For a survivor of the Mesopotamian campaign by Elizabeth Daryush (1933)
War’s wasted era is a desert shore,
As know those who have passed there, a place
Where, within sound of swoll’n destruction’s roar,
Wheel the wild vultures, lust and terror base;
Where, making ready for them, stalk the grim
Barbarian forms, hunger, disease and pain,
Who, slashing all life’s beauty limb from limb,
Crush it as folly on the stony plain.
The location of this war memorial is unknown but it is quite magnificent. If you recognise it please let me know where it is. Credit Jen Robertson
A desert: those too who, as thou, have been
Followers of war’s angel, Sacrifice,
(Stern striders to beyond brute torment’s scene,
Soarers above the swerves of fear and vice)
Know that the lightning of his ghostly gaze
Has wrecked for them for ever earth’s small ways.