(After Pat Barker’s novel ‘The Eye in the Door’).

I was reborn in a shell hole,

within Picard clay,

a petulant child.

Sibilant shrapnel hissed overhead,

my voice similarly sibilant since.

The vessel was stuck, unable to move and deal with the pain.

And then I came, again.

Command regained.

‘Steady on the left!’


Until, standing alone, I went into the shine of the sun.

Back home, with those who have not been in France, I struggle to contain my contempt,

and stammer like a machine gun.

© Duncan Cleary, 2009.

Published by


A native of Dublin, Ireland. When not busy with work or family, I try to create new stuff using words and pictures, often with a scientific theme. Thanks for visiting.

3 thoughts on “Prior”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.