Carpe Diem Distillation – May 17, 2014

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

© John McCrae

poppies among graves
our crosses marking rows
nature’s muted by guns

’twas recently that
alive and so joyfully
we walked the Earth

remember your goal
bring victory to our home land
now our job is done

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Carpe Diem’s Distillation


Poppies – May 17, 2014 (Tanka)

poppies in the fields
as numerous as soldiers lie
upon battle-fields
throughout our sad history
war was fought for kingly greed

each flower has a name
though the names may now be lost
upon battle-fields
bonny youth has been wasted
in the name of cursèd power

one moment alive
the next they were all dead
upon battle-fields
where the crows feasted that day
for some rich man’s lowly gain

look at the poppies
in the fields where friends and foes
mixed their blood one day
under the splendid sunshine
one beautiful day in May

Inspired by Flanders Fields by John McCrae

N.B. The original poem expresses the hope of the dead that the home army will defeat their foe and keep fighting their battle.  I was just inspired by the pathos of young men dying in battle and so this is a loose inspiration as I feel war ultamately is a waste of the flower of our youth and today’s foe will probably be tomorrows friend.