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Two popular and long-established collections of  war poetry of the
First World War

Minds at War
A comprehensive
anthology of poetry of the First World War. All the greatest war poems of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon and war poems of over 70 other notable poets. All set in the context of the poets' lives and historical records. With historic photographs and cartoons.  Edited by David Roberts.
 400 pages £14-99 (UK)



Out in the Dark
Anthology of
First World War poetry recommended for students and the general reader.
19 poems by
Wilfred Owen
, 27 by Siegfried Sassoon and over 90 more war poems by 45 significant poets including women writers. Contextual information and basic notes on many poems. Illustrated.  Edited by David Roberts.
185 pages - £8-99 (UK)



Falklands War Poetry cover

War Poetry 2012  -  The War Poetry Website

  Cara Bethel My Hero
  Curtis D Bennett A tale of two villages
  Mike Lentz, about combat stress (words
and video)
At what a cost
Louise Russell, wife of Falklands Veteran The call of Home
    Lost
  Sue Littleton, Argentina Aftermath [of the Falklands War]
  Bernie Bruen, Falklands War To a Young Galahad - Thirty Years on
         Ed Poynter, Iraq and Afghanistan The Hollow Man
    Dulled Senses
    Orders from Higher
    Equality in Afghanistan
    Starting a new career as a teacher
    A Strange Reunion
    Another man down
  John Farrell, Iraq Sands of Wartime
  Richard Ball In a Flanders' Garden
  James Love Caesar's Camp
  When we were young
    Orders
Clarity
    Expectations

My Hero

Cara Bethel introduces her poem: "My husband served in Iraq 2005 and Afghanistan 2007. This is for him, he is my hero and came back safely to me."

(This poem was posted on the War Poetry Writers Zone without a forwarding email address.)

You kiss me an say "please don't fret"
As tears crash down, our cheeks all wet
"I love you" you say, as you walk away
I whisper, "you too" and begin to pray

I know you are hurting, it hurts me too
I'd do anything to swap places, let them hurt me and not you

No words can describe, the loss and the dread
The heartbreaking images and thoughts in my head
That I won't see you again, or kiss your lips
Or feel your hand in my fingertips

As you disappear, into the unknown
I wait and I wait until you have flown
The silence, for hours or days, until we can speak
Is deafening to my ears and it makes my heart weak

All I have is a picture, a moment frozen in time
All I want is you home, you safe and all mine
Please come back safely, I'll not rest till you do
I'll be here waiting, forever, for you.
My hero

By Cara Bethell
My husband served in Iraq 2005 and Afghanistan 2007. This is for him, he is my hero and came back safely to me. 

Tale of Two Villages

1) Oradour sur Glane, France (1944)

It could have been any town, anytime, anywhere,
An ancient town of a thousand years old
Quietly basking banks of a timeless river.
With narrow streets of old cobblestone,
Narrow tram tracks winding down the main road
Of laughing school children, small, barking dogs,
Old men dozing benches on sidewalks,
The village of Oradour Sur Glane in timeless France,
That peaceful, quiet, June summer morning,
They day the soldiers, came to town.

The Germans arrived at noon, gathering the people,
Over 422 women and children, sent to the Catholic Church.
There, they were locked inside, and a fire was started
Women screaming as crying children flee behind the alter
Heavy, wooden, oak pews ignite to send the flames higher.
Like a giant oven, the church erupts in black, boiling smoke,
Birthing a furious fire within stonewalls and high ceilings
The bronze bells melted, crashing down with the roof,
As all were burned alive; brutally buried beyond recognition,
In deep, blackened rubble; under thick piles of ash,
The day the soldiers came to town.

Small groups of men are herded to barns and garages,
Where hungry machine guns are waiting to kill them!
Starting at the knees, they opened up firing at will,
Turning 220 men, into thrashing, screaming, bloody heaps.
To be burned away, as fires are as they are dying.
Next the Nazi’s systematically looted the town,
Stealing everything they considered having value,
Afterwards, deliberately set fire to the entire town,
Trying to burn away the evidence of their murders...
The day the soldiers came to town.

An entire village burned and perished that day,
Leaving roofless, granite skeletons of haphazard rubble,
Glassless windows staring forever out into eternity,
Wide, empty doors seem as anguished, mouths,
Silently scream out eternal shock and horror!
Where on a summer day in the peaceful countryside,
642 men, women, and children are callously murdered,
This town, is now a graphic monument to war...
A testament to man’s inhumanness to his fellow man,
To what happens when soldiers and civilians collide,
The day the soldiers...came to town.

2) My Lai, Vietnam (1968)

The small hamlet of My Lai was like most others,
Trapped in a war, not of their choosing.
A small band of villagers who worked the land,
Lived in small clusters of thatched-roof shelters,
Sharing a common well, working small rice fields,
One day in March, this world would forever change;
The day the soldiers, came to town.

That day, American forces, slaughtered an entire village,
504 men, women, and children, shot down as they fled!
By American automatic weapons, bayonets, and grenades,
Murdered in cold blood, by young, American boys.
Gripped by and succumbing to a fearful, primeval frenzy,
Reverting instantly back to their dormant, Neanderthal DNA,
As they casually, mercilessly, slaughtered human beings,
The day the soldiers, came to town.

Were they “Following Orders” as all soldiers claim?
Or were they scared, simply afraid and overreacted?
Just the day before, they were our all-American kids,
Who a year ago, were attending local high schools,
Perhaps a bit rowdy, raucous, carefree teenagers,
American children, so carefully taught...to brutally kill,
Now, became murderers; hard, wanton criminals;
In the course of that one simple, single day of war,
The day the soldiers came to town.

What really is the difference,
Between Oradour Sur Glane, France, June 10, 1944,
And My Lai, Vietnam, 3/16/1968?

About 24 years...

Curtis D. Bennett
June, 2012

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At What a Cost - Why it was written

This is actually a song which can be heard on YouTube accompanied by powerful images. Mark Lentz tells how he came to write it. Click to see.

"An old friend of mine, a Gulf War veteran from the first war in 1990, conveyed for the first time to me the details of his tour over in Iraq. After one too many drinks, he started pointing to himself saying how he had to be a rock, could not show any emotion, had to kill against his beliefs. How could this be him. He talked of how he had to do what he was told while their objective was a goal that had no point. They were within 50 miles of Baghdad and told to turn around. They could have ended that war then but it was not in the plan. As you can see. the violence and bloodshed which accompanies any war is pointless. It kills innocent people and also destroys the lives of those fighting it. The guy has never talked about his tour again. I don't suppose he ever will. I was fortunate however to get a first hand glimpse of his pain, hence the song. This guy is not the only one suffering in his own mind. I'm sure there are numerous (beyond comprehension) veterans that suffer just as he has and is. It will never end, but the song was my way of bringing attention to the vast numbers of our servicemen and women suffering pointlessly."  -  Mark Lentz.

Dave Martin Comments

"According to new Pentagon figures, 154 military service members committed suicide during the first 155 days of this year. During the same period, ending June 3, 136 U.S. troops died in combat in Afghanistan, according to icasualties.org, a website that tracks combat casualties." Dave Martin, 2012. See his discussion of "Martial Machismo: At What Cost?"

At What a Cost


Send me there
I’ll do as you will
I’ll even kill
I’m your rock

You put me here
Can’t show any fear
You say it’s a thrill
I’m your rock

I fight your wars
On another tour
Defend your shores
I’m your rock

Trained me well
Put me into hell
Your point you sell
I’m your rock

(chorus)

How can I be me
Fighting for the land of the free
Doin’ all I’m told
Watching your plan unfold
Watching your plan unfold

I took your hand
You made me a man
In this foreign land
I’m your rock

You planted the seed
I fought for your greed
Now I live with the deed
I’m your rock

Welcome home
All I love is gone
No one on the phone
I’m your rock

Now all is lost
At what a cost
I’m at a loss
I’m your rock

(chorus)

Mark Lentz
©2009

 

At what a cost, written and performed by Mark Lentz.

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The call of home

Louise Russell, whose husband was on board HMS Sheffield in 1982 when it was hit, introduces these poems and the experience of many veterans' families

Since 1987 when David was medically discharged with PTSD the real David has been missing but appears from time to time which is lovely.  Unfortunately, the David who came back from the Falklands refuses to leave – a bit like Jekyll and Hyde.
I believe there are many “Falklands veterans”  who are also the “forgotten heroes.” I mean the wives, sweethearts, mums, sisters, daughters, sons, brothers and dads of veterans.  There has been a lot of writings by the vets, however, I believe it is just as important for the other side of the coin to be publicised.   In almost the words of Churchill never in the field of human combat has so much been done for so many by so many who are still suffering the fallout of this conflict.
I have spoken to many families of Falklands vets and haven't come across one family who have not suffered and are still suffering because of this conflict. 

The Call of Home

A river of tears cannot cleanse
The unseen wound which does not heal
There are more than battlefield shells
So many human shells return home
To the family never to be the same
Children once had a dad to turn to
Now he’s an island with a barrier reef
And she searches and searches in disbelief
She knows he’s in there somewhere
But she cannot find the path
She doesn’t know it’s a one way street
It’s his choice if they are ever to meet
In the land of trust where love is all around
When his spirit’s journey is homeward bound
It’s a long road to travel with many pitfalls
But when he stumbles her heart hears his calls
No company for him he must travel alone
But the family’s love is the beacon guiding him home
Home is where the spirit longs to be
Surrounded by love then it can be free

Louise Russell

Lost

Yes you are here
But so far away
That you are not near

Your smile that never
Reaches your vacant eyes
I wonder will it ever

A heart turned to stone
Just to survive the
Pain of being alone

I don’t know how
It captured your soul
Always with you now
I will find the key
To unlock your heart
And set you free 

Louise Russell

These poems and others by Louise appear in the Falklands War Poetry anthology. For details click here.

The Aftermath

Too many men had died on both sides,
but for Argentines
it was a depressing defeat in an egregious war,
difficult to discuss, painful to recall.
The humiliation of their honest pride in their country
turned against them by their leaders,
a mockery made of their patriotism and bravery,
sealed their lips, their minds, their hearts.

In the ensuing years,
belittled, mistreated, sneered at as “the crazies,”
ignored in their pleas
for recognition and recompense for their sacrifices,
as many as 354 veterans of the Malvinas War
committed suicide.
Many veterans carried the scars
of physical and psychological wounds.

Today their condition
is recognized as “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome”
with its symptoms of altered affect, isolation,
insomnia, bleak depression.

The men were overwhelmed
by the memories that tortured them,
the physical suffering they had endured,
the friends they had seen die
in a useless, ignoble conflict.
Thousands had gone to fight as conscripts
as is established
under the Argentine Constitution,
only to be told when they later asked
for veteran’s benefits
that they were not entitled,
since they had never actually fought
in a battle.

Sue Littleton (in Argentina)


This poem is part of Sue Littleton's sequence of poems about the Falklands War which  appears in the Falklands War Poetry anthology. For details click here.


Bernie Bruen introduces To a Young Galahad - Thirty Years on

Last week I was in Stamford being filmed for a documentary for Channel 5, a British TV station. It was about the bomb disposal effort we put in during the Falklands war. All was going smoothly and well until the moment I was telling what we found onboard Galahad at Bluff Cove. Unaccountably and very suddenly, when explaining about the young soldier we found welded to the deck, I burst into uncontrollable sobbing - something I swore I would never do and, indeed, had never done since the war. I had to turn away and it was several minutes before I was able to continue. Perhaps it takes thirty years and the intensity of filming to relive the events and to finally react to them.
Anyway, it affected me greatly and, shortly afterwards, I wrote the poem below.

10 January 2012



To a Young Galahad - Thirty Years on

They brought their screens and smoke machines,
An HD camera and a Dolby mike
And, with a wooden bomb, a working fuze,
Selective lighting and some drapes,
Transformed my kitchen to a bombed-out ship
And said, “Tell us again what it was like.”

I told them of the Galahad,
Of how we saved her that first, frightful night
When, from an acid-saturated wreck
That burned the clothing from our skin,
We worked to free a sleeping bomb and so
Return her life, so nearly brought to waste.

I told them of the Lancelot,1
Of how we cut apart her gangways, worked
The night, and through the raids that terrorised
The day, to lift and shift and heave
And haul a dormant bomb from deep within
Until we could return her to the Fleet.
I told them, then, about Bluff Cove;
Of how we battled with the Tristram2 blaze,
The four of us, to save her too - too late -
And blasted off her after door
So they could salvage shells and mortar-bombs,
Munitions for the hungry, Stanley guns.

And then again of Galahad
Who rocked and burned a pall of blackened flame
That rose from glowing bulkheads, blistered decks,
A signal column, dark above;
And you - for whom we could do nothing more
Than find a piece of canvas for a shroud.

Thirty years too late, unbidden,
Unexpected, unashamed, with sudden
Overflowing eyes, my message faltered;
For, though you never were forgot,
You're long past due those tears I shed for you;
As, in bewilderment, I turned away - and so did they.

Bernie Bruen

Editor's note
See Bernie Bruen’s earlier poem To a Young Galahad. - Sir Galahad was one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legends. He was renowned for his bravery, kindness and purity. In the Falklands war one of the biggest disasters for the British side was the bombing of the supply ships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram. Fifty-three men were killed and forty-six were seriously injured, many of them suffering horrific burns as the bombs had struck the ammunition store of the Sir Galahad, causing a huge fire which swept the ship.

Another serviceman/poet was at the scene of the disaster, Tony McNally.

The book
Bernie Bruen's poem, with others by UK servicemen, wives, Falkland Islanders and Argentines appear in the new anthology, Falklands War Poetry.


Ed Poynter was an Infantry Officer in the British Army. He served in The Rifles (and before that The Royal Green Jackets) and saw action in Iraq in 2007 with 4 Rifles (TELIC 10) and Afghanistan in 2009 with 2 Rifles (HERRICK 10). He left the army in April 2010 and is now working as an English teacher in Sussex. 
 
This first poem is about the thoughts and feelings I had prior to deploying on operations again, for the third time in three years.

 
The Hollow Man

I’ve made myself hollow again.
Life, love and phone contract paused... on hold.
Forgotten battles regain definition
As day-to-day worries tick-tock to sepia thoughts of old.

I’m thirsty for the forthcoming chapters;
New tales to trade for backslaps and beer;
Yarns rich with adventure (hinting at bravery)
Will mask my soul’s disgrace and despair,

As pallid ghosts of friends perch on bar stools
While their technicolour doppelgangers
Grin dustily from pictures on shelves.
For now, valiant thoughts of tragic grandeur

Allow my fears to be suppressed and sealed
Into three brown envelopes left with parade-ground precision on my desk.
 
Ed Poynter

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This next poem relates to the memory of two men killed in the upper Gereshk Vally in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in June 2009. It is both a lament to their loss and a record of a moment of realisation, as well as being a condemnation of war in general.

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Dulled Senses

The rich opium-laced breeze soothed us in its warm embrace
and lulled the senses to relax.
It seduced the wary eye to settle on the peaceful façade of this bitterly contested place
and prompted heartfelt admiration of the lush greenery, the canal
(whose cheerful, gurgling chuckle had carried
the blasted remnants of another friend downstream only nine days before),
and the ancient hand-crafted compound walls;
visible now only as dark silhouettes,
beneath a deep, twinkling and strangely familiar heaven.

This is where we reconciled -
this sandbagged nest we shared;
wrapped crudely in a dusty net
and raised above a pre-historic land
littered with reminders of chaotic, violent instants.
Like short snarled sentences punctuating the long anxious chapters of waiting,
brass cases – expelled in acrid, heated rage –
lie cool now beside the crushed remains of lazily smoked cigarettes.

Oh hindsight!
A moment is never truly important
until it is beyond the reach of our too-late-learning grasp.

That conversation, uttered in low concealed tones,
focussed on the journeys of life and love
and the accepting realisation
that naïve ideals of adventurism, glory and altruistic hope
can lead a man to risk all in the pursuit of something that never really existed,
and the dawning understanding
that the risk we take is not only real,
but also not only ours to own.

Families, friends and lovers will feel the heat
and the body shattering force of the blast,
that rips limbs from torsos
and reduces smiling men to bloody matter,
more keenly than he who takes unknowingly that final step
where earth and fire and man must meet in mutual devastation.

He that dies knows not the pain of loss;
the wounds inflicted lie deeper than the shards of plastic, metal and stone
that tear living tissue from bone,
that puncture organs with dumb, jagged imprecision.
No medic can stem the bleeding from these hearts.
No stretcher, lifted by desperate bloody hands,
can bear them swiftly to a better place.
Time may disguise their visible wounds
but the real damage remains raw beneath the fading scars.

Pomp, ceremony and bold rhetoric,
like the smiling face of Janus,
allow man and nation to beautify this savage calling;
to believe that this destruction of bodies and souls can be justified,
nay... required and even lauded!
Medals, congratulations, proud condolences and bachic parties,
with revellers in braid and lace,
belie the sin that man commits against his naked self.

And even the priest, who claims to understand God’s message,
proclaims, with no hint of irony,
that “War, like childbirth, may be bloody and painful,
but the ends can justify the means.”


Ed Poynter
 
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This poem is not so much about blame as it is about illustrating of the frustration we felt at the lack of resources available to us and the insidious feelings of isolation and despair that grow and grow.

 
Orders from Higher

“Hades Three Zero. This is Hades Zero... More patrols are necessary.
You will push further out in order to ‘Dominate’ and ‘Reassure’.
You will then pull back… Over.”

“Is there any chance of some air cover
or more sensitive IED-detecting kit?
Is there any chance of detailed maps
that distinguish between building and street?
Over.”

“More patrols are necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“How about some reinforcements; more men,
in order to hold ground we fight to take?
Or a mission statement that justifies
the risk that patrolling necessitates?
Over.”

“More patrols necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“The LOE for our daily patrols
Is not a distance plucked from the sky;
our estimate dictates that ‘reach’ should be
Governed by CASEVAC and resupply.
Over.”

“More patrols necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“We do not have freedom of manoeuvre;
every alley and street is mined.
The enemy can engage us freely
but we’re unable to respond in kind.
Over.”

“More patrols necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“Our presence provides no ‘reassurance’.
It invites reprisals when we withdraw.
Our ‘dominating’ effect isn’t only transient,
but predictable to all.
Over.”

“More patrols necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“We are suffering heavy casualties
whilst trying to learn from each incident.
Changes to tactics, without support and
resources, are not easy to implement.
Over.”

“More patrols necessary. Push further out.
Dominate and Reassure. Then pull back.
Over.”

“We continue to vary things daily
to keep ‘tempo’, while trying to survive.
The only real ‘objective’ for now
is to keep, all those that are left, alive!
Over.”

“More patrols necessary! Push out.
Dominate and Reassure. Pull back!
Over!”

“Is anybody up there listening?
Does anyone actually care?
Your lack of respect for our judgement
and lack of faith in us are clear.
You find fault in our leadership
and ‘role-play’ bright ideas,
but what might look good on paper up there,
looks fucking suicidal down here!
Over.”

“More patrols are necessary. You will push further out
in order to Dominate and Reassure. You will then pull back.
We’re all in the same boat you know,
now stop rocking the damned thing!
Play the game – lead by example
And stop this god-damn moaning!
More patrols ARE necessary! You WILL push further out
in order to ‘Dominate’ and ‘Reassure’.
You will then pull back.
Out.”

Ed Poynter
 
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People are always banging on about equal-rights in Afghanistan and I found it darkly ironic that Afghanistan is perhaps one of the most equal places on earth when you look at it from the IED’s perspective:

 
Equality in Afghanistan

I wait. Impassive. Neutral. Buried.
The goat ambles. Hungrily. Confidently. Hoping.
The child dashes. Clumsily. Warily. Hoping.
The woman steps. Wearily. Warily. Hoping.
The soldier treads. Softly. Warily. Hoping.
I wait. Impassive. Neutral. Buried.
They’re all the same to me...
 
Ed Poynter


Starting a new career as a teacher' is a poem about making the transition from soldier to civvy and learning to develop mechanisms to help you bypass the pitfalls along the way.

 
Starting a new career as a teacher

“Have you ever killed anyone?” They ask,
with the innocent naivety of youth.
“What do you think?” I reply, smiling quietly.
But indeed, what is the truth?

Have I ever killed anyone? Let’s think…

In the dark and dusty, neon-tinted streets of Basra
I shot at men who shot at me.
But did my own fizzing tracer beat that of those who fired faster?
I doubt anyone could see.

Have I ever killed anyone?

I certainly played a part in causing their demise
by giving orders for Air to ‘drop’.
The enemy, portrayed in sepia tones through God-like eyes,
saw death’s shadow as time stopped.

Have I ever killed a man?

I cheered as the screen flashed... then showed the pall of smoke.
Grinning, I reported, “Good strike!”
More sepia men ran on... then froze. Muted cries were choked
As they stared in silent plight.

Have I ever killed a man?

I’ve called for artillery support, and AH and Air
To pound Afghan compounds ahead.
But God only knows how many lived or died up there -
They’re quick to recover their dead.

Have I ever killed a man?

How about in Mitan where the Imam wept tears of gratitude
As we provided medical support?
His son was killed by a mortar when militia attacks renewed,
In response to our involvement.

Have I ever killed a man?

The men who died beside me, or through my orders, plans and commands...
Was I not responsible for them?
But could I’ve changed the outcome? Was this not the enemy’s hands?
I know not who the dead would blame.


“Have you ever killed anyone?” They ask;

Not imagining the process they trigger.
“Yes, I suppose I have.” I think.
“Do your work.” I say quietly,
“That’s hardly relevant here.”
 
Ed Poynter
 
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On seeing a friend’s grave in Aldershot Military Cemetery for the first time

A Strange Reunion

It’s strange seeing you like this.
I know you’re not actually here.
Even that last time I saw you, held you, carried you...
You were not actually there.

The time before that, you waved.
You grinned as you shouldered your pack.
“Good luck mate.” I called. “Go carefully.”
I never thought you wouldn’t come back.

This hewn marble over your head
Tells me little about you.
I can read that you were ‘BELOVED
SON. BROTHER. FRIEND.’
I can read your rank, your name, your age...
I’m older than you now. That’s strange.

I can see that you were a soldier,
A Rifleman, a Jew.
But I cannot see your laugh, your smile...
I still cannot see you.

You were more than the sum of all these parts.
You were you. You. You are you.
You are there in the moments of life when all is good.
You kept good company and still do...
You live on in all of us whose lives you touched.
And we love you.
 
Ed Poynter
 
 
Our Company lost eleven men killed in the summer of 2009. A further two, who survived that tour, have died since then; one in Afghanistan in late 2011 and one by his own hand. It seems that Death is never satisfied...

Another man down

Death comes again in a gut-wrenching roll of thunder
that rages and echoes through valleys
and cracked mud compounds
and turns men inside-out.

Walls shake and vibrate as dust-clouds rise
and mud bricks and dust fall from ceiling to floor.
Dust meets dust, “for out of it wast thou taken:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

A man, though scarcely a man, helps to gather and carry what remains of five friends
whose guts and blood have spilled onto the dispassionate dust of an Afghan alley.
Now, twenty two months later, he swings gently in a breeze
that carries only the coo of wood pigeons
and the steady hum of the early-morning traffic on the A429.
 
Ed Poynter

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Sands of Wartime

Like the breath of shells beneath a pure paradise,
Quick streams spurt from sand.

Life giving water forgotten,
these spew life stealing smoke and metal.
Steel gulls sing above,
suddenly silent,
then loud beyond comprehension.
The grained earth, stone walls, stale air,
Shivers in violent vibrato.

Billions of barely seen bits of dust spray up from below and surround, surreal.
Time slows to just more than still.
Lost in tan mist. 
Still alive to bear witness.
Utterly lost in a desert embrace.

John Farrell
Wounded Al Anbar, Iraq combat veteran Marine Corporal

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In a Flanders' Garden

Attention!

Regimented,
Row upon row,
Uniform in dress white,
Guarding a parade ground
Below our tread.

They know nothing
Of the spring of the lawn,
The exuberance of the flowers.
And what can we understand
Of their experience?

Bombarded by the sights,
Sounds and stench of battle,
Others’ groans and screams
Defeated the generals’ plans,
Reinforced their terror.

Former comrades-in-arms,
Social beings,
Thinking and feeling,
Now decaying soldiers
Known unto God.

Richard Ball

Feb 2012

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Some 2012 poems by Falklands veteran, James Love

 

Cpl Gary David Bingley MM

Killed In Action Goose green 1982.

Loved by All forgotten by none R.I.P.

 

Caesar's Camp

 

At an old roman fort,

High on a hill,

Stands a lone tree.

Which marks the gateway,

To Asgard,

Valhalla ,

And the final RV !

 

Named after one Emperor ,

Guarded by another .

The symbol of our creed,

Is nailed to that yew .

Gaz Bingley's on stag.

Drinking with warriors,

One of God's Chosen few.

 

Jock Love Class of 82.



Jock Love AD UNUM OMNES

 

 

When we were Young

When we were young
I was old
Now we are all old
And still there are the young.


When the young are old
I'll probably be dead
Then the new young will be old
But there will still be the young.


Still the death
With all the dying
The wasted youth
Politicians still lying.


Are you old ?
Or are you young ?
Comprehensive school,
Or politicians son?


Where will you die?

James Love

Orders

We crouched,
We blended in.
Smoking cigarettes,
While we waited.
Waited to be told, what to do.
When
and by who.


Meanwhile
All around was chaos
Men died
The battle dragged on
We waited
Death waited
War

James Love

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Clarity

There is a clarity of mind.
For those who have met death,
Stared him in the face.

Perspective ,
Perceptions,
The meaning of life.

Inhumanity.
Suffering,
And strife.

Why I'm here.
You're here,
Why we live or die.

James Love

 

Expectations

Treat each day like the sunrise
Expect no less
Then you won't be disappointed
When the sun finally sets.

James Love

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