One of the writers who contributed to the anthology I edited has written another poem that deserves an airing. As this is remembrance day I submit it.
None of us slept well last night
Partly cold and partly fright
The padre came around to pray
Most won’t see another day.
All is silent, no birds sing
Fear for what the day will bring
Then a bugle sounds, the cannon roar
Time to go once more to war.
Soldiers in their thousand race
Across this muddy open space
Machine guns rattle, spit out lead
All around men dropping dead.
Then I feel a mighty blow
Down into the mud I go
Looking down with dread I see
Nothing left below my knee.
Now the stretcher-bearers come
Off to hospital at a run
Overcome by shock and pain
I fear I shall not walk again.
Husbands, brothers, sons, lie there
Broken bodies everywhere
Injured, dying, screams of pain
Shall we ever go home again?
At just seventeen years of age
I never another war will wage
Will politicians ever see
What war does to those like me?
Now gravestones fill the fields of France
Blood red poppies round them dance
This, all that remains today
Of a generation swept away.
This was the war to end all war
Now our young men are no more
Years have passed and now, again
Bombs are falling down like rain.
Will it never end?