No Man’s Land

In the sodden mud
of no man’s land
a man is lashed to
a six foot post driven
deep into the soil.
Rope binds his knees
and ankles to the post,
manacles grip his wrists
back behind the post,
his head and shoulders
brace back against it.

Modern day crucifixion.

Field punishment number one.

Acrid smoke of
artillery fire drifts
beneath lowering clouds,
sniper shots ring out
a bag of flesh
and bones sags

drunkenly

sideways

downwards

lifeless.


In World War I conscientious objectors,
deserters, late returners from leave were
taken to the western front and roped to
posts for up to four hours at a time.




Previously posted August 2016.

No Man’s Land

8 thoughts on “No Man’s Land

    1. Censorship was – and possibly is still – quite common. The first I knew of it was a large photograph in one of our national newspapers. I turned the page and there it was ! A horrible kick in the guts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This happened to two of my Great Uncles. Also, they were both deliberately gassed by their own officers. Apparently one of them was late back from leave (the boat was late so not his fault), the other had shell shock and so was deemed a coward. They were the brothers of my Maternal Grandmother and both survived, married and raised children.

    Working class people were treated like animals back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So appalling !! And forgotten by many these days. Not so bad here in New Zealand and Australia, We have not had so many born and bred upper crust people. I have read and heard that “Antipodean” servicemen thought the ordinary Brits had far less get up and go than they did. But clearly the ordinary British soldier had far more nasty consequences to consider.

      Liked by 1 person

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