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Aug 2015

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Here my comrades and I are laden
We fought for King and Country
Here we are---the fallen.

‘Be proud’, was the national proclamation
‘ You are the chosen’
We left home and our loved ones
Here we are—the ill-begotten.

Some of us  once upon glorious corridors
Of Cambridge and Oxford had trodden
The best and most fertile of young minds
Here we are—the forgotten.

How strong we then were, riding on the back of youth
Its dreams so sweet and resplendent
Rained by bullets in the battlefield
Here we are---death has spoken.

Pro patria gloria, dulcis pro patria mori
(Never mind if our hearts were cruel and rotten
We must **** all enemies  over the fence)
Here we are---the terrible  who were chosen.

Were we born to destroy and mutilate?
But in the battle-front ---all we loved and espoused had been stolen  
Buried in dark pits of hate and revenge
There we were----inhuman and despondent.

Those whom we slaughtered and maimed
Didn’t they like us once did hold dreams just as golden?
Weren’t they who happiness sought as we did?
Here we are—to bemoan all the precious from such that had been stolen.

In Flanders fields the poppies weep
For us who are far from home and have nowhere to return
With the wind’s nightly melancholic sighs whispering in our ears
Here we are----empty,  with dark sins upon us—for absolution is all we yearn.

• inspired by the opening line of John McCrae’s poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS   published in December 1915 (Flanders is in Belgium where a million died or were maimed).

John McCrae (1872—1918) was a Canadian doctor who joined the army as a gunner but later transferred to the medical service.
IN 1918 he was made consultant to all the British armies in France
but died of pneumonia before taking up the appointment.
Written by
Dr Peter Lim  M/Victoria, Australia
(M/Victoria, Australia)   
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