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Battlefield Tree
(1961 / Nigeria, West Africa)

Battlefield Tree

Poem By Lucy Burrow

I’m the tree on the battlefield – a pitiful sight
I watch as the bullets fly to left and to right
I’m the tree that’s watched blood flow from every man’s heart
I’m the tree on the battlefield, half blown apart.

It’s many the year I’ve stood firm in this soil
Where centuries farmers, long time they did toil
There used to be ten of us handsome and tall
And I’ve stood and I’ve wept as each brother did fall

In No man’s land, sadly my fate is to be
Twixt the lines of the English and High Germany
Each brother in arms, as he fights for the cause,
Thinks he’ll vanquish the foe in the war to end wars

A young English soldier with valiant heart
Lay low ‘neath my branches, his mates blown apart
I could feel in his hands how he’d tended with care
Of the soil in a fine English Garden somewhere

In a moment of dreaming, as the gaff it raged high
Together we went to that place, him and I
Once more in the sunshine and peace of the day
He tended bright flowers, he brought in the hay

Then a shell shook the earth, Back in Flanders we lay
It had taken his leg and my branches away
We stood broken together, together we fell
Him and me on that battlefield half blown to hell

I’m the tree on the battlefield – a pitiful sight
I watch as the bullets fly to left and to right
I’m the tree that’s watched blood flow from every man’s heart
I’m the tree on the battlefield, half blown apart.

User Rating: 4,1 / 5 ( 7 votes ) 10

Comments (10)

Really great poem, trees have borne witness to the worst of humanity's endeavors.
I usually don't read rhyme but this poem is a fine accomplishment of rhyme that uses imagery to its advantage. Great poem. Title works as well.
The half blown tree would have said the same thing what Lucy says in this poem, had it been given a mouth to speak. A wonderful imagination to link a soldier with a blown out tree in the battle field. This should be an eye opener to the war mongers.
......or even, Thank you Jon!
Tank you Jon, The refrain is there, for me, saying that the tree's still there, the war has gone, not a grautuitous repetition, just a statement really. Glad you liked it.


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