has gone with them somewhere, maybe nowhere"

is evidence of my uncertainty. I am even uncertain of exactly what the battlefield is. I suppose all poetry is a work in progress.

Interesting to hear that you knew Roy Castle, Ray. What an entertainer and a brave man.

Profile image


Thu 1st Oct 2020 19:22

Agree with all the positive remarks - horrendous experiences people were obliged to go through in paying the high costs of patriotism.

Well done. P

Profile image


Thu 1st Oct 2020 17:45

A compelling way of describing the vacuum of death and the unresolved issues that affect every one of us. unanswerable on any normal terms. Wouldn't we love to know what's around the corner. Roy Castle the entertainer once said to me : "whatever is coming there's never been any complaints."


Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Thu 1st Oct 2020 17:37

Thanks for the kind words, Greg. Much appreciated.

Profile image

Greg Freeman

Thu 1st Oct 2020 17:09

This is a very good poem, Stephen. Words exactly chosen, rhythm perfect.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message