The Dream 1888 The Dream 1888.
Jean-Baptiste Edouard Detaille.
Going North, Kings Cross 1893 by George Earl Going North, Kings Cross 1893 by George Earl.
Waterloo Bridge 1902 by Claude Monet Waterloo Bridge 1902 by Claude Monet.

Clouds of War

In a dream I walked, in a valley of peace,
It was dusk and night-scented stock, lay
Heavy on the gentle breeze, cool
At the end of the day. It was safe,
Like childhood was safe.
Leaves rustled softly, canopied above
Protective and strong, enveloping all
As a mother's love.

By the lade, where the river ran
A youth stood, by the apple tree.
The memory of his face
Caused my heart to leap, and then
He smiled, and he spoke to me.

My friend, we meet again
After so very long,
Do you not recognise me, now.
A youth I was, a youth, I am
Who fell, in conflict, as so many fell,
But the suffering is past, now
The pain of life is gone, listen to me
This, I tell.

The clouds of war are dark,
They rumble and rage, over yonder hill,
They feed on anger, they lust for glory,
They always have, and they always will.

The platoon of ghosts are sleeping, now
These phantoms you knew, once
As you knew my face.
They have toiled this day, into the dusk
To redeem the soul, of the human race.

Do not wake them, for in slumber
They dream, and in dreams
They are shadows to those whom they loved,
They embrace them with love,
As in the passing of the breeze, and their light,
Still as true, as the stars, above.

Yet the clouds of war are dark,
The thunder rolls, beyond the hill,
Those raindrops are a mother's tears, listen
My friend, for she is weeping, still.

London, October 2002