ministers of war
an unlucky thirteen months before
hitler invaded polish soil,
robert johnson died. he stopped breathing,
stopped singing, stopped bending
air around a guitar string.
and edward thomas lay down
the pen to fight the warmachine.
but he died too and stopped unrolling
ink into letters into lines of verse.
now they are ghostly sound in a packed-out hall
with something more to be made
fortunate to fade in the storm’s still eye.
all their work could fit, handwritten,
into a slim file laid on a mourner’s bench.
and a quiet young man is there, presiding.