Tom Wyre

 

Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate

 

 

(England)

 

 

 

Outbreak (Part 1)          

 

August 1914,

Autumn with a different face,

A mask with a secreted smile,

A new guise in something dark.

Cheers and youth running to the call,

A call for arms, brave souls,

A cull for all their hearts and limbs.

 

Recruits eyed in sights,

Blinking from their wrappers,

For round the corner crossfire,

Queued in rows to wear green,

Single filed like numbers on a page.

Lemmings over white cliffs,

Dive into the unknown,

For an abyss like trench,

For a gun-metal fish that swims in tears,

For clouds torn by propellers in tomorrow’s hours.

 

Such a joy to join,

A chance to halt the Hun,

Maybe some mythical monster.

Innocence lost in future kicks,

Over a football, a swig of schnapps,

A bitter sweet bite of fry,

Lost upon a general’s frown.

 

Hand shakes soon over,

Shell shocking shakes take over.

Three young Tommies on a match,

Dragging smoke spied by snipers,

Creeping gun-smoke snares its catch.

Gore given up at fever pitch,

Cloaked up clouds choke the sky,

Black as pitch,

Time burnt wielding its scythe.

 

Leaves falling along with dreams,

Bodies in a ditch, lain out and threshed like corn,

Peppered by machine gun, assaulted by gasps,

A harvest spilled for a blood filled moon.

Shadows strewn over ploughed fields

With sanguine seeds sown,

Since the doves have flown,

For four years of winter.

 

Some party that started out with fireworks,

Chrysanthemums in starbursts,

Ended with the flower dead-headed and crushed,

Under white hot glares.

Our sanity lost then blinded by flares.

 

 

Wednesday 18th June, 2014.

 

 

 

Whistles on the breath of heaven to drown bells of hell.

 

No sweet birdsong to greet this shredded day,

Mourning crow calls unanswered, float away,

With future seeds scattered on ploughed khaki fields.

Medals ribboned to flow in the wind from his lover’s kiss,

Amiss with a smile, she sheds a tear as he falls from reach.

His eyes look upwards to fly a kite as in prayer,

Mercy please find me before the despair,

Too late for his dreams and bones.

 

Then all you can now hear in Ypres is silence,

The silence of innocence shocked,

Rocked to sleep through the breeze,

As shame peers down upon braying peers,

Choking back jubilance as they gaze at lost leonine hearts.

 

 

13/5/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Arrival

 

A telegram arrives,

Paper coffin hermetically sealed,

Stamped with wings and ferried through sorrow.

 

A punched out note that sinks its fangs into conscience,

A punch into one’s senses from a steel blue second,

An envelope that wraps up a wife or a mother’s world.

Three leaden bombshells masquerading as letters,

Sounds that draw tears, tear out and tangle heartstrings,

Tied by crushed barbed wire on Flanders fields.

Syllables that twist the knife and break the heart,

Cause the smiles to curl down into cries,

Make eyes well and thoughts run backwards.

With broken clocks, memories cast their ghosts.

Whispers turn to echoes,

Departing river flows from laughter,

Through happy days;

Such reverie now turned to nightmare.

A deafening cacophony of voices all shout,

Scream from the ether and bang your skull.

A statement that should never be,

An epitaph for youth who paid the price;

A wasted land where no man breathes.

The ones who packed away their troubles for good,

Those two pennies laid to rest,

Those three stones of words with gravest faces.

 

“Lost In Action”.

 

 

Thursday, 22nd May 2014.

 

 

 

Copyright: Tom Wyre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Tom Wyre is the current Staffordshire Poet Laureate and a prize recipient of the Walsall Mayor’s Poetry Awards.

 

He has performed at many festivals and notable open mic events across the UK such as the Stafford and Lichfield Arts Festivals, Strawberry Fields 2013 and performed at the prestigious O’Bheal poetry event held in Cork, Ireland last year.

 

He performed in Laugharne at the start of May 2014 for the DT100 celebrations for Dylan Thomas

and was recently commissioned to create poetry for the public through large commissions, including

contemporary new war poetry for the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, performed as part of a national remembrance event on the evening of Fri 11/7/14.

 

Moreover, he has also had specially commissioned poems accepted by the local council for use in the prestigious CQ developments, around Hanley Town Centre for the public view 2015.

 

He has made several appearances on local radio in addition to judging local and regional area poetry competitions suchas « Poetry by Heart » and highlights worthy causes through the use of poetry and stagecraft when a guest performer at charity events.

 

He has had work recently long listed for « Magma » and also poetry published in HCE magazine, Kumquat and notable anthologies « The Mortal Man » and the imminent « Restless Bones » to highlight the causes of « The Born Free Foundation ».

 

A book of new work complete with CD called Through The Lucid Door was published in July 2013.

 

Please find details to a « You Tube » performance of myself performing « The Lucid Door »at a poetry and theatre event

 

 

together with a link to an additional sound recording of me performing my poem « Conundrum »

 

soundcloud.com/loudnoisesstudio/tom-wyre-conundrum-audio-book

 

(Recorded at Loud Noises Productions, 2013).

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