VOICES OVER PASSCHENDAELE

As World War One begins, twenty-two year old Peter Pendleton Eckersley is aiming at refining the hopelessly inadequate radio sets being tested in the planes of the Royal Flying Corps.  Grounded and sent back to England by his C.O to the Brooklands Wireless Testing Development School in Surrey, Eckersley’s ideas work.  In July 1917 with the Royal Flying Corps equipped with Eckersley’s ground to air voice radio supporting the artillery, the battle of Passchendaele is coming. 

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Where the Poppies Are

Seeing these poppies
she thinks of a quiet corner of a field,
wild poppies and fragments of dark slate,
white bones of a song bird, or
maybe more.
Them all. Him.
A spent shell risen. A rusted gun plate.
Huge rolled tangles of barbed wire
marking trenches on that drawn out line
and lives lived beside already buried men.
Dripping oil, and smell of fire and fear,
called up young men, and volunteer.
Horses. Screaming. Squelching mud,
and gunfire round.
Boots biting deep into that ground,
leaving pale thin scar,
and more over there.
A sign it might be where
he fell.
These poppies glisten in the London sun.
He was his country’s man and King’s.
Like a cross she bears his name.
Coming here, the Tower,
listening to young voices
generations on, so strong and clear,
for her this flower field blooms in bright blood red
and though he’s long dead, she cares.
She holds the line.
She’s glad she came. She knows
he’s here.