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Our Brothers; Our Sisters ( Our Veteran’s Day )

veppxxx

While you were away
People continued to want

While you were away
People stressed over latte

While you were away
People blamed the one percent

While you were away
Wall Street didn’t miss a beat

While you were away
Families ignored one another

While you were away
Society forgot to mention

The risk involved
The loss endured
The humanity destroyed

We speak rarely of a certain reality
One the media voice won’t exploit
A truth that evades the common eye

While you were away
People do not understand

Haunted, windows might close
Shadows to follow your mind
Memory, nightmares designed
Tears remain your real lows

While you were away
Brother, sister, friend, foe

We were told about you
Searching the grain of your …
That sheltered your life in
Swathed cocoon like revues

While you were away
People wail their goodbyes

We soar with freedom, a Nation, a society
While eagle’s wings … restore our sanity!

Thom Amundsen
http://thinkingoutloudagain.wordpress.com

TWO MINUTES SILENCE

DULCE ET DECORUM EST -Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) Famous Poet

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on , blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tried, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

LEST WE FORGET

poppy

Lest We ForgetHave we forgotten their ultimate  sacrifice?Of these men and women who died in their  millions?Brave and true, without question,proud to be British,  not ashamed to be Christian.So many years have past,it  seems our memory doesn’t last.Forgetting these courageous people to our  shame.

Why can’t we remember their names?

How short is our  memory?

That we have forgotten them already.

Died in their  millions fighting for our freedom,

believing in our free democratic  ideology.

What does it take to wake up this country,

to  rise once again from its complacency?

How much more do we take, before we  decide to fight,

for our beliefs, our traditions and our  liberty?

by Simon Icke, Buckinghamshire.  UK.

My soldier boy

  There was a knock at my door
 A soldier stood there all forlorn,
I recognized him as my boy
A boy who went to war,
Now he wasn’t a boy any more
Now he has grown into a man,
This is my son
Who I had not seen for so long,
Who I’d yearned to see for such a long time
He stood at my door in all his prime,
It must have been a year or two today
When I had last heard him say,
“Hello mother”
There will be no other,
My one and only stood in front of me
I said “come on in son, I’ll make some tea”
My soldier boy

 Thomas sims

IRAQ FRIGHTS BACK

18Misrach-5

Iraq Fights Back
A hole in the ground
So large and round,
Devours a soldier
Laying him in the ground
To leave no sound
Only echoes around,
Where silence lingers
And the hole gets bigger,
Where the soldier lies
Clutching his trigger
Stillness surrounds,
There is no sound in the ground
There is no-one around
To hear the silent sound.

By Thomas Sims

Tom – YOUR FAVOURITE POEM

COMMAN

Tom was a young lad
From where I grew up
We went to the same school
Then both joined up
 
We became Commandos together
And never looked back
We met again in the desert
Had a laugh and a chat
 
I heard it over the radio
Surely it wasn’t him
I chose to deny
Until we got back in
 
After an hour back on base
Drapes asked for a private word
With a tear in his eye
It all seemed so absurd
 
I’ll remember Tom forever
And raise a glass in his name
A soldier to the death
We cry and cry again

Alex Cockers,
2010

YOUR FAVOURITE POEM SENT IN BY YOU WHAT’S YOUR’S?

Make love not War – Promote Yourself

wob

Brothers & Sisters
A change has come

A change in the way
we look at people and things
a change in the way we feel
are felt
see
and are seen

To feel beautiful we must become beautiful

Loving ourselves more than we love the lie
You know the one you tell yourself
to feel secure

or the one you told,
just the other day to spare his feelings…
yeah that’s it,
(it didn’t have a thing to do with compromising your security)

the one that bought
a nations love
with terror

the one they sold us
to pimp our fear
to fuel tanks
the one that bought and lost your house
and sent your man to jail

To feel beautiful we must become beautiful
as a nation
as a nation within a nation
as family and community
as humans
not given to fight
until we know
and believe in
what we are fighting for
as lovers & friends
we must choose to
make love, not war

war poem – Words are falling on Gaza – David Roberts- Sent in by you.

ward

Israel bombs Gaza (again) 2014  –  The following poem, written in 2009, seems relevant today.

Towards the end of August 2014 over 2000 Palestinians had been killed in the current conflict by Israelis, 65 Israelis had been killed by Palestinians, almost all of the Israelis were soldiers who had invaded Gaza.

“The UN says 8,830 housing units have been totally destroyed in Gaza and 425,000 people displaced.” BBC Website, 18 August.

Words are falling on Gaza
Gaza, 6 January, 2009

The Prime Minister said today
“This is a very dangerous moment.
I think everybody around the world
is expressing grave concern,”
but what use are words?

On Saturday
after days of bombing and shelling
Israeli ground troops moved into Gaza.
Tanks, grenades, machine guns,
helicopter gunships,
bombs from the air
shelling from the sea.

More than 500 Palestinians killed
men, women and children.
Hospitals overwhelmed.

Five Israelis killed.

More than 700 Palestinians killed.
Hospitals are out of supplies.
People are out of food and water.

Nine Israelis have been killed.

The killing goes on.

For six decades
the killing has gone on.

The Israelis want peace.
The Palestinians want peace.
The Israelis are seeking an end
to violence.

Words, words.
What use are words?

The Israelis are only attacking
“militants”.
Have they ever considered
what creates a militant?

What is a “militant” ?
Maybe people who are fighting back?
To stop them fighting back
maybe you shouldn’t attack.

The Israelis say
we are only attacking “militants”.
We are not attacking “civilians”.

Bombs are falling.
Tanks are shelling.
Helicopter gunships are strafing.
But they are not attacking “civilians”.
They are “discriminating”.
Oh yes they are.

Words, words.

They are “discriminating”.
Only attacking human beings,
a university,
a police station,
people leaving prayers outside a mosque,
a United Nations school.
Completely “accidentally”
bombs fall on houses.

Peace?
Civilians?
Militants?
Discriminating?
Accidentally?

Words, words.
What do words mean?

Who needs words?
Forget words.
We are not fooled by words.
There are too many words.

Statesmen
(what is a statesman?)
urge peace talks.
More words.

There have been peace talks for decades.
What use have they been?
Don’t answer.
We don’t need more words.
The Palestinians don’t need words.
They need justice.

Words are camouflage.
If politicians
cannot say something meaningful
let them be quiet.
We would welcome the news:
Today no politician spoke.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Who pays the Israelis?
Who supplies weapons to the Israelis?
Who trades with the Israelis?
Who could influence the Israelis?

Do we have moral leaders?
Do we have civilised leaders?
Do we have leaders
who understand the meaning
of their own words?
Do we have leaders who really
give a damn?

Could they stop the torture
of the Palestinian people?

Could they stop the persecution
of the Palestinian people?

Could they stop the robbery,
the imprisonment and murder
of the Palestinian people?

We are facing
avoidable human suffering.

The whole world knows
what is going on.

Should we speak out?
Bleat like lambs?
More words?
What can be done?

We can be sure
that leaders will speak out.

More words.

Words are falling on Gaza.
Words words.

David Roberts

YOUR FAVOURITE POEM SENT IN BY YOU WHAT’S YOUR’S ?

War Poetry – The Brutal Game

letter army

I’m sitting here now
Trying to put pen to paper
Trying to write something
That you can relate too
 
It’s hard to relate
To my personal circumstances
I’m out here in Afghanistan now
Taking my chances
 
Read what you read
And say what you say
You wont understand it
Until you’ve lived it day by day
 
Poverty-stricken people
With medieval ways
Will take you life without a thought
And now we’re all the same
Each playing our part in this brutal game

Alex Cockers was born in April 1985. He was a Royal Marines Commando from 2005-2009 and served on Operation Herrick five and seven in Helmand province for a total of fourteen months. 

How he came to write his poems. He explains, “During my fourteen months in Afghanistan, I had many feelings and thoughts that I was unable to share with anyone.  Under the stars; in the desert, rhymes would manifest in my head.  I would write them down, construct them into poems and somehow I felt better for getting it off my chest.”

Alex Cockersl,
2010

Trench Poetry

 woodbine

The Spirit

When there ain’t no gal to kiss you,
And the postman seems to miss you,
And the fags have skipped an issue,
Carry on.

When ye’ve got an empty belly,
And the bulley’s rotten smelly,
And you’re shivering like a jelly,
Carry on.

When the Boche has done your chum in,
And the sergeant’s done the rum in,
And there ain’t no rations comin’,
Carry on.

When the world is red and reeking,
And the shrapnel shells are shrieking,
And your blood is slowly leaking,
Carry on.

When the broken battered trenches,
Are like the bloody butchers’ benches,
And the air is thick with stenches,
Carry on.

Carry on,
Though your pals are pale and wan,
And the hope of life is gone,
Carry on.
For to do more than you can,
Is to be a British man,
Not a rotten ‘also ran,’
Carry on..

Woodbine Willy

The Secret

You were askin’ ‘ow we sticks it,
Sticks this blarsted rain and mud,
‘Ow it is we keeps on smilin’
When the place runs red wi’ blood.
Since you’re askin’ I can tell ye,
And I thinks I tells ye true,
But it ain’t official, mind ye,
It’s a tip twixt me and you.
For the General thinks it’s tactics,
And the bloomin’ plans ‘e makes.
And the C.O. thinks it’s trainin’,
And the trouble as he takes.
Sergeant-Major says it’s drillin’,
And ‘is straffin’ on parade,
Doctor swears it’s sanitation,
And some patent stinks ‘e’s made.
Padre tells us its religion,
And the Spirit of the Lord;
But I ain’t got much religion,
And I sticks it still, by Gawd.

Quarters kids us it’s the rations,
And the dinners as we gets.
But I knows what keeps us smilin’
It’s the Woodbine Cigarettes.
For the daytime seems more dreary,
And the night-time seems to drag
To eternity of darkness,
When ye ave’nt got a fag.
Then the rain seems some’ow wetter,
And the cold cuts twice as keen,
And ye keeps on seein’ Boches,
What the Sargint ‘asn’t seen.
If ole Fritz ‘as been and got ye,
And ye ‘ave to stick the pain,
If ye ‘aven’t got a fag on,
Why it ‘urts as bad again.
When there ain’t no fags to pull at,
Then there’s terror in the ranks.
That’s the secret – (yes, I’ll ‘ave one)
Just a fag – and many Tanks.

Woodbine Willy

Well?

Our Padre were a solemn bloke,
We called ‘im dismal Jim.
It fairly gave ye t’ bloomin’ creeps,
To sit and ‘ark at ‘im,
When he were on wi’ Judgment Day,
Abaht that great white Throne,
And ‘ow each chap would ‘ave to stand,
And answer on ‘is own.
And if ‘e tried to charnce ‘is arm,
And ‘ide a single sin,
There’d be the angel Gabriel,
Wi’ books to do ‘im in.
‘E ‘ad it all writ dahn, ‘e said,
And nothin’ could be ‘id,
‘E ‘ad it all i’ black and white,
And ‘E would take no kid.
And every single idle word,
A soldier charnced to say,
‘E’d ‘ave it all thrown back at ‘im,
I’ court on Judgment Day.
Well I kep’ mindin’ Billy Briggs,
A pal o’ mine what died.
‘E went to ‘elp our sergeant Smith,
But as ‘e reached ‘is side,
There came and bust atween ‘is legs,
A big Boche 5.9 pill.
And I picked up ‘is corpril’s stripes,
That’s all there was o’ Bill.
I called to mind a stinkin’ night
When we was carryin’ tea.
We went round there by Limerick Lane,
And Bill was a’ead o’ me.
‘Twere rainin’ ‘eavens ‘ard, ye know,
And t’ boards were thick wi’ muck,
And umpteen times we slithered dahn,
And got the dicksee stuck.
Well when we got there by the switch,
A loose board tipped right up,
And Bill, ‘e turned a somersault,
And dahn ‘e came, and whup!
I’ve ‘eard men blind, I’ve ‘eard ’em cuss
And I’ve ‘eard ’em do it ‘ard,
Well ‘aven’t I ‘eard our R.S.M.,
Inspectin’ special guard.

But t’other night I dreamed a dream,
And just twixt me and you,
I never dreamed like that afore,
I arf thinks it were true.
I dreamed as I were dead, ye see,
At least as I ‘ad died,
For I were very much alive,
Out there on t’other side.
I couldn’t see no judgment court,
Nor yet that great white throne,
I couldn’t see no record books,
I seemed to stand alone.
I seemed to stand alone, beside
A solemn kind o’ sea.
Its waves they got in my inside,
And touched my memory.
And day by day, and year by year,
My life came back to me.
I see’d just what I were, and what
I’d ‘ad the charnce to be.
And all the good I might ‘a’ done,
An’ ‘adn’t stopped to do.
I see’d I’d made an ‘ash of it,
And Gawd! but it were true

A throng ‘o faces came and went,
Afore me on that shore,
My wife, and Mother, kiddies, pals,
And the face of a London whore.
And some was sweet, and some was sad,
And some put me to shame,
For the dirty things I’d done to ’em,
When I ‘adn’t played the game.
Then in the silence someone stirred,
Like when a sick man groans,
And a kind o’ shivering chill ran through
The marrer ov my bones.
And there before me someone stood,
Just lookin’ dahn at me,
And still be’ind ‘Im moaned and moaned
That everlasting sea.
I couldn’t speak, I felt as though
‘E ‘ad me by the throat,
‘Twere like a drownin’ fellah feels,
Last moment ‘e’s afloat.
And ‘E said nowt, ‘E just stood still,
For I dunno ‘ow long.
It seemed to me like years and years,
But time out there’s all wrong.

What was ‘E like? You’re askin’ now.
Can’t word it anyway.
‘E just were ‘Im, that’s all I knows.
There’s things as words can’t say.
It seemed to me as though ‘Is face,
Were millions rolled in one.
It never changed yet always changed,
Like the sea beneath the sun.
‘Twere all men’s face yet no man’s face,
And a face no man can see,
And it seemed to say in silent speech,
‘Ye did ’em all to me.
‘The dirty things ye did to them,
‘The filth ye thought was fine,
‘Ye did ’em all to me,’ it said,
‘For all their souls were mine.’
All eyes was in ‘Is eyes, – all eyes,
My wife’s and a million more.
And once I thought as those two eyes
Were the eyes of the London whore.
And they was sad, – My Gawd ‘ow sad,
With tears that seemed to shine,
And quivering bright wi’ the speech o’ light,
They said, ”Er soul was mine.’
And then at last ‘E said one word,
‘E just said one word ‘Well?’
And I said in a funny voice,
‘Please can I go to ‘Ell?’
And ‘E stood there and looked at me,
And ‘E kind o’ seemed to grow,
Till ‘E shone like the sun above my ead,
And then ‘E answered ‘No
‘You can’t, that ‘Ell is for the blind,
‘And not for those that see.
‘You know that you ‘ave earned it, lad,
‘So you must follow me.
‘Follow me on by the paths o’ pain,
‘Seeking what you ‘ave seen,
‘Until at last you can build the “Is,”
‘Wi’ the bricks o’ the “Might ‘ave been.”‘
That’s what ‘E said, as I’m alive,
And that there dream were true.
But what ‘E meant, – I don’t quite know,
Though I knows what I ‘as to do.
I’s got to follow what I’s seen,
Till this old carcase dies.
For I daren’t face the land o’ grace,
The sorrow ov those eyes.
There ain’t no throne, and there ain’t no books,
It’s ‘Im you’ve got to see,
It’s ‘Im, just ‘Im, that is the Judge
Of blokes like you and me.
And boys I’d sooner frizzle up,
I’ the flames of a burning ‘Ell,
Than stand and look into ‘Is face,
And ‘ear ‘Is voice say – ‘Well?

Woodbine Willy

War

There’s a soul in the Eternal,
Standing stiff before the King.
There’s a little English maiden
Sorrowing.
There’s a proud and tearless woman,
Seeing pictures in the fire.
There’s a broken battered body
On the wire.

Woodbine Willy

WAR CHILD – PROMOTE YOURSELF

child cryingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I wake up in the morning to the cries of hurt and anger
I wished I’d wake up to cries of joy and laughter
I wake up every morning hoping it will all be gone
But the fighting the war has only just begun
I’d play out in my mind that I could beg for them to stop just for a while
But no! What do they care I’m just a war child

I’d go to sleep every night with the fear of not being able to last another day
Oh please please help this child many would say
But deep down I know those peoples urgent call
Will be returned with bombs shooting or nothing at all
The shock that they turn to shooting even if you smile
Is abhorrent but what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d hope for a place to truly call home
But how can it be with all the peace and harmony gone
It hurts and pains to know the people doing this have neither regret nor remorse
But instead curfews and more undeserved punishment is what they’ve enforced
Enemies upon us our country reviled
But what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d cry puddles full of tears day to day
Hoping someone my mummy or even my daddy come by say its ok
But no one will ever care I’m just a war child.

© Lamzii

DAMBUSTERS

 

It was seventy years ago on May 16th 1943

That the dams of the Ruhr Valley were destroyed
An attack which took the enemy by surprise
The first and only time a bouncing bomb was employed

The bombs had been designed by Barnes Wallis
From a idea derived from a childhood game
Skimming stones over water and counting the bounces
It evolved into something which brought him lasting fame

The barrel shaped bombs were tested on the waters of herne bay
And at first everything appeared to be going well
The bombs bounced as Barnes Wallis had envisaged
His disappointment came when the impact broke the outer shell

A squadron based at R.AF Scampton had been chosen for the raid
But at that time no-one realised the problems involved
As prototype after prototype failed the test
A different plan for the attack slowly evolved

The pilots had to be trained for low level flying
And this involved a lot of practice over Derwent Waters
It was important that the skills were acquired quickly
As the time for training got even shorter

The height and distance of the drop from the dam walls was crucial
The calculation of these factors had to be exact
Otherwise the bomb could bounce over the dam wall
The bomb had to hit the wall before it exploded
This was necessary to maximise the impact

Nineteen Lancaster’s set off on this special raid
They had to fly low to escape detection
They knew that if the raid was to succeed
That the bomb drop had to be made to perfection

The wing commander Guy Gibson led the attack
Which was met with a barrage of anti-aircraft fire
But one by one the planes pressed home their attack
For the destruction of the dams was their ardent desire

Only eleven of the nineteen Lancaster’s returned
Fifty three brave men lost their lives in this daring raid
No-one knows how much lasting damaged was achieved
But the morale booster foundation stone had been laid

Those brave men who flew on that raid are still remembered
They made a real contribution to our eventual victory
On that day the German war effort received a nasty jolt
The honour of 617 squadron was enshrined in history

Ron Martin

 

THE UNSUNG HEROES

 

unsung heroes 22222222222222222222222 

He was always at the forefront of the battle

That was where he chose to be

Directing his men hither and thither

Fighting hard to ensure a victory

His courage was something that could not be doubted

It was plain for all to see

To his men it was a source of inspiration

In return they repaid him with their loyalty

Who is the manof whom I speak today?

Just one of many who led their men in war

Who were prepared to give their lives to in conflict

So that we could live in peace for ever more

He was one of the unsung heroes of the war

Whose deeds are among those that never will be known

But who contributed to the final victory

By ensuring the seeds of victory were sown

Every year in November we celebrate the anniversary

When the great war came to an end

Let us never forget those who made the sacrifice

And what it was they were fighting to defend

Ron Martin

BATTLE FLAG

 

 Tattered-flag

The battle flag snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that even God had forgotten about back then

Rifles swung up and pointed out and down across the clearing

Searing rounds were sent out for the human shearing

A burst returned ripped holes in the flag that flew in the wind

Blood and mud spattered, its fabric so worn and so thin

That flew above boys that day sudden turned into men

It snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that no one, not even God knew about back then. 

 Copyright 2013 Gordon Kuhn
All Rights Reserved
THANK YOU FOR LETTING US USE YOUR POEM
kind regards

Wounded warrior

wounded-warrior

Wounded warrior, praised as hero, embraced in glory,
Time becomes your greatest enemy,
Too soon forgotten; too soon left to begin again.
We who honor you today cannot let you fade away.
Fleeting accolades cannot replace continuous support,
As you begin–again.

Wendy Shreve

Remember The Fallen

 

 415137_medium

He was paid to accept the sovereigns shilling

Knowing exactly what it was for

He had volunteered to join the army

And knew that he would be sent to war

Like many other young men of his day

He knew exactly what he would be expected to do

To risk his life in war on foreign fields

To defend the homeland for me and you

He was prepared to lay down his life

To ensure the the price of freedom was paid

And that is something that we should remember

When the poppies on the Cenotaph are laid

For when we gather to remember the glorious dead

Each year on the second Sunday of November

That our freedom is their everlasting legacy

It is something that we should always remember

Ron Martin

Bugle to the brave

On village greens in each county

Buglers would give out the call

To labourers scything the harvest

And masons repairing the walls

The drummers would beat out a rhythm

That few of the crowd could resist

Recruiters would badger the shy ones

Until  not a soul had been missed

They signed on their pieces of paper

Encouraged by girlfriends and wives

Not one of them once ever wondered

The effect it would have on their lives

Proudly they marched with the bandsmen

Eyes on the lead Union Jack

Smiling and waving to loved ones

How many of them would be back?

The training was hard and demanding

Their humour would carry them through

Then finally off to the harbour

And places that none of them knew

Still filled with the hope of a victory

They marched with swagger and sway

The noise and the horror of battle

Would greet them the very next day

They spent just a day in the trenches

Bombarded by bullet and shell

How cruel the realisation 

How real to be in this hell

At dawn came the now dreaded order

“Over the top lads you go”

Some of them came back to trenches

But how- they would never know

The dead the dying and injured

Lay in a wallow of mud

Infected by lice and diseases

Surviving however they could

Just when they thought it was over

New shells were filling the air

Mustard gas filled all the trenches

And stripped off their skin and their hair

The screams of the Tommie’s were dreadful

They suffered throughout the long night

Crying aloud for attention

For some it had taken their sight

Now we must never forget them

Those brave men who answered the call

To fight for their King and for Country

Hero’s defined- one and all

By Don Holmes

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