Bleak Centenary written by Ian Fletcher at

Bleak Centenary

Bleak Centenary

written by: Ian Fletcher


In regiments of alphabetical lists,
with initials left, surnames right,
these carved names on cenotaphs
throughout our villages and towns
memorialize the innumerable dead
in the Great War of over a century ago
the war that was to have ended all wars.

Ah, but this grim roll call from Heaven
or rather from Hell, falls on the deaf ears
of we who have forgotten the catastrophe
that befell our green and pleasant land.

How those names must have screamed
at people then as if they were written
in the very blood of the loved ones lost
upon the barbaric battlefields of France:
Ypres, the Somme, Mons, Verdun
and Passchendaele, to recall but some.

Now all is quiet on the Western Front
or so it would seem though the names
inscribed on these aging monuments
still speak of unimaginable scenes
reminding us of the price of peace.

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