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Best War Poems

Below are the all-time best War poems written by Poets on PoetrySoup. These top poems in list format are the best examples of War poems written by PoetrySoup members

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Details | War Poem |

Disposable Wisdom

Each day Annie Lesley opened a can
Her eighty-six-year-old hands trembling
As she sat with her cat and ate pet food
What is wrong with this elder’s rendering?

Pride swallowed to remain independent
Large, sunken eyes peered from her weathered face
Her late spouse a decorated hero
Annie’s lifestyle a national disgrace

More enlightened cultures all over the world
Have revered their seniors throughout history
Asians and Native Americans
Are just two who honor their ancestry

Polynesians, other Pacific tribes
Respect the wisdom that comes with age
Seniors are welcome in family homes
But here in the states they’re placed in a cage

Bone-thin Annie Lesley chose to be free
Amazing neighbors with her endurance
When social services tried to intervene
She fought with remarkable resilience

Old photos on walls told many great tales
But only purring Tibby was listening
Each morning she rose to care for her cat
Until the day that Tibby went missing

In tears she claimed he must have been poisoned
Though in cat years he was older than she
Each day she sat by the window, staring
Awaiting the homecoming of Tibby

She’d been abandoned by society
Lost in the world’s most “progressive” nation
For sacrificing her spouse in World War II	
Annie received little compensation

This widowed war bride never had children
Her mate had met his fate in Normandy
Posthumous awards she dusted each day
Annie’s life was defined by loyalty

To a man and a cat who never came home
And the vigil she kept all alone
Ended quietly one warm summer night
When an angel came to take Annie home

With a can of cat food in hand when found
Annie had nothing else to eat in her house
This is the way a veteran’s wife died
And tear stains had blemished her faded blouse

Although seniors’ wisdom is heeded
In societies that grow from history
Too many like Annie lead lonely lives
Wisdom untapped, they die in poverty


*Entry for Nathan's "Your Best Poem" contest


Details | War Poem |

Texian Macabre Arena

The First Texian Macabre Arena Ballad (The extended free-fallen edition)
 
In another life, is where I first saw your face!
Summer, afternoon, lying wounded, next to the dead
Unopened gun powder, mass destruction in a land of disgrace
A blood thirsty battlefield, is where I first saw your face
The sound of war, hidden behind my hands that bled
Crawlers, rendering their lives upon the open space
 
Jaws of steel, broken, embracing the warm feeling 
Summer rain, lungs of blood, their last dying post
Glorious by numbers, every blade was screaming 
Gemstone losing touch, in touch with the Holy Ghost  
Soldiers come in a little closer, as if they were only dreaming
Crawling, missing limbs, twisted nightmare with no ending

Macabre reminder, retracing the aroma of eternal life
Secrets buried like a treasure under the walls of sudden death
Revolutionary tears found on a rusted Bowie knife
Lanterns, crackling against every last dying breath,
Dirty piles of crashing wind pipes, and sudden death
Rummage like garbage, the dead Texian
A Falling Alamo Star, taking one last twinkle and dying breath

The Forgotten Patriots, I can't remember the names
Written on the wall, I can't remember the names
A folktale arena is where I first saw your face
The fairness of stuttered surrender slicing through iron brace
Crawling, with the hunger to live, a clean finish with grace
Exposing, scars needing mother's hands, and face

Across infested meadows, the aroma of burning skin.
Distant, before Texas and her annexation, 
Gruesome, before I lived, Texas and her mortal sin
I pledge, my love, the honor, a legion, I'm a full blown Texian
To Every Forgotten Texian Patriot----- We Win!

By:PD


Details | War Poem |

Causalities of War

.                                                     Beneath a blanket of earth
                                                     With a pillow made of stone
                                                       Her child eternally sleeps
                                                                    
                                                                   ~~~

.                                                     While at the foot of his bed
                                                           She stands alone
                                               And weeps! And weeps! And weeps!


.                                                  Written:  November 20th, 2009
                                                    Author:  Elaine George


Details | War Poem |

When the Flowers of Youth Fell

When the Flowers of Youth Fell

Winter stayed late that year
courting Spring with a fury.
Beautiful gifts of snow
and dazzling ice, he gave her.
It was during such courtship
I found myself lost -- adrift
in a place that once was ....
decades from this century.

Where mud and blood held hands
beneath duty and honour
and kindred flowers fell
to sounds of bugle and drum.

Smoke arose through Spring's tears.
Images of Blue and Grey
pilfered my breath as cannons 
rained thunder upon the brave.

How was this happening?
This was not where I belonged!
My time was not this place
and I wanted to go home.
Where Winter courted Spring
and snowmen fell -- not flowers --
upon the muddy ground
as snow reigned upon the brave.

The smell of gun powder
danced about my head and nose
like spirits for the faint --
arousing life ... far from home. 
"Get down! Get down! Get down!"
The half-crazed voice plunged me 
into the mud and blood
and I lay frozen in fear
beneath his weight ... and the cold. 
So cold, no hearts were beating, 
no breaths were being drawn, 
just the smell of sweat and blood.
The smell of rain and death.

Clutched tightly in his pale fist 
a tattered blood-stained note
bore the words, "Please ... for
mama ...."      
I tried but could not scream. 
And, I felt daylight passing ....

As shadows took the brave,
Winter's folly tamed sweet Spring
with final coats of snow ....
and snowmen fell -- not flowers. 

3.08.2013
Deborah Burch


Details | War Poem |

Goodbye, My Child

Where cradled canyons sing
Of ebony wood in the forest
There lies a gurgling spring
Where cockcrows sing their chorus
To the melody of singsong birds
There I’ve concealed my sensuous words
Filled with befitted signs
The saccharine whiff of my designs

Come to me my mortal youth
To the wild realm of your truth
Where nymphs and gnomes abound
For the earth is filled with weeping
And only your tears be found

Where the fogs of night are fountains
Spills of glistened moon ignite
By distant silhouette mountains
We dance with passion of fight
Entwining ancient stance 
Mingling hand in hand we dance
Till the mountains smile on high
Near and far we spring
To pursue the realest of dreams
While the world cries at its seams
Anxious in trouble to cling

Come to me my mortal youth
To the wild realm of your truth
Where nymphs and gnomes abound
For the earth is filled with weeping
And only your tears be found

To where the ridges merry make 
From the beaks of wooden bright
In sparkly pools the ghouls awake
That scarce to stir our night
We watch for seekers down under
Muttering secrets in their soul
We bid them lucks of shivers
Dipping gently in
From reeds that hide a tear of a foal
Under the gentle rivers

Come to me my mortal youth
To the wild realm of your truth
Where nymphs and gnomes abound
For the earth is filled with weeping
And only your tears be found

Far away she shall ever churn
The taciturn eyed
She’ll listen no more to turn
To the working mills beside
Or the scrubbing of the barn
May peace weave in her song
She shall wave in the yarn
To a haven known as Belong  

Come to me my mortal youth
To the wild realm of your truth
Where nymphs and gnomes abound
For the earth is filled with weeping
And only your tears be found

For she comes, the mortal youth
To the wild realm of her truth
Where nymphs and gnomes abound
For the earth is filled with weeping
And only her tears be found


Details | War Poem |

Gold Star

I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would sometimes see old Mr. Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, often reading the paper. World War II was in full swing so the newspapers and radios were avidly sought out for the latest news.  Mr. Kimball was a fireman, and probably not even that old, but he seemed that way to me.

Sometimes, he would invite me to sit with him and we would talk about everything and nothing.  I loved spending time with him because, he was the only grown up I knew that took the time to entertain the mind of a young boy.

In his front window hung a small flag. It had a red border surrounding a white field, upon which there were two blue stars.  I was always curious about it, so I asked him what it was.  He said “It's a Sons in Service flag.  One star for each son serving.  You remember my boys don't you?”  I did of course.  Chuck, the oldest, used to tease me, calling me a sissy to get a reaction.  Bobby was a couple of years younger, and the bike I was riding once had been his.

Mr. Kimball went on to explain how Chuck was now in the Army and fighting in France.  Bobby was in the Navy, aboard a ship somewhere in the Pacific.  He didn't say it, but I'm sure he was worried about both, communications being what they were back then.

One day, when I was walking over to see him, I noticed that the flag had changed.  It now carried one blue star, but the other one was gold.  With the innocence that comes of being a child, I asked what the gold star meant.  He quietly said “It means Chuck is coming home”, and without further comment, he turned and went in the house.

A couple of days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimballs house, and four men carry a flag draped box up the porch steps.  That is the moment the meaning of war came to a small boy.  I knew Chuck was home.


Details | War Poem |

Standstill

Strangely bent this journey extends
Surreal at times, yet so real at ends
Each end confronts with a hardship of choices
With an abrupt passing, or an eternity of voices...

You and I, once on similar trends
Like brothers, we traversed all evil impends
The wheels then turned, unleashed worst of fears
We parted asunder on an ocean of tears

Through fallen decades, aggrieved heart sustained
I found my calling, forgot I was pained
Just when the going got peaceful and boring
Gales of anguish, and war started pouring

Again, I was forced to extinguish my wills
Left home for those in need of my skills
Forced to welcome the worst of thrills
A reward for one with the highest kills?

As we splattered blood on uncertain causes
Strode down the road of victories and losses
A vessel, merely, I was as I killed
Of sons, of husbands, of fathers, I spilled

In the heat of the battle, as I charged through
When my craving eyes met the eyes of you
That instance, that second, that moment, I knew
Neither decades nor ages could help subdue

My faltering sword could no longer fight
For whom I, now, behold in my sight
And I question my vow, having vowed despite
Whether or not my cause was right

Yet again, I stand on the recurring hill
In the midst of havoc, at a standstill
A piece of land that I swore to defend
Is it worth the life of a brother, a friend?


Details | War Poem |

The Verdict

NOW
Well, GI Jack is welcome back, he left his legs in 'Nam.
He wakes at night in sweat and fright, then drinks another dram.
He doesn't know quite where to go, so seeks his uncle, Sam.

BEFORE
One can't ignore - his ma was poor, and life was sometimes cruel,
yet Jack was brave and well behaved and surely no one's fool	
so joined the ranks that man the tanks, as soon as he left school

He learned to kill our foes at will (ordained a sacred rite),
and packed his bag and wrapped his flag and went away to fight.
And yes, the tide was on our side (for, clearly, might makes right)

Through tangled days in jungles' maze, he sought the enemy
behind the trees where, ill at ease, he fought the Yellow sea -
Upon the waves of sunken graves he sailed a killing Spree

The napalm dropped and cooked the crops, burnt huts along the way
and tanks, with ease, mowed down the trees and villages of clay.
Yes, turret guns were loads of fun with roaring roundelays

While on the hunt with other grunts, he burned some babes alive
and wondered why frail things must die, while evil's phantoms thrive -
When folly ends, he'll make amends if only he'll survive
	
With booby traps (sticks dipped in crap)... yes, Charlie fought unfair.
He hid in holes like snakes and voles and snuck up everywhere
and like a mite beneath the night, caught Jackie unaware

At battle's end, Jack sought his friends - their souls were washed away
and only he and destiny were left in disarray -
With bed and pan, just half a man, the man of yesterday

When Jackie woke, beyond the smoke, his frame no longer whole,
he found instead a medalled thread, some wraps to hide the hole,	
and realized another prize: a chair on wheels to roll

Across his chest (you've surely guessed) his medals shone, arrayed.
His head felt light, as well it might, at Victory Day Parade
for when he rolled, while others strolled, his boots no longer weighed

AFTER
Well, Jack stayed home (no roads to Rome)  to start his life anew
receiving dole (that took its toll) which fell in Sam's purview,
but soon enough, when times got tough, his uncle, Sam, withdrew

To walk the streets with fine elites (or someone else who begs)
or find a job (or even rob) requires both your legs,
and those that don't and those that won't are those we call the dregs
 
For getting by he tried to ply and mine his medals' worth -
A tinny cup, a hungry pup near loamy pits of earth,
and best of all, per protocol, beneath a bridge, a berth

He clutched a sign 'A dime to dine?', if anybody cared,
but soon he found, as time unwound, that victors seldom shared.
And Jackie's pride was slowly fried by vacant eyes that stared

He took to drink to break the link with thoughts of what he'd done,
though threads of doubt began to flout the yarns Big Brother spun
of freedom's ring and other things like what it was we'd won

He told the breeze his vague unease; his words infused the air
and like the fogs above the bogs, soon floated through the square
where people sat at tea to chat, and thought 'How could he dare'

But freedom's price is never nice: like storms before the flood
the Daily Rag was on a jag, was looking out for blood,
deemed Jackie's thoughts untamed and fraught, then dragged him through the mud

By snooping clues, they plucked his views like grapes upon the vine.
Big Brother came, blamed Jackie's name for thinking out of line,
shut Jack away from light of day while letting freedom shine

The Junta Brass, with eyes of glass, were dressed in fine array
to hear the words (though slightly slurred) the witness gasped to say,
while Justice snored (the water board awash with Perrier)

Well, Jack was charged with laws enlarged in secret dossiers
within the guise of spreading lies and leading thoughts astray -
The Jury's out... the rabble shout 'well someone's gotta pay'

The Judge (who fears the mind’s frontiers), he turned his head to yawn
while making haste through courtroom waste, though slightly pale and wan -
The voodoo Lune withdrew as soon as Night condemned the Dawn

ETERNITY
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the sighs of Silence, rife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the Reaper played a fife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the price was Jackie's life

Epilogue
While censor’s cooks are roasting books (and truth) on stakes ablaze,
well, Jackie's head (though chopped and shed) still thinks about the praise
for deeds once done in victories won when cruising in a craze,
and then again about the sin of thinking, nowadays,
where, absently, humanity is served in urns on trays -
And, reconciled, it simply smiles at fortune's funny ways

Epitaph
A  mind was caught while thinking thoughts neath Sammy’s prying gaze
and forced to stop by concept cops, else join the castaways.
For now it's law to hold in awe the brave new world's malaise
and dance like mimes to rigid rhymes (which no one disobeys)
and celebrate with white-washed pate, adorned with dead bouquets -
With freedom’s death, time holds its breath, and waits for better days...


Details | War Poem |

Gettysburg Hauntings

Gettysburg Hauntings

When General Meade met General Lee
At Gettysburg in 1863

Sons of the South battled Northern brothers
And neither side has ever recovered

Fifty-one thousand lives lost in three days
Of a summertime swelter, July haze

Souls rose not to heaven from bodies piled
On blood-soaked battlefields spanning 40 miles

An on-scene photographer moved fallen men
To snap better images with his lens

Hats off to Alex Gardner if you please
Today picture-takers’ cameras freeze

At a large bouldered site called Devil’s Den
Sharpshooter hid, killed unsuspecting men

Travelers at night on Pennsylvania roads
Claim they see soldiers, hear cannons explode

A century after the Revolution
United our states to wage war as one

Virginians were forced to choose blue or gray
Mason Dixon Line divided that way

If only Tom Jefferson’s wise notion
Had not been struck from the Declaration

Slavery, the impetus for war and hate
Would have been quashed before State versus State

Gettysburg might have been a peaceful farm
Where soldiers had never succumbed to harm

But restless spirits, faces pale and gaunt
Never retreat from their Gettysburg haunt

Our nation’s darkest hour plays out each night
And passersby still marvel at the sight

Where sons of the South battled Northern brothers
For neither side will ever recover


Details | War Poem |

My Pen Collection

As the waves forever kiss the shore
One shot leaves you wanting more
My heart and soul, strong and true
With all the love they hold for you
Sometimes my life leaves me bored
Like a swordsman with no sword
These are the times that I write
Memories can be hard to fight
I write out my heart and soul
Controlling my mind is my goal
Each new word released by my pen
Is another spiritual battle I win
The war rages on day by day
Through the poem prayers I pray
It's a war that I will forever win
Long as there is ink up in my pen
In prison I had quite a collection
Each one held it's own reflection
I saved them after they ran dry
Baptized with the tears I cry
I just couldn't seem to let them go
Little memories of my heart and soul
Sometimes I like to take them out
Little memories of what I'm about
What I'm about angel on my shoulder
Making this world a little less colder


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