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Anti-War Poems

Stella writes poems and short stories and has published a selection of these on HubPages.

Author's Note:

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.

In Memorium


Soldiering On

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

— Horace

© 2020 Stella Kaye

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