The Finer Things

Wars are the usual bag of tricks:

Fought by the same class of suckers,

Straight out of factory or school,

Uncomplaining and scared to death.

Heads crammed with patriotic guff,

They squirm in trenches at the front

And finish dead or short of limbs.

Those who survive, when they return

To a country fit for heroes,

Are told, in no uncertain terms,

To shut up and to know their place,

And keep their nose to the grindstone,

To make sure that those who matter

Still enjoy the finer things of life.


◄ Sending Tanks

Theatre ►


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Kevin Tan

Fri 3rd Feb 2023 08:23

Yes it is Stephen. Glad to be living in the EU

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 2nd Feb 2023 21:19

Thank you, Kevin. Life is certainly scary if you are in the wrong country at the wrong time at the moment.

And thanks to Holden, K Lynn, Jeronth, John C, Hélène, New Shoes and KJ.

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Kevin Tan

Wed 1st Feb 2023 10:03

I don't understand life. But scrolling through Instagram makes me realize that humanity is FAKE. Like Sia says: PRETTY HURTS

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 31st Jan 2023 16:45

Thank you for the thoughtful comments, Uilleam, Graham and Greg.
I have great admiration for those who fight in wars, whichever side they are on, because it must be terrifying and I doubt whether I could do it.

I could have said:
'They fight like lions at the front' instead of 'They squirm in trenches at the front'.

I do not believe that the average conscripted soldier wants to kill his counterpart on the other side, although indoctrination (or macabre incentives, in the case of released prisoners) may lead him to believe that he does. As you say, Graham, wars achieve nothing except destruction of all kinds, which is why Russia's invasion of Ukraine is such a pernicious and barbaric act.

Yes, there are heroes and heroes, but there is a tendency for society to change back to its old ways when the fighting is done. I hope that the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine will not be an opportunity to line too many pockets.

Thanks again to you all, and to Adam and Frederick for liking.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 31st Jan 2023 16:12

Straight out of prison, in the case of some of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Meanwhile our defence forces have been cut back so much that the US don't rate them much these days, apparently. I know that's not your point in this fine poem, Steve.

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 31st Jan 2023 13:44

We do have a national trait to run ourselves down, whatever the political stripe. And it is a fact that the armed forces have always been a ready occupation for the poorly educated or aimless.

As to patriotism, we would be better served if we could summon up a fraction of the fervour for those who defend us, that some seem to lavish on our overpaid and feckless national football team!

The real problem is that we brand everyone a hero these days but look after them badly after they've served.

I consider the man who operated on my heart eighteen months ago a real hero for saving my life. However the brilliant nursing staff who looked after me following the operation were equally brilliant in my eyes.

Wars achieve absolutely nothing! other than to fuck up people places and things. Keep Ukraine in our minds Stephen, we need to be reminded!

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Tue 31st Jan 2023 09:00

a country fit for heroes

It surely is-what with the the likes of Johnson, Hancock, Cummings, Shapps, Truss and Sahawi.

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