The great deeds of small men
Often rise high into a tepid blue sky,
As does a church spire in a bucolic hook,
Crawling, like Babel, for the Lord to look.

The sweet mist of a January afternoon was known to you,
Sure our canal’s water was peace of mind,
What thought you when those bullets screamed past
And left these village scenes behind?

Did you, clutching a Lee-Enfield,
Scurry towards death,
And soft or slowly rasping, did you
Draw your final breath?

If, in those final moments,
Drunk from ambrosia’s wine,
You heard the waif of village life,
Wrapped in heaven’s vines.

If, treading newer footsteps,
Close to mine entwined,
You’d claim back what you once left behind,
Of bracken, grass and kine.

Well, words are but a headstone,
Not baptism by fire,
But I will sing for you, my lad,
Upon my village lyre.

By Cameron Evans