From Flanders Fields
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. - John McCrae, In Flanders Fields
News item: 60% of Canadians don't know what Battle of Somme was.
From Flanders fields the restless ghosts
Attempt to man our vacant posts,
Since we with them have broken faith,
And made each soul a warring wraith.
On borders breached, like phantom wards
They'd fain hold back the indifferent hordes,
Whose Babel-like contentious flood
Saps the ground of nationhood.
Not far another sprite's brigade,
Before the State stands unafraid,
To brave the dead hand of power
That makes the living run and cower.
More apparitions raise the seige on
Businessmen whose lies are legion,
Feigning reverence while they announce,
Poinsettias and poppies at huge discounts!
Then pressmen loyal to the merchants,
Affect a truce with death's insurgents,
Assuming a most solemn stance,
Beneath the white flag "tolerance."
At schools the spectres march aghast
Against the shame that shrouds our past,
Where Somme, Dieppe and Passchendaele
Are spoken, if at all, but to assail.
Ethereal ranks then flank the Bench,
Where lawless traitors do entrench
To silence those who stand alone,
Whose valor vies with veterans' own.
At last those shadow soldiers charge,
Though foes are many and dangers large,
As if again to pay the price
And take the field of Sacrifice.
But then the direst threat of all
Mass their forces - in the mall!
A people whose eternal prayer
Is more to shop and less to care.
Theirs is the struggle of the sentry:
To keep awake 'gainst evil's entry;
Worse than torpor poppies reap,
When whole nations fall asleep.
And so these revenants of war
Must hover round us evermore,
Til of betrayer and betrayed
We ask, Who is real and who the shade?
by GJ Tryon