Monday, May 18, 2009

Songs on the Somme

Graves at Louvencourt
Originally uploaded by goforchris
On a recent trip to the battlefields of the Somme, I was surprised by how natural it seemed for the group to start singing the old songs after a day of solemn remembrance and reflection. Louvencourt was one of the places where the Last Post was played at the end of our day.

The old songs echo over
undulating ground where once
shells fell. The voices too
are old, for those who
sang them new are
dead, long cold in
narrow graves. The warm air
blows the acrid scent
of golden rape, appropriately
blanketing the fields of war.
Solemnity and laughter seem
uneasy fellows till we think
of youth and daftness and sheer joy
cut down, silenced, gone – and know
that they would smile to hear us sing.
Is there an echo on the wind?
Perhaps. Sing on. Shed tears and play
your last posts where the singers sleep.

© C.M.M. 05/09


An Honest Man said...


S.L. Corsua said...

A beautiful piece, Chris. I enjoyed reading it several times, relishing the calming, sobering effect of the lines. Thanks for sharing this. ;)

Chris said...

Thank you!