In Summer Lanes

Did the souls of boys,
cut down in France,
come home again,
to rest in lush ditches,
by English country lanes,
as bright summer poppies,

So, each year unending,
free to dance once more,
joyful remembrance blooms,
headless of the rush,
of passing motorcars,
in home-counties soil,

Red now their clothes,
heads sway rejoicing,
on wildly weaving stalks,
stout-hearted amid weeds,
no brown wilted youth,
inside worn frames,

Ebullient life eternal,
amongst childhood cornfields,
were once rang loud,
your carefree laughter,
years before Passchendaele,
wove your khaki shroud.

by Ruairí de Barra

Published in ‘Live Encounters’ Special 12th Anniversary Editon in December 2021. You can read the five poems in this special volume on the Live Encounters website or download a free .pdf copy just by clicking here

Live Encounters is a wonderful publication and all of its issues, as well as special editions, may be found on its website at

I would like to thank Mark Ulyseas for seeing fit to include my work once again in the same pages of some truly talented people.

Photograph by Simon Godfrey from Unsplash. Thank you Simon.

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