Stella writes poems and short stories and has published a selection of these on HubPages.
I wrote these three poems in 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War. They were displayed in a local abbey and were previously published on another site that has since folded. I thought today would be an approprIate day to republish them since it is Remembrance Sunday.
'Up to the Neck in Muck and Bullets'
A Tribute to the War Poets of World War I
Immortalised in sombre words - they are your epitaph.
Your wisdom and perception have been well received by all.
Even the young sit important exams based on your poetry.
To have lived a life and died would have been more productive.
But due to the dictates of politics this proved impossible.
Your legacy to the world provided some hope that mankind
Will one day learn that war is futile, pointless, unproductive.
A hundred years on and still only a precipitous peace remains.
The feuds that fuelled the campaigns you fought in are yet unresolved.
What is learned by past generations is swiftly forgotten by the next.
You bestowed your legacy of words to a world that could not change:
It is not your fault, poet and soldier of the past but thank you anyway.
'Some Corner of a Foreign Field that is Forever England'
Remembering Mr Rivers
I knew a Great War veteran; Mr Rivers was his name
Perhaps this poem about him may be his only claim to fame
He fought for king and country when he was just a lanky lad
And then survived to tell the tale of a whole world gone quite mad.
In the dimness of his years he became my mother’s lodger
Kids can be the cruellest critics: ‘he’s just a deaf old codger!’
Until mum explained he’d been a saddler; shell-shocked on the Somme
Who’d been extremely lucky to avoid each and every bomb.
In the evenings we’d play draughts and he’d tell a few tales more;
Though little I remember of this real hero from the war.
You’re weary and wounded, trudging on through the mire
A war fought for peace, a better world to desire
Your mirrored opponent is not your oppressor
It is he who perceives you as the aggressor
But you both surely realise it’s all very odd
To pray for victory to the very same God
Your foe too has trinkets to remind him of home
He desires to return there, wherever he roams
He lives on the same rock and breathes the same air
Are you really so different when all’s fair and square?
His boots march to the relentless beat of the drums
If you knew him in peacetime you could both be chums
And his blood seeps as swiftly from his severed hand
It’s the greedy warmongers who carve up the land
But brave young soldier, it’s not for you to debate
The war’s bleak outcome or your adversary’s fate
Soldiers can’t question political decision
All you can do is proclaim your derision
Or you’ll be entrenched in a pit of confusion
Diplomacy died - let be there no delusion.
Ducle et decorum est pro patria mori
© 2020 Stella Kaye
Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on November 09, 2020:
Good poems. If people put God over country, they would not fight at all.
Liz Westwood from UK on November 08, 2020:
These are well-written and well-timed poems. I recall studying the work of World War 1 poets many years ago. I have since visited some parts of the former battlefields. It really was a shocking time in history. I recall speaking to a Belgian hotel manager who said that every school child should visit the museums and battle fields so that in the future it might not recur.
Laurie S Novak from Michigan on November 08, 2020:
I enjoyed reading these! Thanks for sharing. My dad was a WW2 veteran.