The Unknown Soldier’s Prayer
I could be your husband, father, son.
The lost bones of another pointless war.
A flag to drape across my resting place,
transported from a distant, hostile shore.
I could have been a tinker, tailor, thief ,
lying here for a century and more,
those passing trades mean little to me - now
the angry guns have relinquished their roar.
Wednesday 11th November 2020 3:49 pm
A WWI remembrance poem
(First published online for Northern Life magazine 2018)
It creaked as he left:
The old garden gate
He’d promised to fix it
But now it was too late
Tearful in the doorway
His mother cries out,
‘Do it when you’re back, Billy!’
And of this she has no doubt
And off to glory are the swathes
Of boys, and men in their pr...
Friday 6th November 2020 6:57 am
He witnessed the rise and fall of the tides
Of the sea that seemed so milky in the moonlight.
Gloating over its graceful strides,
The rumble of the colossal sea was all he could hear that silent night.
The stars twinkled in the darkness,
And the moon in the blackness
Gazed dotingly at him and his boat,
As the decrepit carrier carted its master swiftly afloat.
Sunday 19th July 2020 8:03 pm
Giant girders bent and burnt and
Crushed fire engines daunt the
Halls of the museum at Albany N.Y. the
Monumental fossils of
9/11 but what will be the
Bones of war with small fry that
Flew poker-faced into the side of our souls?
After the cover-ups and cock-ups and shifty politics and
Constructive euthanasia and
Plastic heroes what
Glorious moraine can grinding folly ...
Friday 29th May 2020 12:25 pm
It's September of forty-five.
We remember the dark months
when France was overrun and England stood alone
against the force of Nazi armies.
Soon Germany attacked Russia.
Then Japan committed a tactical triumph
and a strategic blunder: they attacked Pearl Harbor.
Our ocean fortress had been breached.
That Day in Infamy galvanized the nation;
to win, no matter what the cost.
Wednesday 27th May 2020 2:26 pm
It's May 8, nineteen forty-five,
What a happy, giddy, glorious time,
with the end of the war in Europe
and peace around the corner!
The war years are a blur of memories.
We remember the dark days, bleak months
when France was overrun and England stood alone
against the onslaught of Nazi oppression,
with the miracle of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.
Soon Germany attacked Russi...
Wednesday 27th May 2020 2:23 pm
Losing a war, you
Sue for peace so
They've set up a committee to
What terms to put to such a foe?
The offer of a Non-Aggression pact?
An appeal to our common heritage?
Hints of retaliation in kind?
A favorable Trade Deal?
A new World Order, even perhaps
Membership of the Security Council or as a last resort
Immunity from War ...
Saturday 9th May 2020 11:45 am
Just a book in a charity shop it was
"The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations"
(Third impression, revised, 1943),
Except for a dedication:
"Presented to Miss H C Barr as a mark
Of esteem from her Falkirk colleagues
On the occasion of her transfer to Glasgow 13"
There was a formal stamp in purple:
"H M Inspector of Taxes, 4th December 1943,
Mission Lane, Falkirk, Scotland"...
Tuesday 28th April 2020 11:39 am
The Next War Is Here
Out there, we walked quite friendly up to death,
Sat down and ate beside him, cool and bland,
Asked of his health and shook him by the hand.
Recoiled in horror at his fetid breath.
Before the world went crazy, he was there,
We treated him as though he was a fly
Who we could swat away - and never die.
We were invincible, without a care.
Wednesday 8th April 2020 12:47 pm
Belgium was beastly cold in December of ’44.
Deep snow covered frozen ground as
shattered forests crackled and groaned
under the weight of ice.
We barely felt our feet,
even when we tried to warm them.
Frostbite was a constant threat.
The air was still; there was no wind.
Dense clouds covered the sky
and snowfall lent a misty haze
like falling fog.
We hoped for a quick end t...
Wednesday 25th March 2020 5:05 pm
Son Of My Father
What did you do in the war dad?
I fought against Fascists, son.
And were you frightened there dad?
Did you want to turn around and run?
Yes, I was frightened there son
So, don’t believe the lies that are spun
About the death and the glory of war, boy.
There is death, but of glory there’s none.
Thanks for all that you did dad
Friday 28th February 2020 12:07 am
Scream and fight,
oh little mind.
An endless battle
between you two
Always more than one,
never black and white
so you always fight.
Heart for love and lies.
Brain for truth and pain.
Listen to me I'm struggling!
Both of you take too much,
I can't keep up.
Fight for me and not with each other.
Fight for us and not some lover.
We need eachoth...
Thursday 20th February 2020 12:41 pm
Johnny stood besides his brother
crying Tommy look after mother,
He was going to fight a bloody war
tears fell as he walked out the door
His mother prayed all night for peace
asked the lord to let the gun fire cease
innocent children taken from this life
pain, explosions, sharp cuts the knife
dying men decay in the ground
A solution to peace has to be found
no more explosio...
Tuesday 21st January 2020 2:53 pm
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
and soon the bombs won’t fall
and soon the bombs will start again
and soon the child will sleep
and soon the child will not sleep again
and soon she will put her arms around her father
and soon she will lay him in the ground
and now the screams of agony from the child
echo back with no sound
Monday 13th January 2020 7:11 am
In Other News
In other news
The forests burned
Ice caps melted
No one learned
We all stopped listening
To each other
But continued shouting
At one another
Threw our plastics
In the sea
Refused to let
Our neighbours in
As a win
Praised the rich
And damned the poor
Sunday 5th January 2020 12:37 am
I used to think it would be an honor
to usher in a thousand years of peace,
a willing martyr to stop senseless suffering,
but I had no idea of the atrocities
that would ensue between men,
or the loss of innocent children
that we would witness with despair
Come now Lord, end the madness,
flood evil with love,
make our planet a peaceful place,
before all hope i...
Saturday 4th January 2020 1:13 am