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Dealing with the Dead

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It isn't just the war dead that I remember on Remembrance Sunday. I often think about the instigators of war: the self-aggrandising politicians who drag nations into conflict, the incompetent commanders safe behind the front line while the troops go to their deaths. Can they live lives untroubled by the carnage they caused? Or do the ghosts of the dead come back to haunt them for their crimes?

...

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anti war poemsRemembrance Daywar poetry

The Drum/John Scott/Translation In Amharic/Alem Hailu/ያስጠላኛል ያ ቀፋፊ ድምፅ የታምቡሩ(ለመዝሙር የታሰበ ግጥም)/ጆን ስኮት

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me...

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first world warWar poetry

Ricochet

Shells fly overhead,

            dust kicking up in the air

filling the lungs,

            and choking the life

            from the blank eyes.

Staring up wide eyed and teary

            as the life slips away,

Laying there bare to the bone

            stripped of the soul

            lost to the sea of dust and rubble

            laying underfoot of the building

...

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poetryPTSDwar poetry

We Shall Remember

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41 million casualties since the war began

John Condon among them, died like a man

He was only 18 when he met his demise

Ypres, Belgium he finally closed his eyes

 

We shall remember

 

He wasn’t the youngest to serve in this plight

In Serbia Momčilo Gavrić claimed that right

Promoted to corporal instead of being at school

At eight years old he was the armies fuel.

 

...

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First world warremembrancesoldierswar poetry

The Victory Day

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The 8th -9th of May – the Greatest Day,
the Saint Holiday – the Victory Day.
A holiday with glee and spree,
a holiday with tears that appear
remembering those soldiers,
the heroes of the Second World War.
Those hardcore days
we don’t want to face anymore.
That was the largest war
in the history of mankind,
I don’t want you to be blind
but to know and remember the facts:
almost 58 milli...

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war poetry

Why were their poets silent?

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In Dark Times

by Bertolt Brecht, translated from the German by Humphrey Miles

 

They won’t say: when the walnut tree shook in the wind

But: when the house-painter crushed the workers.

They won’t say: when the child skimmed a flat stone

across the rapids

But: when the great wars were being prepared for.

They won’t say: when the woman came into the room

But: when the great...

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bertolt brechtLouise Etheridgewar poetry

SIDOLO

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                                                     SIDOLO

 

Spent shell casings everywhere

gleaming in the July sun

bodies of three martyrs lie

victims of a German gun

Italy is crying now

see how fast the tears run.

 

 

Three priests in nineteen forty four

slaughtered by the devil’s hand

innocent of all misdeeds

outrage sweeps throughout the land

...

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David SubacchiItalypoetrywar poetry

Wanderer

 Wanderer

Homes deserted

Destroyed by power and prejudice

The blood encrusted brick and concrete dust,

The remains of living, of hope

A memory now

Replaced by pain and hunger

While legs worn and weary,

On shoes broken by endless footsteps

Camp in a pulverized arena

Undefeated,

The donated blanket,

The small gifts of living, a hope

A future, I wander, I wander

...

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hopehumanityrefugeewar poetry

THE SPOILS OF WAR

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And the troops go marching proudly by

as she wipes a tear from her weary eyes,

the one that she seeks, she will never again hold

for he died at his post; he was thirty years old.

 

The colours fly high on a cool autumn breeze

as man and boy march with well practiced ease,

so glad to be home after being so brave,

with flags overhead and not covering their graves.

 

She...

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ironylossPTSDTRAUMAwar poetry

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

"We can't risk losing people,
Killed in action, far away.
What'll happen to their wives,
Their children, the next of kin?

We have to end the war,
But, none the less, we are
Too proud, too good, too vigorous,
To just give up, to just retreat.

Let's see what happens," did they say,
And to end a war, to save their lives,
They killed two hundred thousand people,
And didn't stop at all.

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atomatom bombatomic wardeathhiroshimanagasakiwarwar poemwar poemswar poetry

In the end, nothing changed at all

Open your books,

On page seventy-two.

Read these sides,

And learn about the past,

Which is not anymore.

 

We learn about war,

About hate and racism,

And they call it past,

And close their eyes

To not see reality.

 

One day, they will,

I hope, will understand,

That to be in denial,

Doesn't help altogether.

Because in the end,

 

Nothing changed a...

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anti war poemsbe in denialchangingnothing changedpastwarwar poemwar poetry

Good old times

Old, black-white photographs,
Show soldiers, smiling, proud.
First guns in their hands,
Then bullets in heads,
They died for their fatherland.

Not long ago, when war has reigned,
It poisoned the peoples' mind.
Turned love to hate,
Made people die,
They died for their fatherland.

We say "We learned", but we all know,
That we didn't learn at all.
Just look around, people die,
Day fo...

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anti waranti war poemshatelearnpacifistwarwar poetry

Stranger of War

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He is a soldier of his own war

His mind is a weapon of poison

The battle approaches each morning

The enemy grins at him in the reflections

His insanity runs through his blood

His fears invades his soul like intruders

He stands alone with an army of mistakes

Mistakes that represent eternal guilt

He shoots himself with venomous lies

He allows it to flow through his ra...

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war poetry

White Feather

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White Feather

I didn’t see her pass me in the street,
the woman with the husband at the front,
but felt the tell-tale tickle of a feather -
pressed discreetly soft against my palm.
The accusation whispered in a hate-filled voice,
“Coward”, dripped with venom from her lips
and I assumed she talked to me, although I couldn’t see
if the feather in my hand was truly white.
For I had returne...

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conscientious objectorcowardicehatemissunderstandingpacifistSITWBwar poetrywhite featherWW1

Passchendaele (Autumn 1917)

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Passchendaele (Autumn 1917)

Blind, wide open, eyes.
Dripping poppy petal tears.
Crimson rivers flow.

Fields transformed to mud.
Deep cut trenches scar the earth.
Wounds that will not heal.

Gas clouds drift from hell.
Death exhaled in fetid breath.
Lost boys fall like flies.

Ghosts haunt no mans land
searching for their bitter souls
in butchered bodies.

Finding empty shells,
...

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godless warhaikupasschendaeleSITWBwar poetryworld war 1ypres

Grandchildren Of The Somme

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Grandchildren Of The Somme

the dead lay on the injured earth
all wearing grey death masks of mud
a tally of what life is worth
just bone and sinew flesh and blood

attrition wrought its deadly cost
the river Somme held back its flood
humanity forever lost
just bone and sinew flesh and blood

sixteen miles wide and just six deep
survivors wondered if they could
block out the dreams t...

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kyrielle formmemorialSITWBthe sommewarwar poetryWW1

Beloved

As children they grew up together

Bonded by friendship so deep

The passage to love was marked

By effortless consummation.

Their love was godly.

Fate forged shackles with no key.

 

But families fractured

Communities convulsed

Countries disintegrated.

Upon great tables in small rooms

Politics scissored flags - land - people -

And stitched up new nations.

 

T...

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war poetry

Gentlemen of the Cotton Towns

Gentlemen of the Cotton Towns

 

 

     I had flown with the best of them,

Fresh faces – lean with a look of hunger

And all to do their bit for Queen and Country,

I had leapt too,

Felt the mighty currents of air

Roar through my ears at terminal velocity

And I could run like the very wind itself,

And I had walked with comrades

On grounds that could take...

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war poetry

How many

How many

 

How many fathers will kiss their children goodbye as they sleep.

Then slip into the night.  Never to kiss them again.

 

How many parents will live out long lives,

Knowing the curse of outliving their young.

 

How many wives will clutch memories to heart and medals in hand.

Instead of holding the husband they loved.

 

How many children will ...

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war poetry

Vex Recedo

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We march

In the light of day, that came at the third strike

Patterns of our boots etched in the mud

Like twisted leaves, a vortex in the dawn

Takes our breaths with each step

Harmful red lights glinting

Through the broken foliage, the toxic forest

Leaning in by our sides

It can't be long, I say, can't be too long

Shouts come now, from the front of the line

...

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2011war poetry

Steps/Spirals

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Through the air and climbing

A mist-bound projectile

Hurtling, defying the atmosphere

Pollution in raindrops, brightening

Traversing ever upward

On this endless marked gaze

The view from the bottom, the tower spire

Stretching

Toward the golden vault

We look and see

The silver beauty

The stone engravings

Blemished with moss, attached and thickening

...

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2011war poetry

Leaked Truth

 

Flash of a camera.
Shot from a gun.
Click, a distant finger
Exposes the truth,

That you would have buried
Amongst the bodies in the sand.
Rolled over with aggressive force
So no trace could be left
Just red truth seeping into
The mouth of the thirsty beaten ground
Who will excrete the lies
Too hard to digest.
Deceitful coloured vomit
Stained
Is left on your h...

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Bradley ManningdeceptionexposureinnocenceMiddle EasttruthTruthful DishonorWar on Terrorwar poetry

On The Photo In The Newspaper

 

On the photo in the newspaper -

The soldiers, standing arm in arm,

The heroes of the World War II,

With smiles on faces and charm.

 

The photo was taken before a battle,

Before the guns began to rattle.

The sky was blue,

The grass was green,

The friends were true

The truest you have ever seen.

 

No one knows their names,

No one knows who...

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war poetry

Fortune of Tears

 

                                                            Fortune of Tears

 

1

 

            It is so harsh,

Cuts like the thinnest sliver of glass,

Meandering easily straight towards

Where melancholy has been my life-long past;

     An attrition of war with no real place to go even though,

They say wounds are to heal with time,

 

The scab on ...

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war poetry

The Price of Freedom-(extended version)

A ghostly image of a soldier

stood in the background,

as a mother with a babe in her

arms stood by a grave site.

 

She lowly whispered, "Father

this is your son. Son this is your

father. He gave his life so that

others might live."

 

Now she is alone, but she

will survive. She will raise

this child without the aid

of others. This child will

...

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familystrengthWar Poetry

The Price of Freedom

A ghostly image of a soldier

stood in the background,

as a mother with a babe in her

arms stood by a grave site.

 

She lowly whispered, "Father

this is your son. Son this is your

father. He gave his life so that

others might live."

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Deathfamilymilitarywar poetry

Whistle-Blower

The release of news, not new, for half a year,

Has the U.S. military strangled with fear,

As their abuse is quite so exposed,

And the analyst who confessed to their crimes,

Surely locked away and denied,

Just as many would suppose

 

To show the helicopter of slaughter,

All a-whirl with sadistic laughter,

As it mows a family down,

For to have the public se...

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war poetry

Cartys Poetry Journal

Submissions saught to cartyweb@hotmail.com for the February edition of Cartys Poetry Journal.

Read the January edition below...

Carty's Poetry Journal : FREE PDF DOWNLOAD
€3.50
Ships in 3–5 business days
 
The inaugoral January 2010 edition of Cartys Poetry Journal, a magazine of poetry of poets from Ireland and across the world.

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JOURNALSUBMISSIONSwar poetry

No Warning

No Warning

 

 

I hung up me guns;

But for you, you cunt

I’ll take ‘em down

 

Don’t push me

I’m at the end of my tether

I love peace, love, freedom

You love neither.

 

I’ll give you a bit o’ Irish

‘Cause we know how to war

You might know aggression, oppression

But we’ve whipped that before…

 

I hung up me guns;

But for you, you cunt

I’ll take ‘em down

 

Don’t push me…

 

I lov...

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fighting talk.irishwar poetry

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