Sunday 24 January 2010

i.m. Keith Douglas (24/01/20---09/06/44)

Keith Douglas, what to bring
but empty hands, how to adorn
a skeleton stripped and the polished
stone where lichen fails to cling?
I have seen poems left on graves,
seen photographs, sea-shells, wooden
crosses pinned with poppies,
seen scattered where young actors lie
the bric-à-brac of love, and I
bring nothing and my eyelids itch.

  (from 'At Keith Douglas's Grave', Strange Land)


  1. Ah ha! The real Tim Kendall surfaces, stripped bare as a stone but adorned, tactfully, in poppies and shells and the bric-a-brac of Modern Poetry.

    These acts of Love and War
    leave us itching for more...

  2. if I may, this is lovely Tim, "what to bring but empty hands".

    with our losses, two soldiers I knew, and others who at this very minute are on foot patrol out in Panjawaii, my hands, my words are empty.

  3. Time is all he lacked...