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,
hiss 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 were
taken to the western front and roped to posts
for up to four hours at a time between the
battle lines.

Field punishment number one.

Previously posted August 2016.

No Man’s Land