War Poems

 

Fields of Green

 

As summer left without a trace

There’s nothing left to mark the place

Where soldier fell and soldier died

Where nature heals and nature hides

 

Burnt earth and stubbled furrow

Hides the former cries of sorrow

Green shoots will emerge in spring

And fieldfares like trumpets sing

 

Until then the mists will form

Swirling like that fateful dawn

When young men and drummer boys fell

To the sounds of deepest hell

 

As the mist begins to clear

Sometimes if listening carefully one might hear

A distant battle cry of dread and fear

While a church bell tolls forever near

 

Brave men hidden on foreign soil

There’s nothing left to mark their toil

But nature has a way to repay

By creating fields of green, where brave men lay

 

 

Ghost Town

 

There is a city of silent souls

Where the wind blows with bitter cold

And the pavement is stained with the blood of men

Will there ever be freedom again

 

The walls are peppered with penetrative holes

And propaganda denouncing their roles

There is a mean streak as you walk down alleys

A place to walk past and not to dally

 

Burnt out cars on their backs

And debris from mortar attacks

Dereliction is left in its place

All signs of life have disappeared without trace

 

Graffiti on stanchions in blue and in red

And the crunched up glass where the last vehicle fled

The dappled light on shades of grey

Where the shadows of hero’s once laid

 

Traffic lights stuck on red

The tar macadam melted and bled

Blood spotted posters on walls that haunt the street

Remnants of riffles after a rapid retreat

 

Overturned buses like whales dead on a beach

Streetlights that dangle just out of reach

Churches with bell towers where nobody sings

Clock towers with clocks that no longer ring

 

Crossroads with road signs that point to the sky

The eerie vultures and scavengers cry

The reports on the news that seek to explain why

While politicians step up to distance themselves and deny

 

 

 

Bernie Drinkwater

 

Bernie Drinkwater lived by the sea

With his wife and his family

He worked hard with his beautiful wife

He volunteered to risk his life

 

He marched to the port, rifle in hand

And caught a ship to foreign lands

He didn’t know what to expect

Wanting to be brave without regret

 

He dug deep in a muddy trench

And hunkered down with his new found friends

Bullets flew overhead

With just a tin hat to protect his head

 

He stayed strong for days on end

Trusting his superiors and fellow men

Fatigue and lack of sleep

With cold penetrating his boots and hurting his feet

 

Finally, the order to march

Then a shout, then a charge

Guns and cannons firing at the hill

Taking the advantage and then in for the kill

 

The sky was red with fire filled smoke

A carbonised char of an enemy post

A burnt out shell, no sign of men

They’ve all retreated to fight again

 

Time to rest and write a note

To his beloved family back home

‘I’ve survived this one today, so that’s another ticked off

let’s hope it stops before I’ve had my lot’

 

Bernie Drinkwater’s buried by the sea

With a plaque from his family

The bravest man we ever knew

Looks out to sea, to enjoy the view

 

They Marched in Rows

 

She lays the flowers on the grave of her fallen soldier brave

She hears the distant drums of the soldiers at the front

And in her pocket she squeezes tight a lock of hair

From the head of her young soldier fair

 

Her eyes show signs of her age

It’s been many years since her soldier past away

In her memory she sees him as clear as day

As she waved her soldier boy away

    

          They marched in rows

          They marched in tune

          Their buttons gleamed

          Their bayonets glistened

 

          With passion for tomorrows dawn

          Their eyes with expectation shone

          Their hearts with loyalty they burned

          They all expected to return

         

 

She stood in memory as the rain began to fall

As it did in France where the young men stood tall

A tear developed and tracked down the lines in her face

And she delicately wiped it away, leaving no trace

 

          They marched in rows

          They marched in tune

          Their buttons gleamed

          Their bayonets glistened

 

          Their eyes with expectation shone

          With passion for tomorrows dawn

          Their hearts with loyalty they burned

          They all expected to return

 

She tends the flowers ever day

And as she turns to walk away

She gives a final glance as if to say

We will be re-united one glorious day

 

 

Sitting in a Tin Can

 

Sitting in a tin can

Waiting for a delayed, muffled bang

Carrying the hopes and responsibilities

Of every man, woman and child

 

It’s like buying a ticket in a raffle

Each time though, you hope your number is not picked

The terror, the fright, the anguish and the sweat

Hoping this time you will not get wet

 

If you have to meet your maker

Please God make it swift and clean

No prolonged periods of torment

And suffering for your King and Queen

 

Comrades shaking quite profusely

Even the experienced men had beads of sweat

Pooling on their foreheads and dripping

Slowly onto blue stained naval tunics

 

The last thing any of them wanted

When they signed up to form a crew

Was to play Russian roulette with their lives

With someone unseen pulling on the trigger

 

The tin can made by men from Harland and Wolfe in Belfast

Sat in motionless suspension

As if weighted by pebbles from beside the ponds edge

Just invisible enough to let their foe pass ahead

 

This time their number had not been drawn

But their nerves were tattered and torn

Re-birth, rejoiced for a moment only

They collected their thoughts and continued their North Atlantic journey

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© clivespoetry.com