Ian G. Winstanley


(Impressions of Tyne Cot War Cemetery)

IWVPA Bronze Helmet Tope Poet Award of Excellence for December 2003A lynch gate of stone stands in a foreign field.
Low stone walls glean white,
Flecked with grey
Enclosing young hopes,
Long buried under emerald green sward.
Rows of bright, gleaming stones
Mount the hill,
Bearing the epitaphs to a generation.
The hill crest surmounted
By a long wall,
Bearing the names of the lost,
Prophetically surveying a scene of calm,
Eternally looking over a verdant landscape
Where lie so many unknown
But not forgotten.

(Lines written after visiting Langemark War Cemetery)

It is a brooding place,
The entrance fissured
Thorough a dark, cold monolith.
Polished stones set in green earth,
Where massive oaks hold the light at bay:
The earth where the youth of a defeated nation
Lie in camaraderie.
Four stone black figures
Tower over the fallen,
Calling them to rise again.
It is a forbidding place
That calls for shafts of enlightenment
To fire the many souls
That lie, eternally waiting.