Sunday, February 26, 2017

Casualty -- Mental Ward -- Vernon Scannell (1922-2007)





Something has gone wrong inside my head.
The sappers have left mines and wire behind,
I hold long conversations with the dead.
I do not always know what has been said;
The rhythms, not the words, stay in my mind;
Something has gone wrong inside my head.
Not just the sky but grass and trees are red,
The flares and tracers—or I’m colour-blind;
I hold long conversations with the dead.
Their presence comforts and sustains like bread;
When they don’t come its hard to be resigned;
Something has gone wrong inside my head.
They know about the snipers that I dread
And how the world is booby-trapped and mined;
I hold long conversations with the dead;
As all eyes close, they gather round my bed
And whisper consolation. When I find
Something has gone wrong inside my head
I hold long conversations with the dead.



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