Paying the Piper The Great War
A fist clenched, face muscles flexed on pinched cheeks, huge sinews appeared on his neck,
The veins in his arms were like twisted lengths of blue rope and his eyes bulged in his anger,
His brother lay face down in a rancid pool, a lifeless corpse, another name in a very long book,
Ghosts in a grey dawn, moving then disappearing, then boom as mighty cannons fire into the sky.
Turning the body over, wretched wounds had ripped his face, ripped his youth, ripped away his life,
A gray morning, the same as other mornings, cold grey twilight, but this day will never be forgotten,
The strong brave man, who had seem so much, cried uncontrollably and his hot tears fell bitterly,
He knelt in filth, to cradle his younger brother and rocked backwards and forwards, unbelieving.
Once they played on long sultry hot days and when the rain fell it refreshed scents in the warm air,
They ran through fallow fields, pretty meadows scythed clear of hay, into a fine wild flower garden,
In days where the air slumbered lazily, they climbed thick leafy masses of high, ancient oak trees,
Always watching and warning his happy little brother, never climb too high nor stand on dead wood.
Laying down and looking up into autumn skies, warm, soaring winds shaping passing fluffy clouds,
Rising early as the sun once more shines, on those brilliant days, the calmest most impressive beauty,
Watching from afar in school looking after him, chasing bullies away, enriching his early days,
Beneath these warm shimmering suns, running, over to hedgerows picking sweet ripe black berries.
But those days are gone, gone forever, replaced by fear and hate, nobody will ever be the same,
Every day staring at death's grinning sated face, trying not to be caught in its cold red eyes,
And we all know the piper must be paid on these killing fields, but his wages are far too high,
Today on this early grey morning, shadows disappearing, a young man and his brother paid in full.