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‘Their flowers, the tenderness of patient minds’ Anthem for Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen

After he left with the thrum of war in his heart,

it was planted.

Before winter sent its tendrils, slender fingers drilled

a path

through blood red earth, dropped the seed into the


hiding it from those who would steal its life. Each day

she spoke

to it of love, encouraged it to survive, prayed for roots

to seek

sanctuary, hold onto the tear sodden earth. Time was


with caresses along green shoots, the swelling of her


Buds sought the growing light, turned to face south,


to hear tender words read from hasty notes carried

on a salty wind.

In another's land, ravaged fingers drilled down through

the bloodied earth, his promise to hold onto life


A sapling that would not reach its height. Scarlet

petals from

a blown flower travel east on a wailing wind,

her hand held high in salute.

Flowers for his grave.

Lesley Traynor, the author of this beautiful poem, is a novelist, poet and spoken word performer.

She is the founder of Women Poets with Fierce Words.

Her work is included in several national anthologies and has featured on numerous websites.

She is currently writing the third novel of her Romantic Fantasy series, The Tea Club.

She recently opened World Community Arts Day in Edinburgh as featured writer and has performed her work at two five star reviewed Edinburgh Fringe events.

She has been in several Poetry Slam Finals, including the Scottish Finals and was filmed performing her poetry by the BBC to celebrate Jackie Kay becoming the new Scottish Makar.

She is on the Council of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and a former Council member for the Scottish Association of Writers, as well as being an active member of the Scottish Writers Centre.

Photo by Peter Dargatz

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