Screaming Steel:Art, War and Trauma 1914-1918

When we held our second creative writing workshop from the series The Response, Caroline Kemp created this piece in response to a piece of art from OTTO Dix called The Skull. 



Otto Dix’s skull – Caroline Kemp

Otto Dix’s skull
looks almost humorous, 
youthful even,
Sprouting a rich crop of grass,
top knots.
The mouth is in a wide fixed grin,
Baring teeth.
The skull is now a comfortable eco home,
which maggots 
share
contentedly,
generously.

The skull is so white now
like the baked white earth of the Somme, after the battle,
teeming with white yellow eyed daisies,
red poppies, blue flowers under a deeper blue sky.
The air thick with white butterflies.

The choking ruined dreams are at an end now.
The white skull is at peace.
The grass grows.
The flowers quietly bloom.
The butterflies live on,
That day, that day,
after the Somme.

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