Archive for the ‘First World War’ Category


remembering my father who would

fashion a rifle for me

from any old block of wood

carved and sanded down to

look like the Lee Enfield

he fought with in WWII

copper piping for a barrel

a nail for the trigger with a

rusty hinge for a guard

off i would go to fight a

war where no-one got hurt

no-one got injured

no-one got killed and

we all returned with

limbs, eyes, brain intact

no need for crutches or wheelchairs

as we ran through the

valleys and woods that were our

battlefields, hiding behind bushes

climbing trees, leaping streams

jumping embankments before

we conquered the black hill

as we played out our war

with wooden weapons

the only scars we gathered

when we fell and cut our knees and palms

as we ducked make believe bullets

that never fired or hit and we

swore blind we had never been shot

even though we hit our target a mile away

how brave we felt playing our

pretend wars with weapons of wood

that never hurt anyone

and now i look back

and think how all wars should be fought this way

until exhausted from a day’s playing and running

you go home for tea and a telling off from mum

and after a good night’s sleep

you are ready to fight another day

in the only war our young minds understood

and our only fear was the telling off from our

mother’s if we were late home


It’s not often I write a poem for an occasion but this Remembrance Sunday is a very special day because it is 100 years since the start of World War 1. I have written a poem to commemorate all the soldier’s who fought in WW1 and all subsequent wars too. I hope you get something from it.

a memory

she watches the service dress tunic

about turn and march away

to a foreign land of

mud and rain

blood and sweat

death and destruction

 

but also of friendships forged

as steel and iron surround them

of comrades in arms

building an imbreachable wall

of colleagues together

in life, in death

 

and she hopes that

the man she loves

inside that uniform

returns one day

 

to hold her

to hug her

to kiss her

to love her

 

that the back of a

smart khaki uniform

the back of a

shiny army helmet

the back of a

perfect haircut

 

is not the last she sees of him

is not her final memory of him

is not the ending that lies latent

in her fearful heart

 

and now he’s gone

an empty street

a soundless world

stillness lies on stillness

as a life without meaning

absorbs her soul

and the earth spins today

but time lulls to and fro

as each opening year

brings a dense realisation

that the one man she loved

is gone

 

forever

never to hug

never to kiss

never to love

lost in a field in Belgium

where poppies grow

 

and the woman

clutches the hand

of the little girl

and passes her a picture

of a handsome young man

in a smart army uniform

 

take this Alice

and pass it on

down the ages

so that generations

can remember him

the man who gave his life

 

so we may live in hope

of a world survived

of a future restored

keep the memory of

your granddad alive

your grandma’s one and only true love

 

he may be absent in body

but he’s never forgotten in spirit

in our hearts, our minds, our souls

he lives on

in a poppy field in Belgium

he lives on

 

and as the last post plays

he lives on

with thousands and thousands

of courageous men

who gave their lives

so we have ours

 

 

but also of friendships forged

as steel and iron surround them

of comrades in arms

building an imbreachable wall

of colleagues together

in life, in death

 

and she hopes that

the man she loves

inside that uniform

returns one day

 

to hold her

to hug her

to kiss her

to love her

 

that the back of a

smart khaki uniform

the back of a

shiny army helmet

the back of a

perfect haircut

 

is not the last she sees of him

is not her final memory of him

is not the ending that lies latent

in her fearful heart

 

and now he’s gone

an empty street

a soundless world

stillness lies on stillness

as a life without meaning

absorbs her soul

and the earth spins today

but time lulls to and fro

as each opening year

brings a dense realisation

that the one man she loved

is gone

 

forever

never to hug

never to kiss

never to love

lost in a field in Belgium

where poppies grow

 

and the woman

clutches the hand

of the little girl

and passes her a picture

of a handsome young man

in a smart army uniform

 

take this Alice

and pass it on

down the ages

so that generations

can remember him

the man who gave his life

 

so we may live in hope

of a world survived

of a future restored

keep the memory of

your granddad alive

your grandma’s one and only true love

 

he may be absent in body

but he’s never forgotten in spirit

in our hearts, our minds, our souls

he lives on

in a poppy field in Belgium

he lives on

 

and as the last post plays

he lives on

with thousands and thousands

of courageous men

who gave their lives

so we have ours