A phantom horse came galloping
beneath a silver moon
across a field of recent war
where corpses’ bones lay strewn.
With thunder in his hoof beats,
again and then again,
he raced along a river which,
like blood, ran through that plain.
Though frightful he appeared to be
on land that reeked demise,
a sole intent gleamed strongly
in his sad and ghostly eyes.
Then finally, as dawn began
to paint the broad stretch red,
the unrelenting stallion stopped
and seemed to bow his head.
He briefly knelt, then stood upright
and bore away, with speed,
the spirit of the knight for whom
he’d been a trusty steed!
For Skat's Premiere Contest number 9 Poetry Contest
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2014
The Medieval era
was filled with wars and strife
between the French and English
at cost of limb and life.
The French became disheartened;
their victories were rare,
a humbling situation
which was too hard to bear.
A peasant girl heard voices
and visions she could see.
A maid who had a mission,
young Joan from Domrémy.
The King and other nobles
put all their faith in her.
This maid of calm composure
had dreams which they could share.
Entrusted with an army
she rode the horse she had
with banner and sword wielding,
in shining armour clad.
The English looked in wonder;
there were bewildered scenes
as Joan and soldiers entered
the city of Orleans.
With rousing words and courage
her men to battle led.
The English were defeated;
in disarray they fled.
More victories then followed,
her fame spread far and wide,
but when the voices ended
she lost the gift to guide.
In battle she was captured,
for sorcery was tried.
Condemned to death by burning
to wooden stake was tied.
The hungry flames devoured
the maid’s unblemished skin.
She called the name of Jesus;
found strength from deep within.
She died. It was all over
this heroine’s ordeal.
She was proclaimed not guilty
years later, on appeal.
A martyr, now respected,
who paid a costly price.
A victim of politics;
a saint in people’s eyes.
Contest: Joan of Arc
Sponsor: Isaiah Zerbst
*Joan of Arc admitted that she never used her sword to kill anyone.
To her, strategy was more important than the sword.
Copyright © Paul Callus | Year Posted 2015
So thick with rain,the rancid air
into the jungle pours.
Young soldiers with their feet on fire
keep on despite the sores.
This war is one that no one wants
and no one understands.
Young men and women give their lives
in these far Asian lands.
Back home these kids are shown disdain;
they're spit upon and worse.
When they come home from Viet Nam
in airports they are cursed.
A blight upon our history
was this long standing war.
But we should show the vets respect
for suffering they bore.
written by Deb Wilson
January 12th, 2013
for contest "Historical Modified Quatrain"
Copyright © Deb Wilson | Year Posted 2013
A boy lines up plastic soldiers
In straight rows across his floor.
He knocks them down with callow ease
In a naive game of war.
Far across the deepest ocean,
In between rich, well-known places,
Little boys become those soldiers -
Grow hard lines upon their faces.
Guns weigh down their frail frames,
As they march in groups like drones;
Passing by jumbles of bodies -
Messy piles of flesh and bones.
One cries softly in the corner,
Another cannot bear the sound.
He takes the blunt side of his gun
And beats the other to the ground.
In the streets they pass right over
Mothers murdered, sisters raped,
Countless men whose limbs are broken,
But whose empty eyes still gape.
Narrow roads become red rivers,
Neighbourhoods go up in flames,
Backyards turn into cold graveyards -
Still they play this twisted game.
Far across the deepest ocean,
In the richest, well-known places,
Boys line up their plastic soldiers
With blind smiles upon their faces.
Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2012
The Texans weren't supposed to be
Holding the old mission.
Sam Houston sent Jim Bowie there.
Said he had a vision.
Bowie wanted to save the fort.
So did Colonel Travis.
They say when Santa Anna came
Carnage there was massive.
Two hundred men would die that day.
One was Davey Crockett.
He couldn't save the Alamo.
Too few men to stop it.
Santa Anna won the battle,
Taking back the city.
He killed each and every soldier.
Showing them no pity.
Santa Anna was defeated
Outside San Jacento.
The Texans bore the battle cry,
Copyright © Ray Dillard | Year Posted 2013
I may not believe in war
Yet I still believe in you
I am one of the many
You are one of the few
You are standing in harms way
While we're safe in our bed
We're amongst the living
While you're faced with the dead
Horrors I imagine
For you are oh so real
You choose to face the darkness
In your hands you hold cold steel
Yes you fight for freedom
A bastion for what is right
Your greatest weapon your heart
With it you hold back the night
Your life is truly precious
I am sad that you are there
I ask for God's protection
Rest in blankets of our prayer
For Mystic Rose's write to our Heros contest.
Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2014
King Vlad Redux – Second Cold War
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s grimy fingerprints on current history
are for him nothing to gloat about—au contraire I say emphatically:
His actions bespeak one who’s not an architect for peace—not at all,
rather a quite deceitful dictator and a harbinger of a Second Cold War.
King Vlad’s old Soviet-style actions are clear for all who care to see,
and make no mistake about it—he’s without remorse and a soul to boot.
A Master of Malarkey and an International Bamboozler Supreme, he
certainly is, with a menacing image and not one iota of conscience.
King Vlad risks a Second Cold War with his violation of international
law concerning the blatant, illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
With his brand of new style Soviet adventurism on the march, the Old
Soviet Bear has been resurrected anew—and it’s hot on the prowl again!
King Vlad’s new spirit of nationalism for Russia is not at all progressive
as evidenced by his current war on certain ethnic minorities: Jews, Tartars,
Armenians, Gypsies—to include anyone who chooses to resist and protest
against his new age fanaticism rebranded anew in the twenty-first century.
King Vlad’s lineage to and proclivity for the old Soviet Union and its star
cast of past gangster luminaries: Lenin, Stalin, Beria, Molotov, Brezhnev,
and Andropov—to name a few, are quite telling since they reflect the real
nature of his psyche and the tragedy he brings now to the world stage.
And lest we forget, the innocent souls of the murdered passengers from flight
MH17 in eastern Ukraine who cry out, as do their families, for justice from
the criminal thuggery and hooliganism perpetrated by King Vlad in support
of proxy groups that do his evil biddings soaked in lies, treachery, and deceit.
King Vlad takes pleasure in fulfilling a fanciful role today of the old Soviet
Bolshoi Nachalnik (Big Boss), whose historical antecedents from Soviet Big
Bosses of past fame, doesn’t augur well for future democracy in New Russia,
and doesn’t align with the precepts of good governance and human rights.
King Vlad’s treachery and deception are certainly open for everyone to see
as he executes his plan of disrupting the balance of the current world order.
We all should be forewarned of the clouds of tyranny and aggression that
could be unleashed one day on the European continent and the world today.
King Vlad, despite very strong objections and economic sanctions imposed
by Western leaders and diplomats, understands only one word rendered so
poignantly in the German language: die Macht (or Power), which lurks ever
behind his public mask and psychological makeup as a former KGB officer.
King Vlad’s actions reflect his virtues of lying, denying, accusing, rejecting,
and criticizing—all poison arrows in his quiver as a Master of Prevarication.
His real mask is that of a Monster who had the very best Soviet teachers and
wishes to tilt the axis of his New Russia on a collision course with the West.
And so Generalissimo Stalin . . . how do you like your nasty little boy now???
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved (November 30, 2014)
Copyright © Gary Bateman | Year Posted 2014
Come by the Sword, Die by the Sword
They stood in ranks a thousand long
High upon the hill
The Roman legion, fierce and strong
With sword and lance and bill
The Briton hoards below them stare
With wild fanatic eyes
They jeer the foe and beg them dare
With anger and despise
Come and fight you cowardly foe
Come and meet your fate
We’ll cut you down, row by row
Send you to heavens gate
With scoff and scorn the Romans yawn
What empty threats you speak
We’ll rip you limb from limb this morn
You’re scrawny, thin and weak
Down below, laughter roars
Your bellies, we will slice
We’ll lay you dead, in your scores
Come prove your men not mice
We will arrive and make you pay
For indolence and taunt
You will eat every word you say
When they come back to haunt
It’s easy up on high to gloat
But everybody knows
It’s our intent to cut each throat
And leave you for the crows
But when we make our move towards
There’ll be no shy nor rests
We’ll plunge our sharp and bloody swords
Deep in those ragbag chests
Think of your girlfriends, mothers, wives
For them there’ll be no gains
Will be, as we, cut short their lives
When we spill out your brains
For one last time you’ll see the sky
Cause you’re not leaving whole
When heathen head is raised up high
On legion victory pole
Gasp deep upon your final breath
Invader of our land
Your destiny this day is death
By rude and brutish hand
With sword and lance and bill
All break into their stride
With voices booming still
Blood fills the wide divide
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March forward to today
Though forces re-arranged
And ask them in what way
Anything has changed
Copyright © Richard D Seal | Year Posted 2013
His daddy is fighting in Iraq.
His mommy is fighting tears.
His brother is fighting death.
He is fighting his desolation and fears.
Friends are but a dream
and companions are an illusion.
School is a concentration camp,
but he stands, though alone, in the midst of confusion.
His training school is loneliness.
His milestones are fears, thrust in lies.
His only weapon is faith
and his bullets are soft "hallelujah" cries.
Strength left his fragile body
and he lost the fight in life so coy,
yet on his knees he conquered agony
and I call him the little soldier boy.
Copyright © Robyn Thomas | Year Posted 2013
The pro-Hanoi Vietcong many years ago
In the 1950's Diem's government they'd overthrow
All opposition was crushed killed or jailed
These elected ones to their people they failed
This Buddhist country so religious in belief
Now politically torn apart, impending future grief
In the early 1960's with the CIA in place
Discussing with Vietnam's generals, Diem, assassinated in disgrace
With the Vietcong army, growing from strength to strength
Another communist foothold, going to any lengths
In 1965, with 3500 U.S. Marines in place
By December of that year, 200,000 in many a base
These U.S. Marines, in their defensive mode
Over the coming months, peace would soon erode
With the Tet Offensive upon us, and the "Battle of Hue"
The Americans were now involved, this bloody war now brews
One decision to end this conflict, came in 1969
Nixon sent 18 B-52s, bordering Soviet airspace line
He wanted to show he was capable, to end this bloody war
But as the months and years progressed, the body count would soar
The anti-war movement was gathering strength, also in 1969
But the "Green Beret Affair" started to undermine
A U.S. Army platoon raped and pillaged, the village of My Lai
Where civilians were massacred, and many left to die
In 1970-71, Cambodia incurred wars wrath
Where they and the country Laos, were in the U.S. bombing path
Also in 71, there was the cutting of the Ho Chi Minh trail
But arms and supplies got through, this mission to no avail
Later in the same year, the Anzac's withdrew their soldiers
The U.S. also reduced, many of theirs from Vietnam's borders
In 1973, Nixon declared the suspension of offensive action
The Paris Peace Accords took place, peace with this warring faction
Between the years 73 - 74 under Trà, the Vietcong grew in strength
There was no mass offensive, to lure the Americans to their trench
Gradually they marched to their target, to see their enemies eyes
To their city of Saigon, now over a million humans have died
The average age of the American to die in this bloody war
Was just nineteen years old, never knowing what they were fighting for
So many came home from this horror, leaving themselves behind
Because so many came home different, home with a different mind
Even to this day, many Americans look back and ask
Why their elected Congress, feed them to these tasks
The sad thing about Vietnam, it continues to this present day
Where governments make decisions, asking guns to hear their say
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2010
I'm watching a programme on telly
About the Syrian refugees
Men and women and children
Humanity brought to its knees
I'm watching the desperate faces
The terror and hunger and fear
They're facing their ultimate nightmare
And me? Well I'm just sitting here
And saying 'Isn't it awful'
'Something needs to be done'
Whilst searching the TV listings
And planning my evening of fun
Then I happen upon the BBC news
Cameron wringing his hands on my screen
Saying Syria is a priority
Then slips into a black limousine
Then Hollande, and Angela Merkel
Echo the prime minister's views
And tell us how hard they are working
Another soundbite for the news
Then shoot off to their heads of state dinner
Which will go on well into the night
While in the camps the tears will continue
No dinner for those folks tonight
At the meeting, an idea from Turkey
Amongst the platitudes and the kind words
The plan that they're putting forward
Is to drop lots of bombs on the Kurds
I flick channels and happen on Tony Blair
Offering the world a solution
I really can't listen to that grinning clown
Spouting his verbal pollution
He's jabbering on about Islam
Trying to give us the wisdom we lack
And hoping the world has forgotten
What Bush and him did in Iraq
Perhaps he's just a bit jealous
That he's not allowed to the feast
After finding Saddam's nuclear weapons!
A doggy bag surely at least.
While another mother loses her children
More slaughter and mayhem we see
And imagine the arms manufacturers
And dealers, jumping with glee
As they make another few billions
And probably a few billions more
Then they'll hide all their dirty old dollars
In their financial laundry offshore
And the politicians turn a blind eye
And I'm sure that they won't be divulging
How some of them came by their fat bank accounts
And why their back pockets are bulging
But then.......success I hear on the news
The EU says all is not black
They've solved the refugee crisis.
When they get here.........we're sending them back.
Job done, EU movers and shakers
So sorry for doubting your cause
You've sorted the Syrian problem
Give yourselves a big round of applause
© Ron James 05/04/2016
Copyright © Jim Bates | Year Posted 2016
Bore after bore fell silent eventually
Abhor I do feel through my eyes
Gore and sore now abundantly plenty
Tore through clouds, wondrous skies
Despair in abundance appears all around
Where in the world has all our love gone
Stare into our abyss, and see it abound
There is no tomorrow, there is no dawn
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2013
The writing is on the wall.
The writing is on the wall, an old saying used even until today
for those found lacking or deficient, Divine judgement is on the way
It means that there has been a weighing done on the scales of justice
by an impartial God who knows us, and the good or bad we practice.
The writing is on the wall even today, in our ultra modern society
for those who choose critical and independent thinking, instead of piety
for those who deny there is a God, or who simply worship in their own way
for those whose judgemental hypocrisy is super abundantly on display
The writing is on the wall, for all warmongers filled with nationalistic hate
For all those inciting our youth to violence, malevolent voices that resonate
The writing is on the wall, for those who say good is bad, and that bad is good
and for those who kill the innocent child, it's well deserved and understood.
Writing on the wall comes from the Bible Daniel chapter 5 where the Babylonian King is judged by God's handwritten cryptic message on the wall. The prophet Daniel interprets the writing and the King was killed and replaced that same evening. Consequently the expression the writing on the wall portends judgement and destruction.
John Derek Hamilton
April 19, 2016
Copyright © John Hamilton | Year Posted 2016
"I will curse thee with my last dying breath,
Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death"
The years have passed yet the memories haunt,
my mind still clinging to the past.
I've tried to move on but his voice still taunts,
sometimes I wish I had been gassed.
At least those who died have rest from the pain,
their suffering is long since gone.
Many of those left have since gone insane;
in his eyes we were all just pawns.
"Brilliant" they said, "Innovative" they bragged,
"The Fatherland's brightest and best!"
They tied up my hands and had my mouth gagged,
"Be still son, it's only a test."
He prodded and probed and stuck me with pins,
my flesh he cut with a dull knife.
An innocent twin, no knowledge of sins,
how dare they toy with a child's life!
"Here little one, I've a chocolate for you,"
that soft voice, so charming and sweet.
"You did well today, O little boy blue,"
my spirit sank in sheer defeat.
As I laid on that bed, weeping and cold,
my thoughts took me back to the past.
Mummy and daddy, a teddy to hold,
how I wished that those times could last.
But hatred and lies and prejudice reigned,
life changed from that moment on.
Like poison the evil became ingrained
in their minds, brainwashed by a con.
The Angel of Death changed me forever,
forgiveness - so hard to extend.
The man I am, eternally severed,
from the child I was before then.
Yet hope springs eternal, I look ahead,
the promise of Eden to come.
Oppressed ones will live, oppressors stay dead,
vindication under the sun.
TEARS AT BABYN YAR
"All Yids* of the city of Kiev and its vicinity must appear on Monday, September 29, by 8 o'clock in the morning at the corner of Mel'nikova and Doktorivska streets (near the cemetery). Bring documents, money, and valuables, and also warm clothing, linen, etc. Any Yids who do not follow this order and are found elsewhere will be shot. Any civilians who enter the dwellings left by Yids and appropriate the things in them will be shot."
- Order posted in Kiev in Russian, on or around September 26,1941
"Mommy mommy tell me mommy what does it all mean?
Daddy daddy is this real or is it just a dream?
Will we live here will we stay here must I pack my things?
Shall we kneel now shall we pray now see what 'morrow brings?"
"Listen up dear things are changing time to pack and go.
Find a new home find a new place find somewhere to grow.
It's okay dear it's okay hon never liked this town.
Come to daddy let me hold you chase away that frown."
"Mommy loves you let me kiss you wipe away those tears.
Hope in good things faith in new things don't give in to fear.
Trust in God child trust in us child life is looking up.
Never worry better hurry pack your favorite cup."
"Promise mommy promise daddy that I'll make new friends.
Heart feels broken heart is hurting hope it one day mends.
When we get there when it's over can I get new shoes?
Mine are old now getting new will help to heal these blues."
On September 29th and 30th a special team of German SS troops and others murdered 33,771 Jewish civilians after taking them to a ravine in Babyn Yar, Kiev. They had been told that they were to be relocated. They were forced to remove all clothing, and to lie down. Each were shot in the neck at close range. Bodies piled on top of bodies as the killing went on for two days. Finally, the murderers covered the bodies with earth to form a mass grave. Only 29 are known to have survived. The clothing and other valuables were collected and turned over to local Germans or to Nazi administrators. Among the valuables was a little cup with a picture of Minnie Mouse...
*Russian slang for Jews
Copyright © The Seeker | Year Posted 2016
Sore to the bone
Running on a drop of energy
Just gotta push through
I'll rest eventually
My shoulder has gone numb
But my body feels her weight
As if she's gotten heavy
Since her unconscious state
If I could, I'd stop right now
But who knows how safe it is here
And if I could even start again
I may fall asleep I fear
Soon my body will give up
But I'll make it as far as I can
And hopefully haven isn't too far
And I can put her in helping hands
Walking all day and night
It's hard not to think on past
And any thought I come up with
Has me struggling to hold sobs back
I've kept my ears open
Trying to focus on only sounds
But all I keep on hearing
Is my shoes crunch on foreign grounds
Bang. I hear it softly.
So far but still so near.
Bang. Another gunshot sounds
And I've collapsed in fear.
I close my eyes but another goes off
This time in a memory
And now I'm filled with rage
At how repulsive humans can be
My thoughts turn to my baby
Slipping off of my shoulder
I set her down and examine her
Bloodstained gown and skin colder
My worst nightmare but it can't be true
I listen in for her sweet breath
No. No No. No No. No No.
What's this silence? This isn't death.
This time I don't close my eyes
I see a sight that makes me sob
Memory of the last I saw my wife
And now my baby's with her mom.
Each one of us left covered in crimson
By a monster, a gunshot, a blow
Their death is the death of me.
This is as far as I can go.
Inspired by Morris Gleitzman's novel "Once," a historical fiction about a boy in Poland
during the Holocaust.
Copyright © Destiny Budd | Year Posted 2010
they lay cold and hungry on war torn streets
lost in the conflict, no one hugs away fears
frightened, confused, by the noise and the heat
found by children's rescue, crying ... no tears
in a state of shock, in ruins we found them
trembling, lying in dirt, not knowing we care
bathed and fed them, clinging fast to my hem
glad to have someone, who for them is there.
found homes for most of them in countries afar
the love and silence is overwhelming
a small smile is reward to the folks who care
giving them hope and love unending.
penned 22 May 2016
Children of Conflict final date of contest N/A Weepy Quatrain 6/20/2016
Judged 5/22/2016 7:09:00 PM given N/A
Copyright © Seren Roberts | Year Posted 2016
We gave Johnny a gun and a uniform
Trained him to kill, in a regiment conform
Sent him deep into Vietnam jungles warm
With little regard to how we did him harm
So certain we knew what we joined to fight for
We were shipped off to fight an unwinnable war
A war of "containment," unlike those before
Mothers screamed, fathers wept, siblings ached to the core
By parachute dropped to a ghastly death scene
Johnny ached for the life left behind, so serene
His family, fiance did not know what war means
Especially the haunting of lost children's screams
Those of us who survived thought we'd just done our jobs
We returned and were shamed by violent gobs
Of silver-spoon white kids in hate-spewing mobs
Spat-on and welcomed as baby-killer slobs
No heroes welcome would await these young men
No ticker-tape parades were staged for them
Just jeers from crowds, uncaring government
Greeted the lonely Vietnam Veteran
Too classy and noble to demand our fair share
We lay in that shabby old hospital there
In a closet-sized room with no visitors' chair
Understaffed, underfunded, with short-handed care
The "benefits" they found would astound all now
And it leaves one to wonder how our hallowed ground
Would be filled with unnamed graves of men once proud
Before the rows of white crosses we should bow
Our Wailing-Wall stands now in Washington, D.C.
So shiny but black, a telling-tale of the fee
We have paid for our nation, our land of the free
Will you come pay respects? Will you not at last see?
Some veterans still suffer disgraceful neglect
So please explain who more deserves our respect
Let us pause with angelic choirs and genuflect
To show gratitude as on this Wall we reflect
Friends, Dane Ann is among those who served in the army during the Vietnam war and is
now recovering from long-overdue hip surgery performed at an old VA hospital in
Gainesville, Florida. Thank you for your prayers on her behalf. Many thanks
to Tim Ryerson, another Vietnam veteran, for joining me in this write.
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009
I am never jealous, but theirs an evil in my eye
Step forward and cross me, and soon you'll wonder why
No matter where you are, it doesn't matter where you hide
For I'm the clever one, who'll find you and watch you slide
There are some things that you will never own, nor I, so read my words
For if I have to find a reason, my actions are seldom heard
These actions I speak about, are the watching of your life fade
And the squealing through your last breath, your body in dying cascade
I am never jealous, but theirs an evil in my eye
Step forward and dare to cross me, and soon you'll wonder why
The world is small enough, it takes nothing for me to try
I can only ever promise, take what is never yours, and you will rightly die
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2011
I would like to start a world war
And enter it with blindness
Attacking every country
Fully armed with kindness
I'd fly over the no fly zones
From ten thousand feet above
I would drop my greatest weapon
And splatter them with love
Medals would be given for caring
There would be a hatred ban
And heroes would be judged
On what they did for their fellow man
The war would rage on land
In the air and on the sea
And the war would never end
Until every man was free.
Copyright © Vince Suzadail Jr. | Year Posted 2007
I see before me a world filled with despair.
Yet people turn their backs and refuse to care.
I know there are many things that truly aren’t fair.
You just can’t give up and choose to live nowhere.
People take their fingers and point to blame,
While other feel sorrow that fills them with shame.
Why can’t we understand we are all not the same?
Instead there is conflict as we call each other names.
Why can’t we understand and all just get along?
War drums are beating that same old sad song.
Tears start to fall for all those who are gone,
We seem to survive but just for how long?
We have to learn to put our differences aside.
When all is gone it won’t matter which side.
We all need to learn that this life is a gift.
To reach out our hands and help to uplift.
The alternative is that we all shall die.
I think this enough reason to learn to try.
Though we won’t always see eye to eye,
When it all gone who will be here to ask why?
I see before me a way to make amends
To reach out a hand rather than to defend.
Peace should be something we all can afford.
We shouldn’t have to live and die by the sword.
Copyright © Mark Russell | Year Posted 2012
With armor pierced, I’m battle scarred
For enemies swords had struck their mark
Though weary, I, I raised my sword
To continue fighting in the dark
The battle started hours before
Fighting strong, with me, heroic men
Yet, common men with noble hearts
For mother land, they now defend
No formal training, nor fighting skills
But, armed with will and make shift swords
These men of honor fought for right
For losing homes, they can’t afford
I, their leader, their chosen one
Selected for strength and outward pride
Am honored to fight aside these men
Else, not fighting at all, I shall have died
Our homes and family are what we are
The marks of us men are lineage and land
We go into battle, each as a boy
To come from the battle, each as a man
Copyright © Michael Degenhardt | Year Posted 2008
In Asgard, kingdom of the mighty God Odin
A place awaits all battle fallen warrior heroes
It's in Valhalla where there is endless feasting
And an ending of all griefs and sorrows
The Valkyries, Odin's warrior daughters
Carry the fallen heroes from the battlefield
To Valhalla to join other fallen warriors
Where they are restored to life fully healed
Each day the warriors fight on Asgard's plain
Their battle skills to sharpen and maintain
Every evening wounds and injuries they sustain
Are healed and each warrior made whole again
They dine on liquor and fresh cooked meat
That is always in great abundance for all
Providing a delicious gourmet treat
At Odin's banquet in Valhalla's dining hall
July 18, 2014
Here is the poem which aroused my childhood interest in the Vikings, and to
which I referred in my reply to Shadow. I would like to share it with others.
It is "The Sea King's Burial" by Charles Mackay. It recalls the days when a
Viking chief died and his body was placed in a boat. The vessel with full sail
set and a fire lighted, was then sent drifting out to sea. It is a long poem so I
am only quoting the first and last verses:
My strength is failing fast
(Said the sea-king to his men).
I shall never sail the seas
Like a conqueror again,
But while yet a drop remains
Of the life-blood in my veins
Raise, oh, raise me from my bed,
Put the crown upon my head,
Put my good sword in my hand,
And so lead me to the strand,
Where my ship at anchor rides
If I cannot end my life
In the crimsoned battle-strife
Let me die as I have lived,
On the sea.
Once alone a cry arose,
Half of anguish, half of pride,
As he sprang upon his feet,
With the flames on every side.
"I am coming! " said the king,
Where the swords and bucklers ring,
Where the warrior lives again,
Where the souls of mighty men
And the weary find repose,
And the red wine ever flows,
I am coming, great -All-Father,
Unto Odin, unto Thor,
And the strong, true hearts of yore:
I am coming to Valhalla
O'er the sea."
Copyright © john beharry | Year Posted 2014
I somehow missed the nineties
As far as pop culture was concerned
I spent a lot of it overseas
Watching as the Balkans burned
I had learned Russian for the Army
But the Russian Bear was no longer wild
About the time they reunited Germany
I gained a brand new wife and child
With the fall of the Soviet Union
I thought the world might finely be sane
Then I cross trained into Serbo-Croatian
As Yugoslavia went up in flame
The Army was not a free ride
I did several deployment rotations
Monitoring war crimes like genocide
Or in Macedonia with the United Nations
The nineties ended quietly
At least from what I remember
I was focused then on family
Until that fatal 11 September
Copyright © Mark J. Halliday | Year Posted 2015
I remember his words, not that long ago
Telling of such times when crimson flowed
My Grandad, my hero, who's memories told
My bedroom window I look, it all unfolds
Neighbours fighting neighbours, why I cry
People talking yesterday now in furor
I'm young, I'm eleven, asking myself why
What's changed overnight, fueling this score
In panic surround Dubrovnik is now where I stay
Walled city, Grandads house, from Serbian tirade
Seven months endured, walls holding well
Wishing it's over ending our imprisoned hell
Again his stories unfold of countries in ruin
Fighting with Tito, heroes they one and all
Repelling the Germans, killing their doing
Repulsed he is, by their murdering thrall
Back to the present and a silence exists
Can it be that the fighting has now ceased
What I'm seeing aged eleven, people I know
Holding back tears of whom known deceased
It's now 2015, I'm a Lawyer of human rights
I've lived many nightmares, said killing sights
For my Grandfathers memories, he and all
There will be justification, when no one will thrall
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2015
Within my breast I carry ancient death;
Its face is pale and white as marbled clay.
Consumed with guilt, I struggle for each breath
Still sour with napalm death of yesterday.
The fractured colors formed behind my lids
Are monumental rainbows round a pit
Where hues of crimson-reds crisscross the grids
Profuse in bloody lines and squares to fit.
Profanely perfect patterned memories
Of riddled bodies huddled on the ground,
Where bloated skin slips off fatalities
As ragged maggots slither-squirm around.
The jungle flora breathes forth mystic sighs
As soldiers wander through symbology.
They see suspended phantoms' floating eyes;
A catapult to horrid memory.
No temple of communion colonnades!
No transubstantiation in the heat!
No priestly servants hidden in the glades!
No promises of paradise wrapped neat!
Copyright © tom mcmurray | Year Posted 2011
Put candy in World War 1 rations
oh no!, if our enemies. . .
And National Security factions. . .
Did classify, those actions!
Just before the really Big One
Sold all our cars and trucks
To the Land of rising sun
Dammit, classify, classify the son'.
Then when we fought the conflict,
The Public has mostly forgotten,
when we spelled conflict as inflict,
Classify the doc, and restrict.
Then the Cold War went to code red,
Clamoring generals thought us dead,
And said blow Evil Empire to dark ages
But mistake, almost buried us instead
Then lost a nuke off Carolina ,
With thousands dead egg on our face,
Took over Myrtle nothing is finah
Pres said classify and bury in case
Copyright © Thomas Martin | Year Posted 2015
That homeless guy out on the corner,
Carrying a sign that says he’s hungry;
Maybe he’s just a drunk or a ‘stoner’,
But he might be that one-out-of-three.
That one-out-of-three is a veteran,
Who in uniform served his country.
There’s a good chance he has an addiction,
Or is still suffering from PTSD.
One out of three of those ones-out-of-three
Fought in one of America’s wars.
Did he scream on a beach in Normandy,
Or did he at Inchon go ashore.
Did he hunt Charlie in a rice paddy?
Was he in the Balkans, or lost in the sand?
One out of three of those ones-out-of-three,
Were the heroes who once took a stand.
If you can spare a few dollars, then feed them.
If not, at least hear what they say.
Their country may no longer need them,
But they don’t deserve to be thrown away.
They might not have all bled in battle,
But each one came home a casualty.
With your help, they may someday be able
To leave the ranks of the one-out-of-three.
Copyright © Mark J. Halliday | Year Posted 2014
As willows weep along the walls
And fall mums start to bloom
The wind still echoes hallowed
From Nanking's souls of doom
With little food and daily raids
There was no safety zone
From genocide of men and
For none were left alone
Their butchered bodies
Lay piled in ponds and roads
In bloody streets a river there
Flowed heavy 'neath the loads
This holocaust was filmed that
Priest John Magee did plod
Now as his son he too could say
He "touched the face of God".
Copyright © Deborah Burch | Year Posted 2013
AS THE CLOCK OF WAR IS TICKING
(Let us do whatever we can to stop it!)
As the clock of war is ticking
Broader the smiles of death become
Cause the untimely passing away of souls is thinking
Onto the oblivion’s horrific land!
© Demetrios Trifiatis
02 SEPTEMBER 2013
Copyright © Demetrios Trifiatis | Year Posted 2013
I met a veteran from World War II
who, eighty-three, reached out to shake my hand;
at Normandy, who'd seen his brethren killed,
now walks the streets of Berlin, Maryland.
He models life, simple yet abundant,
by stocking up a van with meat and cheese
and, seeking out the tired, poor, and hungry,
and greeting them with a "thank you", and "please".
He mentioned D-Day once, as I recall -
said he couldn't number those he had slain,
yet, the other soldiers jumping with him
all dead the moment they leapt from the plane.
To think, this man, who held the mortal coil
of all the nations longing to be free,
who vowed to suffer death, should it have him,
would stoop to honor men, the likes of me.
I asked myself "do I take for granted
my freedom, bled and died for, in this land",
the day a veteran from World War II,
at eighty-three, reached out to shake my hand.
Copyright © Chad Wood | Year Posted 2010