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THE WAR POETRY WEBSITE

Poems added August 2005 

Poems by service personnel and civilians
www.warpoetry.co.uk

Titles

 Damian McCarthy

Their Problem Our Solution

Hubert Wilson

Emma Seaberry

David Holden

The Ghosts of Picardy

Derek Sellen

Shadows of War

Eric Morrissey

Collateral

Jerry Calow

A Tribute To Veterans

John Anderson

A Stand

Laura Oliver

On the Eve of Remembrance

Kevin Skinner

A Soldier's coming home.

Souladviser

Imperialism

Steve Walshe

How Soon They Forget

 

 Michael Pilarte

 Road Through Hell

If My Eyes Could Talk

 David Roberts

Shall we remember what war is?

There Will Be Peace

Remembrance Day 2004

 

 

 

Damian McCarthy.

Their Problem Our Solution

so what is this thing

this thing we call war

what do we make of it

what is it for

can we form an opinion

can we find solid ground

can we beat the same drum

and sound the same sound

does war enter our thoughts

when we're alone by ourselves

do we think - analyse

or leave it up on the shelf

waiting to fall

to fall on our heads

as we lay safe and warm

asleep in our beds

Wake up

will you please

my friends in this room

this needn't be a tale

of sadness and gloom

but of power

and freedom

opinion and rights

of intelligent interpretation

not political shite

we've all come together

through a common theme

we love living life

and we love being being

so is it just me

am i going mad

but this war with iraq

don't it feel

really bad - to you

and you

to you and you

we know what's going down

we've checked out this coup

and lets face it

whether we're

hypocritical christians

fanatical muslims

peace loving krauts

or arrogant yids

whatever we do

we leave to our kids

and i want my son

to think his dads sound

a fool to no one

and prepared to stand ground

for not just what he believes in

but what he feels to be right

could they ever be wrong

will we always sit tight

as it falls out of sight

in a political blur

to appear later on

as a wrong bloody war

so come now my friends

and lets make a pact

for the sake of our future

lets agree that we'll act

not as courageous young martyrs

who leave but their souls

but as a movement of people

pursuing like minded goals

to be shared amongst all

not bartered or sold

lets do it ok

cos soon we'll be old

and what could be worse

when we're waiting for death

to say to ourselves

If only IF.

 

6 11 04

 

 Hubert Wilson

A son, a brother, a husband, a father, a veteran. On the second anniversary of George W. Bush proclaiming the end of major combat operations in Iraq.

Copyright 2005

Emma Seaberry

The aircraft is loaded and ready on the tarmac.

Tonight for Delaware he flies.

A world away from this land of sand and heat.

To her land of lush greenery and cool nights.

He and others finally aboard.

The aircraft is filled with silence.

During his year away

He thought of her azure eyes.

What would they hold on his return?

Would they be the same?

Would he be too different?

Would they reclaim their past together?

Flags are in place.

Fresh crisp uniforms for the departing.

He and others aboard no longer fear death.

Those left behind still do.

The war still rages.

The brief fighting of months has now turned to years.

Distant tracers briefly fill the heated night.

A sharp rapid climb

And the aircraft is soon away from the horrid

Smells of frustrating death.

Within a day he will return to Emma Seaberry.

Down through the coastal mist

To the saddest azure eyes waiting to claim his body!

 

Copyright 2005

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David Holden

13 5 05

 

I have always been interested in the poetry of the Great War and in what I

term trauma poetry, whilst acknowledging the fact that I don't have the same

kind of trauma to influence my subject matter, it is nonetheless a humble

tribute to those men who died on those hallowed fields that sit astride the

river Somme in the Picardy region of Northern France. Hence the title "The

Ghosts Of Picardy".

I tried to portray a sense of haunting poignancy and collective loss , I hope I partly achieved this.

 

The Ghosts of Picardy

 

As the barrage lifted

from the blanket of dawn;

slowly; the rhythmic ticking

of time, zero hour 5.30

the nervous sentry shifted

tired eyes into the grim mist

of a thousand guns abstained

the shrill shriek of whistles blown

echoing down the caverns

of time sunk deep into silence.

Manning the parapets, the ghostly

shadows in lines of khaki;

eternally await assailants grey.

death draws no distinction of

gaudy colours, with crimson

reddening on greatcoats.

none saw their spent spirits pass

to this valhalla, free to roam;

in the whispering breeze; murmuring;

a million poppies bleed, they bleed.

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Derek Sellen

 

I have been writing poetry for forty years and wanted

to express the way that the shames of this war cannot

and should not be escaped but shadow us in our daily

lives.

 

Shadows of War

 

I walk in the gardens,

on the run from the news.

The orange waste-sacks,

bellied with swept leaves,

crouch between the limes

all along the bare avenue -

prisoners of Guantanamo.

 

I walk in the orchards,

abandoned to autumn.

A dog leaps playful

out of its owner's control,

runs with the leash trailing

among the shit-coils in the dirt -

barking an echo of Abu Ghraib.

 

I walk in the break-time,

see poems on a classroom wall,

Owen, Sassoon, Sorley,

the texts of this year's syllabus:

words wailing like shells,

beyond the limits of our hearing -

mourning the corpses of Fallujah.

 

November 2004

 

Eric Morrissey

 

Collateral

Are Those wet,

red,

blossoming petals mine?

Am I laid-out,

on this glistening wreath?

The next cortege of cordite, buries

a dirge of unanswered questions:

as I take root.

Yet one more poppy.

 

December 2004

 

Jerry Calow

 

To Whom It Would Be of Interest,

I wrote this song to pay tribute to All Veterans and

would be honoured if you choose to post it on your Patriotic

Web Site. I thank you and God Bless!

 

A Tribute To Veterans

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In Vietnam, Korea and World Wars Past

Our Men Fought Bravely so Freedom Would Last

Conditions Where Not Always Best They Could Be

Fighting a Foe You Could Not Always See:

 

From Mountain Highs to Valley Lows

From Jungle Drops to Desert Patrols

 

Our Sinewy Sons Were Sent Over Seas

Far From Their Families And Far From Their Dreams

They Never Wrote Letters Of Hardships Despair

Only Of Love, Yearning That One Day Soon:

 

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume

And Carry On With The Rest of Their Lives

 

The P.O.W.¹S Stood Steadfast

Against the Indignities And Cruelties Of War

They Could Not Have Lasted as Long as They Did

If They Had Relinquished Their Hope That Some Day:

 

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume

And Carry On the Rest Of Their Lives

 

Medics, Nurses, and Chaplains Alike

Did What They Needed To Bring Back Life

They Served Our Forces From Day Into Night                                                                   To top[ of page

Not Questioning If They Would Survive:

 

They Mended Bones And Bodies Too,

They Soothed the Spirits of Dying Souls

 

And for Those M.I.A¹S, Who Were Left Behind

We Echo This Message Across the Seas

We Will Search For as Long As It Takes

You¹re Not Forgotten And Will Always Be:

 

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers,

In Our Minds For All Time

 

A Moment of Silence, a Moment of Summons

Is Their Deliverance of Body And Soul

To a Sacred Place That We All Know

Deep In the Shrines of Our Soul:

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In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers

In Our Minds For All Time

 

INTERLUDE:

GOLD STAR MOTHERS GRIEVE: ENDLESSLY,

ENDLESSLY, ENDLESSLY.......

 

These Immortalized Soldiers Whose Bravery Abounds

They¹re Our Husbands, Fathers, and Sons

They Enlisted For the Duty at Hand

To Serve the Cause of Country and Land:

 

They Had Honor, They Had Valor,

They Found Glory That Change Them Forever

 

Men Standing Tall and Proud They be

A Country Behind Them in a Solemn Sea

So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly

Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

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In the Sun, In the Rain

In the Winds Across This Land

 

Years of Tears Has Brought Us Here

Gathering Around to Hear This Sound

So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly

Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

 

In the Sun, In the Rain,

In the Winds Across This Land

 

REPEAT:

To top[ of page

In the Sun, In the Rain,

In the Winds For All Time

 

Jerry Calow (copyright 2003 )

 

John Anderson

 

Thanks for the opportunity to tell how thankful I am to the heroes in our midst. John Anderson

A Stand

They humbly stand before us.

Like people that I know.

But our glory is from the torture,

Of a nation called to go.

Good towns and families from where they played.

Until the war had called.

And traded all for fight and freedom,

To tear down bloody walls.

The men who stand before us,

Most I've never met.

But I feel that I know them,

From the freedom that they've sent.

The cost our freedoms took,

Brave souls of unknown names.

They fought for what is right.

When passion dignifies claim

If I could list all those I owe.

A list that wouldn't stop.

These heroes that I really don't know

Would be upon the top.

To tell the men they didn't fight in vain,

And those that stand tonight.

Is to let them know we'd meet again,

To fight for what is right.

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25 November 2004

 

Laura Oliver

 

This poem is an imitation of John McCrae's 'In Flander's Fields"

 

On the Eve of Remembrance

 

Into Iraq I dare not go

Where there are bodies, row upon row

That line the streets; and in the sky

The larks, shot down, can no longer fly

Loud blasts shot from guns below.

 

We insult the dead, by roaming low

They lived, died, fought a true foe

Loved and were loved, and now we tromp

On Flanders fields.

 

Invent a reason to quarrel with a foe

To Bush, angry fists we throw

The torch of freedom and peace is nigh

If we only see the truth through the lie

We cannot sleep, because poppies stir

In Flanders fields

 

~ Laura Oliver on Nov. 10, 2004

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Kevin Skinner

 

A Soldier's coming home.

===================

A Soldier returning, parents yearning.

Packing away trouble, clearing past's rubble.

 

The soldier prayed each day to take him home one day.

Mother and Father prayed, having him home one day

Calling him son, showing friends medals he won.

 

A phone ringing home, a desperate tone

"Mom, Dad, I'm coming home"!

 

A son with a plea, affecting all three.

 "A friend I'd need to bring home with me."

"Son, he is welcome" they replied, "We love you, like God who has guided you."

 

The son gave a history to his plea.

A land mine took his soul, rescuing me his toll.

Now I'm his guardian as angels go."

 

"We can help him find a loving home, finding his soul, will be our God given goal."

 

"Must be with me that he must go, I carry his woe."

 

"Son, can't let this be our sin, time will fade your friend away.

He'll find a way, will say a prayer."

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The son hung up.

Dead tone rung.

Phone for day's never sung.

Only thoughts ringing, while mother washing linen.

 

An echoed ring the phone did sing

A voice so bold told an ear so cold.

"Your son has died, a suicide."

 

The grief-stricken parents, a morgue.

A body covered in linen.

Telephones ring the only din masking a sin.

 

The face now going to angels place.

An inward disgrace, as hearts raced.

He lay betrayed, although he prayed.

 

A Mother holding a cross looking lost.

The father mumbling a prayer in despair.

A Doctor an open door, dictating, a daily choir.

 

The son, not the body of one.

A leg an arm, only a half of one.

A friend indeed is a friend in need, the son was both as one.

 

Years of War, politicians applaud with galore. Medals hanging, memories happening as walls start cracking.

The son's Empty room now an ageless tomb.

A cross gathering moss, enlisted now inscripted:

 

   Beloved "Son's"

     Mom & Dad

  IN GOD WE TRUST

 

16 November 2004

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Author: Souladviser

 

Imperialism

 

Upon a trail of a darkened past.

The true light just began to glow.

The soldiers fell in their path.

Changing forever their envisioned goal.

The mighty have a future so clear.

Oppression and devastation became their throne.

The 'king's' mighty hand not opposed.

Submission a doorstep for their foe.

As a poor man, bridled with shame.

Treachery now seeking their ultimate doom.

Impressive power, hands drenched in blood.

Not clearly showing the intended goal.

The illusion of a liberating force.

All must yield as a puppet on strings.

Pleased with outcome of their might.

As graves lined prostrate before them all.

Voracity and supremacy the trophy won.

Challengers powerless as stricken with fright.

Power driven an addict to control.

The innocent's crime is only fear.

Elation adrenalin in their veins.

Iraq not their only goal?

 

O Allah, O Sufficer of the isolated and weak and Protector against terrifying affairs! Offenses have isolated me, so there is none to be my companion. I am too weak for Thy wrath and there is none to strengthen me. I have approached the terror of meeting Thee and there is none to st ill my fear. I beg for Your Mercy! Ameen

 

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Michael Pilarte

To top[ of page

Road Through Hell

I took the road through hell

one along the Tigris and Euphrates;

Death fouled in the air

and Agony had no place to sleep.

Three hundred and thirty days in the trail

piercing ill memories in my heart,

unpleasant dreams aplenty,

and the struggle to remember who I am.

Predators ravaged the land

while scavengers fed on the less fortunate

the weary, bloody stained desert roads

reminded me that death could be eminent.

Will I finish the journey as I began?

The next thirty some days will tell me so

as I go back along the Tigris and Euphrates

and leave the place I once called home.

 

If My Eyes Could Talk

 

If my eyes could talk

what would they tell you?

And if they did

how would they say it?

Could they or would they tell you

about places that I have been

of the things that I have seen

of the things I have done

or the ones I didn't do.

Could they tell you so much

or could they tell you so little.

Or, would they tell you just enough

to judge me- and then would you?

If only my eyes could talk

and tell you the stories that I am keeping quiet,

would you call me a coward?

Would you think any less of me,

or shake my hand and buy me a drink?

If my eyes could talk

and told you what I have seen and done

would you be here with me

or would you walk out the door.

 

David Roberts

Shall we remember what war is?

 

Each Remembrance Day

shall we remember what war is?

 

What is war?

In the human psyche

it is the fatal flaw,

a perversion of the human mind,

using our greatest brains to create

a threat to all mankind.

 

War is

the profoundest disrespect

for the sanctity

of human life,

the ultimate in racism,

the collapse of morality.

 

War is

the ultimate in criminality,

the ultimate obscenity,

the ultimate crime against humanity.

 

So shall we honour war?

and shall we now praise broken men?

Or shall we remember what war is

and give true meaning

to "Never again?"

 

28 September 04

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I realised that my poem "There will be no peace" was entirely negative and that it could be the opposite. So this is a re-write of my 1999 poem written just after the Kosovo war.

 

There Will Be Peace

 

There will be peace:

 

when attitudes change;

when self-interest is seen as part of common interest;

when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes

        are deleted from the account;

when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit

        rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal

       or group gain;

when justice and equality before the law

        become the basis of government;

when basic freedoms exist;

when leaders  -  political, religious, educational  -  and  

       the police and media

        wholeheartedly embrace the concepts

        of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, and

reconciliation

        as a basis for renewal;

when parents teach their children new ways to think

       about people.

 

There will be peace:

when enemies become fellow human beings.

 

David Roberts

November 2003

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Remembrance Day 2004

 

Remembrance Day 2004.

More British soldiers dead

In another British war.

 

Yesterday some of their parents

In anguish and anger went to Downing Street

To lay a wreath

To lay the blame

At the door

Of the man most responsible

For our latest war.

 

But their sons are gone.

 

And Iraq's cities are in ruins.

In many thousands Iraq, too, has lost its sons.

Their sons are gone, their children maimed.

Chaos and trauma are everywhere.

For the shattering of this nation

We share the blame.

 

No fine words can give these crimes

The slightest gloss.

 

Parents grieve. Such a quantity of grief.

Such needless destruction. Such needless pain.

Parents grieve.

Let us reflect on

Their needless loss.

 

Let us reflect on their needless loss.

 

David Roberts

 

Steve Walshe

 

Poem about the Second World War by Steve Walshe

 

My father, his brother and his brother in law were all in the R.A.F during WW2.

Although it was hard to get either of them to talk about it, the one thought they had in common was how easily people forget what they went through themselves.

 

How Soon They Forget

 

Our innocent youth was used and lost

To fight for Freedoms Cause

Whatever the cost;

The friends we made so fast;

Some to fade

Some to last;

To live or die

Was but a pause;

How soon they forget!

2

Winged chariots rusted and bent

No use for modern fray.

Engines silent

Their power spent.

No more the shout " Contact - chocks away;"

How soon they forget!

3

Hero's of the past; our tales we tell

In the fading Autumn of our years

We re-live the scream and yell;

But who listens to the tears

Of an old mans laughs and fears

Who remembers what we lost;

How soon they forget!

4

Once a year old friends assemble

The numbers they grow light

They; Do not understand

The tears that distort our sight

When we hear the "Merlin " rumble

Or see the " Hurri " or "Spit " in flight.

They say "Silly old man to fret";

How soon they forget!

5

The Winter Years to us call;

Like Autumn leaves old friends and comrades fall

Year by year we Famous Few

Give up our fight and fly to pastures new

There are some to mourn us; yet

How soon they forget.

Stephen Walshe

Copyright 1997

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