Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A poem by the Flemish writer Hugo Claus


Here the soil is most rank.
Even after all these years without dung
you would be able to raise a death leek here
to take on all markets.

The English veterans are getting scarce.
Every year they point to their yet scarcer friends:
Hill Sixty, Hill Sixty One, Poelkapelle.

In Flanders Fields the threshers
draw ever-decreasing circles round the twisting trenches
of hardened sandbags, the entrails of death.

The local butter
tastes of poppies.

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