Sunday, 3 July 2016

Lest We Forget: Poem for Somme 100

By Bridie Breen

Our final post in Manchester Irish Writers' commemoration of the Battle of the Somme.


Lest we forget
a watery grave 
or grovelling in muck
in rat filled ditches
by brave young men.
Hell bent on justice
and survival.

There for duty
loyalty to brother 
allies and crown
Full of desire
for a better world
with freedom from tyranny.

No time to admire
amber sunsets
at Arromanche
Each new day dawn
scattered the dead
in grit and gloom.

Ashes to ashes
away from home
Au Revoir letters
written before bullet
shot and shell.

Resilient mothers
suffocated by grief
as paper telegrams 
choked breath and dreams.

The unborn unknowing
of the reason
for bravery.
Three score and ten
the allotted span 
where peace reigns.

Lest we forget 
the sacrifice
of a ghosted generation
that gifted our sleep
by their bloodied youth.

Beaches of golden silt
buried deep the past
Inscriptions as markers
of heroes not forgotten.

We the keepers 
the watchers
of our world.
Lest we forget.

Poppy images courtesy of & © Alison Morton.
Text © Bridie Breen
Bridie has been a member of Manchester Irish Writers for quite a few years. Although her first love is poetry, she writes on all topics. She has contributed to the group’s publications “Stones of the Heart” and “Changing Skies”. Her Changing Skies piece is available to download as a voice over. She regularly performs at the group’s events. She has had successful collaborations with New Attitude theatre and Emerge theatre in the past and more recently performed with Athlone Poetry in the Park group. She has taken her love of poetry to local cafe settings. She enjoys writing short scripts too. Her wish is to have a poetry anthology published. In the meantime, she’ll be trying out at performance style poetry venues to showcase new work in the coming months.

To find out more about MIW's Somme 100 Commemoration, please click here.

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