May 1, 2015 ,

In a Poppy Field of Fire

In a poppy field of fire,
Bogged in mud in Flanders mire,
Poppies dancing; dry cut leaf,
Pressed and rolled up in a sheaf,
Mainlined in a bulging vein.

Messages flick through a brain,
Shot through with doubt and nagging pain.
Through a wall of stop-and-go
Positives click on a screen;
Crackling shortwave, fading scene.
Pictures roll in melange:
Distorted voices, twisted rack*
Windlass spokes wind each word back.
Jumbled sound in sludge-drunk mind;
Pounded leaf and bulging vein.

Tied off thumping; each heartbeat
Tingling fingers; hand numb; asleep.
Released a rush spread through the veins.
Narcotic rush fizzes the brain:
Pictures roll, clearing, blurring fading scenes
Memories etched in stark relief
Rotating on an axle frame:
Blurred spokes speed, turn down the feed,
Grinding inexorably.
In a poppy field of fire,
Bogged in mud in Flanders mire.

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