And is there news?

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Flash 55 PLUS! Where the challenge is to write a piece of poetry or prose in precisely 55 WORDS. The PLUS! is an invitation to reflect on the Battle of the Somme.


They staggered across no-man’s land,

Tattered remnants

Returning to mud-filled trenches

After shifting and ducking bullets

Of another failed assault.

Underneath their feet,

Buried six feet deep,

Unlike the fallen,

The arteries of communication

Stopped pulsing

Amidst the rumbling and shaking.

The field telephones were silent

When their hollow mouths pleaded:

And is there news?


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

And is there news

Image found on




15 thoughts on “And is there news?

  1. The war that changed western society forever–the first technological war, the last where the old empires called all the shots for men such as you describe, from birth to death, and here the sense of being suspended between two worlds, between life and death, of never knowing–is vivid and strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The silence must have been even more frightening than the noise of battle. Such a poignant perspective on the carnage of the Somme.. men lying six deep, and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a saying, “You can’t win them all.” But losing a battle of war must be terribly discouraging. Buddies died. In vain? Good news or news from home always lightens soldiers in the trenches. I am glad you brought this aspect of battle.

    Liked by 1 person

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