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The Trees Of Oppy Wood 

The painting shows battered stumps,

An area of utter  desolation,

Scene of the deadly slaughter of

The cream of many a nation..

Were the Poppies strong that first year

On ground ploughed by artillery shells

Watered with gallons of spilled gore

Fertilised richly from that  battle's hell.

Did trees grow again in Oppy Wood,

Did they flourish and grow much taller:

Without that rich mix would growth

Have been much slower and smaller

Did those trees absorb human genes

Making them part kin to mankind

Did they recoil in horror at the

Perversity of a human mind

Were Poppies redder that first year

Thriving on the absorbed good

Spreading through their beings

From that fresh rich spilled blood.

Are there tree human chimera

Now in the new Oppy Wood,

Their parts struggling to coexist,. 

Tree sap mixed with residual blood.

Do souls of the lost rest in peace

Are they sheltered by ghostly trees

Are they cooled caressed and soothed

By a gentle ghostly breeze.

Since the Battle Of The Somme

One hundred years have passed

Is there an air of regret

Over that area at last

Has the last of the blood 

From that poor sad band 

Now leeched  from that soil

Where hybrid trees now stand.

The White gravestone ranks
Mark the graves of many lost

Sad powerful reminders of

Those who paid the bitter cost.


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