Poetry Blogs (ww1)
Why I went back
A posthumous poem in the voice of Walter Tull – 28.04.1888 to 25.03.1918
Until you’ve been under fire
hunkered down in some funk hole
you’ll never know terror, the horror
or the damage to the soul
that just one barrage can do,
before you ever hear the whistle’s blast
that, sadly it’s true
for all too many,
signals this’ll be your last.
Friday 17th January 2020 6:44 am
The path becomes slower…
The orders become louder
The constant din of shattering shells
Like pots and pans being washed and put away by you
My Mind becomes slower…
The generals clearly don’t know what to do
I take a bullet carefully from my friend’s arm, as if I’m holding you
My sleep has become numb…
The path to the other side has become shorter
Like the one ...
Monday 3rd December 2018 8:34 pm
[Here's a poem I originally blogged in 2014 with a link to the audio I produced for it on Soundcloud - it is a collection of 8 haikus]
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....
Monday 31st July 2017 5:52 pm
Finding you wasn't hard
Although you all looked the same
Beneath ever changing skies
Stark bright and upright
Against Summer cornflower skies
Bathed in sleepy Autumn hues
Pure, under skirts of wintery slate
Did you think, at twenty two
Generations would stand here
Imagining the glory, the fear
Gripping anger and sorrow
Racing clouds allow the sun a turn
Tuesday 3rd November 2015 7:37 pm
Forgive me please, my sins, I beg, for I
Am not the glorious hero that they claim;
For I am one who dares to reason why.
They spoke of honour, courage, do-or-die;
They showed me how to shoot, to kill, to maim.
Forgive me please, my sins, I beg, for I
Am no brave lion, no matter how I try.
Returning home I feel somehow to blame,
For I am one who dares to reason why...
Wednesday 26th November 2014 7:36 pm
My music project THE CROWS OF ALBION have released their new CD and DOWNLOAD on 1st October 2014.
21 tracks across 80 minutes featuring 14 poems I first posted to Write Out Loud (see link to tags below) set to musical backings. The remaining songs are covers versions (Motorhead & Bob Dylan) and traditional wartime favourites 'Pack Up Your Troubles...' and 'It's A Long Way To Tipperary'.
Thursday 2nd October 2014 2:07 pm
Armistice (Gods Of War)
The ink upon this document
dries twice as fast as blood
that seeps into this continent
and mixes with the mud.
The war to end all wars they say,
though many have their doubts
that a piece of paper, signed today,
will quell the zealots shouts.
So they dance beneath the spires
of Britannia’s grieving towns
and let the mourning of sad shires
taint her flimsy ta...
Saturday 9th August 2014 7:53 pm
Death Of A Poet
The grey November sky has lost its light,
just one more boy has fallen to his death,
another lad who won’t survive the fight
or pass beyond this final exhaled breath.
Though many soldiers leave this war unheard,
their stories lost forever, never told,
this one will paint us pictures with his words
that will not lose their power or grow old.
A week beyond that fatal can...
Monday 4th August 2014 7:05 pm
Dead Men’s Boots
tough as old leather
their souls worn down
eyes vacant of lace
collected by the door
the day they swapped
for the Kings shilling
and donned their shiny
new military issue
there they stayed
and old potatoes
in their safe grasp
waiting for the return
of father and two sons
to the safety
of their hearth
day after da...
Friday 1st August 2014 11:09 pm
But one single bullet, from barrel to throat,
Choked and opened the wounds of the world,
Unfurled in the seat of a phaeton,
Played on like the most tragic of tragedies,
Greek in essence but eastern in substance,
As Sophie wilts in the lap of Austria,
A single shot through the heart of a continent,
The blood racing fast to the carriage beneath,
Signals the start of relentless war lines,
It is nothing, he ...
Monday 28th July 2014 11:51 pm
The day our town was visited by war,
we hardly had the time to ring the bells.
The bairns were playing on our golden shore
and savouring the fish and seaweed smells,
building castles of sand, collecting shells -
though these were not of molluscs but of steel -
and all at once a thousand blazing hells
fell from the sky with each chiming peel.
Remember Scarborough – ...
Monday 21st July 2014 6:29 pm
Canary Girl (Chilwell, July 1st 1918)
When she went there her eyes were clear,
just seventeen, her skin was fair.
She was my love, my Jeanie dear,
she wore blue ribbons in her hair
of blond, and I could only stare
and wonder at her beauty wild.
The sweet songbird - my only child.
She had a voice that raised good cheer,
when Jeanie sang we were aware
in chapels (and after a beer),
Wednesday 16th July 2014 7:47 pm
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...
Wednesday 9th July 2014 7:49 pm
Craiglockhart (Not Yet Diagnosed Nervous)
When I kicked over the wheelchair
I couldn’t do the simplest task,
except the epileptic flailing
of my military antimasque.
Turning on the hissing gas-lamp
had me reaching for the mask.
You opened up my mind
and you didn’t even ask.
Sh-sh-sh shut the fuck up,
I think I’m going insane,
I’ve got all these bombs
going off in my brain.
Wednesday 2nd July 2014 3:17 pm
“YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU”
We’re going to war boys,
we’re going to war,
Lord Kitchener asked us
so we formed a corps.
Joe and Jack from the factory,
Ted and Jim from the farm,
the recruiting sergeant assures us
that there’s little chance of harm.
We’re part of the great pals army
and we’ve fallen for his charm
as we march away to war.
We’re in the war boys,
we’re in the ...
Wednesday 25th June 2014 9:01 pm
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...
Saturday 19th April 2014 3:38 pm
The Bicycle Scout (21st August 1914)
bicycle wheel spins in blood drenched Belgian hops
as the echo of a gunshot fades away
behind the gorse hedgerow Private John Parr drops
amid the yellow hypnotic summer sway
he is the first scythe-cut of Britain’s young crops
many come to deathly harvest from this day
and when the madness eventually stops
for him, and those that follow, the world will...
Monday 7th April 2014 7:34 pm
OUT OVER THE FIELDS
Out over the fields a pair of crows circle and dive amongst the hedgerows and green grass.
A watery sun casts its watery face through the spring clouds as the birds disappear from view.
Eighty years ago it was a similar story as two manmade hawks of the air battle to the death; the fields aren’t green but a shell-holed hell with muddy trenches filled with wretched...
Friday 31st January 2014 4:07 pm
FACE A GUN
How many soldiers were court-martialled,
shot dead, coz of an error of judgement?
“You Private! Take that forty litres of water to A Platoon.”
Fog of war and shell shock.
No water and a bullet in the head.
Of 317 British soldiers in our war to end all wars,
were any of them like the above?
Executed for cowardice in the face of the enemy.
Running scared or...
Monday 20th January 2014 3:35 pm
Angel of Mons
Perhaps it was the heartbeat of the guns
Thump-thumping in a cacophonic rage,
or the secret, sly, scurry of the rats
that banished sleep those first nights at the front.
For when I marched, the sky became a wall,
the moonlight through the dust made me believe
I saw some great cathedral in the gloom,
with windows of stained glass cast from the stars.
Friday 8th February 2013 11:18 am
Snapping wire whirling and curling in the airflow,
shot loose by enemy bullets. More punching holes
in varnished wooden wing struts, splintering
and shredding the very wood.
Thud, thud, thud as steel rain peppers
tight fabric fuselage, tearing
great holes and destroying the structure.
Big dragonfly wing, wing ribs visible
in the mor...
Sunday 11th September 2011 1:59 pm
© by Jan Theuninck
Tuesday 9th March 2010 12:06 am