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Voices In The Wind ©

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland
1999

Cold white light
snakes across barbed wire
like frenetic sabres.
Black and white negative
impressions of the afterglow
burn an imprint on the memory.
Their needle sparks
hiss the dance of death
across a vacant abyss
of mud-logged, barren trenches,
where darkness persists
and the night twists and trembles.
As black earth erupts
in plumes of rock and slime,
their turbid noise corrupts
fingers' grip on metal triggers.
Bullets spit, invading
the sky with chills of panic.
Bushes move alone, yet together
in a surreal world of insanity.
where dark shadows flit in and out,
chasing invisible skeletons
through vales of acrid smoke.
Their faces dipped
in rain-hiss darkness,
spreading mud and grime,
like spiders' webs
into haunted eyes,
where waves of recognition
pound at their fatigue.

A soothing hand
stills the trembling body
of the old soldier,
releasing the band of sleep
that traps his mind in foreign lands,
where abandoned voices
echo in a sea of blood-red poppies.



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