Song of the Somme
(1st July - 18th November, 1916)
to commemorate an omniversary
May Seamus Heaney drown in his own mud!
His way of writing isn't what I favour …
—And yet it is … Compared to all the rest.
Ours is an age of mud, so mud must be
the take-home message (and the whole caboodle):
the mud of rugby, and that mud which crawled
out of the trenches, from that First World Puddle,
in such mud-coloured uniforms as we
espouse now and feel proud to flounce about in
or else, in which, we lose our futile battles;
for every prize we seek's lost long before
the first shot's fired in this great age of muddle.
One day we'll learn to frolic in the sun
on grassy fields whose wildflowers drown our prattle.
John H.B. Martin is a poet who lives in London, England. He is a graduate of London University and Australia National University and has been writing for many decades. He has written four novels and is working on a fifth. His magnum opus is a six-volume epic poem. Most of his work is yet to be published.