Another poem, a short one, about the significance of things that didn’t happen, missed signs.
So when the distant soldiers came around midday
To the curious building in the foreign fields
Planted with unfamiliar crops they saw a sign
And casually debated what the thing might mean.
But rain encouraged them to shelter inside the place,
Chapel or school, and the sign was just another strangeness
Among many, and so in time they marched away
To the slaughter next day on the watching ridge
And then artillery and fire destroyed the shrine
The words were not spoken and the slug river moved on.
copyright Simon Banks 2012
No-one took me up on the challenge about the poetic influence on my poem “Assembly”. It was Dylan Thomas – as I said, not for the language but for the subject and the choice of imagery. He was always writing about birth and childhood with an eye on death.