Home > Uncategorized > Albert-Paul Granier: The deadweight cortege of death grinds past

Albert-Paul Granier: The deadweight cortege of death grinds past

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

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Albert-Paul Granier
The Mortars
Translated by Ian Higgins

Juddering iron buckets clanging,
jerking deadweight chains clanking,
the thunder lumbering caravan
labours on, along the baking roads and tracks,
all thunderous crash and clash.

The straining, weary horses
ponderingly nod,
as though to doubt
their onward slog will ever end . . .

Wheels as thick as millstones
mill the crunching road.

And in towns and villages along the way
thunderstruck groups watch
the deadweight cortege of death grind past,
the squat carriages, bolt-stubbled muscles bulging,
and, mute, menacing, brutal,
the black barrels, muzzled and bound like lunatics.

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