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Painting stimulating poetry

The above painting was created whilst I was reading about the life story of Paul Nash. How uncanny it should be that Pete Ray (The wrote the following poem without even knowing what I was reading! Thank you Pete.

The silence gnawed at my resolve,

Prodding at my erstwhile mettle

And I was thus unnerved, my valour perturbed,

Yet I stood my ground, as expected,

Just a number in the fodder

That was infantry…

The greyness bleached at the woods,

Invoking a spectral sparsity

But I was quite alert, my senses pert,

Thus I stood my ground, as instructed,

A dispensable number in the waste

That was infantry…

A whistle blew.

And hampered by equipment

But by a tot of rum fired,

My expendable frame

Scrambled from a forward trench

Towards the charred, scarred landscape.

Then shells flew

Through smoke’s spew,

Disorientating, exasperating

And soon bodies lay askew.

Yet this number plodded on

Until a shallow crater was in view,

Into which my bleeding body I threw

And I lay, alone, one of a meagre few.

Alive, within The Grey,

Afraid beneath a stripped, blanched tree

I suffered the lot reserved

For the infantry…

Pete Ray

April 2019

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