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.