Verdun, an ancient fortress town strategically placed on the road to Paris. It has a long history of siege and conflict. During W.W.II it became a symbol of French resistance when it survived a long and terrible assault from vastly superior german troops. The painting by Felix Vallotton was contributed as this week's prompt by Magpie Tales
Sharp. Angular. The forms man brings to bear. How apt! Snapped shut or open. Scissor-wise. Knives in pincer movements cut. Shred. softer forms that Nature spread in kinder days. Man's browns have muddied purer greens. Where pastures were strange landscapes have replaced their peace with heave and blast of earth. I say: if ever this great onslaught ends (somewhere beyond the death of friends I do not doubt), then shall the landscape fall into a silence, speak the death of speech, the death of sapiens. Only the homo in us will survive. I dare to say of this: if ever it should end -- the stuttering machine gun madness; exploding earth and cries of pain; then shall we hear: no birdsong; whispers from no furry creatures in the non-existent undergrowth; no rustling of dead leaves. No sounds beyond the sighings of the dead in search of graves. If it had eyes, this landscape would lie silent, staring into space, a dumb and broken thing. See now: beyond the small hill's brow shapes piled that might be corpses -- or fallen trees... or simply shadows thrown by the light of hell. I say again: if ever this great onslaught ends there will be nothing left for light to show -- except the most impenetrable darkness man has ever seen.