polygon wood

Polygon Wood

The Soldiers Of Polygon Wood

Stark white headstones stand

In cold clinical rows

Green grass grows between them

Not crushed by wandering feet

Silence reigns, yet,

There is no peace

The air is charged with spirits

Trapped, in the endless loop of time

The trees outside the cemetery walls

Do not move as the wind howls

Down the long stretch of dirt track

Which marks the final journey of so many men

It is the track that I am drawn to, to

The spirits of one thousand soldiers

Who have stood the test of time

Forever tied to this set of woods

I walk their journey in reverse

From the place each man now lies

Down the long dirt track

To the place where their final day began

Before dawn preparations began

Each soldier lying in wait

Chilled to the bone by the damp ground

They waited for the signal to rush to high ground

I whirl at the end of the track

Look back along the path I’ve walked

I imagine one thousand men, their pounding boots

As they run one thousand metres, laden down with rifles

I stand one final moment, overwhelmed by the sight

Before sun glinting off of gravestones

Draws my eyes away

From the scene of so much bloodshed

These men fought and they have died

They are buried upon their objective

And as I stand here, I cannot help but feel

At peace, for I have acknowledged their sacrifice

View of No. 1 (A subsection) Gun of the 16th Battery of Australian Field Artillery ‘out of action’ in the Ypres sector. The Battery was taking part in the barrage covering the attack by the 5th Divisional Infantry at Polygon Wood on 26 September, and on the following day, during the bombardment of the area by the enemy, a 4.2 hight velocity shell landed in the pit, exploded the ammunition alongside, caused several casualties to the gun crew and disabled the gun. 27 September, 1917.