‘I Remember’ by Pete Brammer

I remember what they said,
At the outbreak of the war,
‘It will be all over come Christmas’
Yet I can recall with such horror,
How our lads were slaughtered,
Thousands and thousands, en mass.

I remember signing on, with workmates,
All eager to do our bit.
“Your country needs you.” old Kitchener said.
I remember we proudly marched through town,
People cheered, waving Union flags,
For they could not envisage, most would end up dead.

I remember the years in sludgy trenches,
As we struggled, to keep our sanity,
Suffering trench foot, fleas and mites,
Waiting for the shout, “Over the top.”
With the accompanying shrilled whistles,
Instantly obeying, we set off to fight.

I remember too, mustard gas clouds,
Drifting across ‘No Man’s Land’
Donning the life saving gas masks,
As shells whistled over our heads,
All wondering where they would land,
To be followed, by deafening blasts.

I remember the mud, changing colour,
As it clung to out boots and putties,
A nerve tingling scarlet red,
Skin and bone flying everywhere,
With life blood from innocent lads,
Some wounded, but most of them dead.

I remember thinking, about my wife,
Upset, to be missing my child,
You see, I had walked away from the conflict,
Now I stand before the firing squad,
Their rifles, pointing at my heart,

Please God, forgive me…

The ploughed field by Joe Lyons

The ploughed field by Joe Lyons

A furrow dug deep turning earth from below

Revealing bones and metal from long ago

The bones still encrusted with soil and clay

Before the rain comes to wash the earth away

 

Remembering bygone days where valour stood the test

The strongest and wiliest would survive the best

The weaker unskilled fighters they would quickly fall

In time victors survey the vanquished, while standing tall

 

Months have passed now bones bleached by the sun

The field left fallow this season no work to be done

At night the bones turn into skeletons to fight once more

With no flesh to bleed bones fall back to the floor

 

At night these unknown warriors come to fight another battle

By the time the fighting’s over all you can hear is the bones rattle

Come morning they lay fallen to be warmed by the morning sun

In the full moon refreshed, once more the fight’s begun

 

Until these remains are collected and put under lock and key

A battle forever wages on each moonlit night if you could see

When the darkness of each night falls it pass as time before

Until collected and preserved the skeletons will fight no more