Treasure Island

Colin Ian Jeffery

(20th May 1942 / Caterham)


During the battle of the Somme, France,1916, the British sustained 60,000 casualties on the first day. Torrential rains turned the battlefield into a quagmire. In one month the Allies advanced five miles at the cost of 450,000 German.200,000 French and 420,000 British lives. I lost two uncles

Blood red poppies sway
Over silent fields
Where birds no longer sing.

Once big guns roared
And young men
Suffered terror in the mud.

Chaplains searched the carnage for God
Finding him gassed and bloody
Crucified upon the wire
One poppy lost among the thousands.

Submitted: Sunday, February 10, 2008
Edited: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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  • Bob Blackwell (12/9/2008 1:34:00 PM)

    Colin, WW1, was an awful war, my father was injured at the battle of the Somme, he never really spoke about it, in fact nobody spoke about what happened in that war. I remember the film 'Oh What a Lovely War', every time a soldier fell, the screen went red and a poppy grew. Thank you for the poem, I guess like you did, that God died to that day, looking for some humanity. I like your writing. (Report) Reply

  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (10/23/2008 2:49:00 PM)

    The poppy is my favorite flower and what it symbolizes as far as war is concerened-like Flanders Field or other places will always remind us of those brave soldiers who have lost their lives.Sometimes I'm happy when I see one because it means warmer weather.Lovely poem and very sad.a ten from me. (Report) Reply

  • Kate Richardson (10/8/2008 9:13:00 AM)

    This poem is powerful. The central image of poppies as a metaphor for wounds, and a wounded god, is very effective. Concise voice and economy of language is always good, and you have kept focused throughout. (Report) Reply

  • Nagourta (10/3/2008 10:36:00 PM)

    Colin Jefferey, this bit of poetry is...quite a bit of poetry.

    Well worth my time, keep up the good work old sport! (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Kurkoski (10/3/2008 11:50:00 AM)

    The cost of war, or the cost of religion? That piece pays both tabs with a social gratuity that cannot be ignored. (Report) Reply

  • Cheryl McDonnell (9/16/2008 9:53:00 AM)

    Beautuful verse. I may only be 22 years old, but I lost ancestors in the war you write about. My great grandad, my mum's dad was one of a group of men who dug an escape tunnel out of a german concentration camp. I have the uttermost respect for anyone who has passed and who lays down their lives for this country. (Report) Reply

  • Melvina Germain (9/12/2008 9:41:00 PM)

    A great reminder of the blood of war, how terribly tragic. Your poem depicts great sadness and truth. A very clear picture painted here, excellent work indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Kaci Souisa (9/5/2008 9:12:00 AM)

    i found myself shivering when i read this. if you've never fought in a war, you couldn't possibly know the pain some go through. this gives us a clear picture. (Report) Reply

  • Ethan Schaff (8/27/2008 10:42:00 PM)

    it is truly great to read something like this. it finally give me perspective from those that have been through those trials. this truly describes the comparison of today's weaponry to these methods.

    and it truly makes you wonder: Are we civilized? (Report) Reply

  • Justin Robert Cooper (8/24/2008 10:51:00 AM)

    Nicely written. Regardless of whether one is pro-war or anti-war, I think we can all appreciate the massive loss that war brings. I especially like the tying in of blood with the red of the poppies within the title, almost as if every poppy that now litters the field is a dropp of blood from a wounded soldier. (Report) Reply

  • Dan Gelinas (8/22/2008 9:21:00 PM)

    Tragically beautiful, lovingly put together; an excellent tribute. I'm glad you reminded me if this time, it's important to remember the lives that have been lost and the effect that they made. (Report) Reply

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