With just over 3 weeks to go until the publication of the latest and last book in the Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons, my diligent team has selected six extracts to provide readers with a little glimpse into what they can expect.
My personal favourite is the poem written by Frederick in the bloody trenches of the Somme:
The Corporal’s Bloody Day
Inky black into battle grey,
Battle grey into bitter blue;
So becomes the hue
Of another bloody day.
Time to move each frozen limb,
Locked night-long in crusted mud;
The guns of the Hun begin to thud
Atop the trench’s brim.
“Sir, men ready for inspection,”
Barks the sergeant,
Midst his men shuffling to attention.
Knee-deep in slime,
Affection I convey
To weary faces, lifeless eyes.
“Will we make it home to Blighty?”
Asks the corporal,
“Yes,” I shout above the din.
“You’ll make it, Stripey.”
Inspection done, I move along
To the tune of loading rifles, whistled Tipperary song.
All standing ready for the sergeant’s fateful order:
“Lads, forward to the German border.”
Sudden comes the eerie whistle,
Then the deafening cascade,
And vivid pink, floating in the wind like down of thistle.
Alas! No Blighty for poor Stripey, despite the promise made.
And so the day goes on
As other days have gone,
On into another accursed night
Of vanquished hopes and unrelenting fright.
You can read the rest of the extracts here.