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Desolation Row (A Poem About War)

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

"Nash, Paul - The Menin Road - Google Art Project". Via Wikipedia - _The_Menin_Road_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

"Nash, Paul - The Menin Road - Google Art Project". Via Wikipedia - _The_Menin_Road_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

My Inspiration for this Poem

Throughout history there have been countless wars, and in fact it seems that there is always a war being fought somewhere in the world. It also happens to be a popular topic for writers lately and I have read a number of recent articles about the First World War in particular, including an article called "Doomed Youth: soldier poets of the First World War." This included a video reading of the poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Wilfred Owen, which really moved me.

It inspired me to write the following poem for which I borrowed the name and style from one of Bob Dylan's songs "Desolation Row." It just seemed to fit the theme perfectly. I hope he doesn't mind. (This poem could relate to any war past or present.)

Desolation Row

They're sending letters home to family,

They're saying all is well.

Though their comrades fall around them,

They're young men alone in Hell.

Here comes the stoic General

As though he's in a trance.

One hand is on the trigger

The other in his pants.

And the Front Line they are nervous,

They are searching for their foe,

As the bombs are dropped upon them

On Desolation Row.

US oldiers at Guadalcanal 1942

US oldiers at Guadalcanal 1942

One soldier has a photo

Of his sweetheart in a locket.

He signs the cross, then kisses it

And puts it in his pocket.

Now the enemy's advancing,

It seems a hopeless cause.

"How did we come to be here,

Fighting other countries' wars?"

And the only sound that can be heard,

After the shells and mortar slow,

Is the sound of dying heroes

On Desolation Row.

© 2015 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 31, 2021:

Thank you for reading this Brenda. It is a bit old but I thought this an appropriate day to reshare it. I also wish there was no war. Happy Memorial Day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 31, 2021:

Thank you for taking the time to read this, Misbah. No war is a good war and they usually make the situation worse. Happy Memorial Day to you.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 31, 2021:


Your poem describes it excellently.

It is so sad, to picture them on the front lines.

I wish we didn't have any wars in the world...but I am thankful for those who give of themselves for us.

Very fitting for our Memorial Day.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 31, 2021:

Nice poem, John. All I have to say is no war can ever bring Peace. I feel sorry for all those people who lost their loved ones. Peace, Love, Oneness and Humanity should always stay above everything.

Thanks for sharing this poem

Happy Memorial Day!!

Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Peace always

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 31, 2021:

For Memorial Day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 11, 2017:

Thank you, Aristole for reading and commenting on this poem. I agree any war is terrible and I'd hate to be apart of any.

Aristotle Wilson from Vancouver on June 11, 2017:

damn. This hits hard, I would hate to have been in a war like that.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2017:

Yes, Ian, war is certainly futile. Will we never learn? "And the Band Played Walzing Matilda" was originally written and sung by Scottish born Australian Eric Bogle in 1971. Another great song in that vein is "I Was Only 19" by Redgum. I have probably heard "Green Fields of France" but can't place it off hand. I shall look it up on YouTube.

Ian McKay on June 08, 2017:

Nice John. War really is a futile exercise but it seems we will never learn. Have you ever heard 'The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda' by the Pogues? That sums up the futility for me, along with 'Green Fields of France' which has been covered by many bands.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2016:

Hi Demas, thanks for the generous comment. I also appreciate the fine piece of poetry you added with your comment. So true.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on June 07, 2016:

This was fine, short, and pithy, deserving of the attention it has had.

"It seems not to matter how war comes or goes, the rattle of the drums, the sad sobbing of the woes. It all will be forgotten, foe now friend one day. It only seems so rotten the others couldn't stay." )Demas)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on December 05, 2015:

Michael, I am sorry to hear that you have direct experience with war and killing. There was nothing that you could do at five or nine years old to stop it. War is evil and those that initiate it have probably sold their souls to the power of darkness, as you say. Thank you for reading this hub.

Michael-Milec on December 05, 2015:

Hi John. You've made a meaningful message amid a vile 'war' word. After initive reading I was thrown back in memory as a five and nine years old having direct experience with war and nearby killing, and I remained silent. Unexplainabble. Humanity sold its soul to the power of darkness victimizing mostly innocent precious lives of millions, inspite of the coming of the Prince of peace...

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 26, 2015:

Thanks Bill, yes I used to think the same thing. Let the leaders of each country fight it out. Then we'd all be voting in boxers or action heroes for President or Prime Minister. Our last Prime Minister Tony Abbott actually threatened to "shirt front" Vladimir Putin..which was interesting.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on November 26, 2015:

Wonderful job on a touchy topic. I once thought that we could end all war if we forced the politicians to do the actual fighting, but now I am not even sure that will work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 16, 2015:

Wise words in verse Hari. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on November 16, 2015:

Every war fought,

is humanity lost.

Looser looses his pride.

with the loss of innocent blood,

winners seize to be proud.

Let wars be,

fought against poverty,

I pray to almighty.

- Hari

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 31, 2015:

Thanks Lawrence, it is great that an ex-military man can appreciate this poem. Much appreciated. Blessings.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on October 31, 2015:

Very powerful picture of the soldier trying to comfort those 'back home' saying "All is well" though their comrades fall around them!

Excellent poem


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 20, 2015:

Yes Swalia, I agree. How can we call ourselves civilized when we continue to make the same mistakes and still fight petty wars like our ancestors did a 1000 years ago.? It isn't the soldiers' fault, they follow orders and defend their country. Thank you for reading, and also following me.

Shaloo Walia from India on October 19, 2015:

Soldiers are our unsung heroes who sacrifice their lives to safeguard us. But it's a shame that we call ourselves civilized and yet wars are declared to settle petty issues.

Brilliant poem!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 18, 2015:

Den, you described it well "heavy as hell". Yes they fought through their fear for the good of their country.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on October 18, 2015:

It's heavy as hell, but it sure is the truth. You captured it all so perfectly. Those mean were scared to death, but they did it, for US.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 16, 2015:

Hi Shauna, I can't understand it either, and I had uncles and cousins fight in wars. It is all futile and a waste of life. Service men an women deserve all our thanks and support but those who start them and perpetrate them should be condemned. Glad you liked the poem.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 16, 2015:

John, this is a fabulous poem. I'll never understand war although I come from a family who fought in WWII and Viet Nam. Fortunately, they survived. I can't begin to imagine what soldiers in the trenches go through and see on a daily basis. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their bravery and sacrifice.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 14, 2015:

Thank you for that insightful comment Jackie. Yes we certainly have to love a respect our own soldiers, and those of our coalition partners, for their bravery and sacrifices to protect our countries and make the world a better place. It is so sad that they have to go to the other side of the world to fight what often seem to be futile and unwinnable wars.

One of the current problems our country is facing is the number of teenagers being recruited by ISIS over the Internet. Until now they have been leaving the country and making their way to Syria or Iraq to fight with this terrorist group. Now the Government has put new laws in place for Federal Police to be able to track and monitor people as young as 14 and restrict their travel, so ISIS are now recruiting them to commit terrorist acts here at home. One was to be a beheading using machetes. The police have foiled a large number of plots, but at least two have succeeded so far. This needs to be stopped but I don't know what the answer is. I support our soldiers but not the wars they are drawn into. Thanks for your kind comment.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 14, 2015:

Seems in America they blame the soldiers for fighting and put them down or honor them above all men for willing to go give all to keep us safe. Don't know if you have heard of it but we have soldiers now wanting to go do something about ISIS instead of turning a blind eye until it is too late and they have infiltrate us (which many claim is in progress at this minute). I love our soldiers and their willingness to die to make this country free for all. My dad was one and survived but I had several young friends who did not come home alive and I can't say how that saddens me they had no chance at life. I guess I am torn on war, but it has made us a wonderful country up until now while we sit and watch millions killed and do nothing; draw red lines and do nothing. Get so weak we are no good for anyone where we use to protect anyone who needed it.

Anyway; we most love our soldiers and I could go on forever, but I won't.

Great poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 14, 2015:

Suraj, nothing is more important than the lives of our young people. The cost of war is crazy in both the loss of innocent lives as well as the monetary costs involved that can almost bankrupt an economy. It is a subject that angers and saddens me, hence this poem. Thanks for your kind comment.

suraj punjabi from jakarta on October 14, 2015:

Wars are useless, and costly for all the parties involved. We send our young to war and for what? What is there in that godforsaken place that is more precious the the lives of our young people? oil? natural resources?

Your poem really hit the nail. It is a very frustrating reality that this world has to live with.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 12, 2015:

Yes, that is exactly why I wrote my poem about my own personal experience with my dad who suffered with PTSD, as there are many families who suffer right along with the soldiers. It is most powerful when one has first-hand experience for sure.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Hello Faith (Theresa), sorry to bring back unpleasant memories, and my voice is merely a droplet in a sea of many, but as writers it is our duty to use our words to try and spread messages about injustice and the like. I know poetry is not viewed by many outside these walls but this may be read by someone who needs it. Thank you for your generous comment as always.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Thank you for such a lovely comment Emese. If we can't learn from history and humanity's past mistakes what hope is there for the world" I hope you are right and that the next generation realises the futility and destructiveness of war and can find a way for a men and women to live in peace no matter what religion, culture, or race.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Thank you Ann, I really appreciate that. Have a great time away.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 12, 2015:

Hi John,

Your poignant poem brought me back to my childhood in hearing my dad, the solider, suffering from PTSD in the middle of night and me, as a child, hearing the horrors of war. Those who do make it home without any outwardly battle scars, certainly have a battle-scarred minds. Sadly, I know all too well. I had actually written a dramatic poem about it when I first joined HP.

Looks like I have some catching up to do in reading on HP.

Thank you for bringing the reality of war home. I am reminded of the song lyrics, "War ...what is it good for? Absolutely nothing."

Peace and blessings

Emese Fromm from The Desert on October 12, 2015:

Very powerful poem. It is so sad that humanity doesn't learn, that indeed young soldiers fight and lose their lives over issues that should be resolved peacefully, issues that should not exist in the first place. Although wars have been around forever, I still hope for the next generation's sake that we can learn to all get along and not hurt each other over insignificant issues. Poems like yours raise awareness and will make a difference. Thank you for being a voice of those soldiers.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 12, 2015:

I'm trying to catch up with a few hubs whilst I've got time. Going away for a few days and if I leave it too long then I'm swamped and they get lost in the lists. I don't want that to happen to yours!


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Hello Nikki, good to see you. Glad you enjoyed this poem despite it being dark and sad. In regard to war, you said it all. I fail to understand why we can't all learn to embrace each other's differences without judgement, greed and hatred.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Devika, wars NEVER benefit those who fight them. Thanks for your kind comment.

Beautiful Garbage from Louisiana on October 12, 2015:

The poem has a great flow and rhythm. A very dark and sad tale though. War has been around since the beginning of time, and if people don't learn how to get along and coexist it will always be a problem. If it's not religion, its over race, or money or greed, or for whatever reason, good or bad, soldiers die and innocent people always get caught in the crossfire.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on October 12, 2015:

Wars seldom benefit those who have to fight them and your poignant poetry reminded us, Jodah. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2015:

Thanks again Ann. You are certainly spending a lot of time reading my hubs today. I agree, they ued to fight to protect there country, now I don't think they have any real idea. Lest we forget for sure!

Ann Carr from SW England on October 12, 2015:

Beautiful, heart-rending poem. Such a waste of lives. At least they used to know what they were fighting for but I don't think that figures anymore. Lest we forget, eh?


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Thank you for reading this truthfornow. Yes, young people (teenagers) from my country are secretly leaving for the Middle East (groomed and lured over the Internet) to fight with ISIS/ISIL. It is so sad as most of them are used as suicide bombers or sex slaves etc and never come home alive. I truly think they are brain washed and don't really understand what they are fighting for. There must be a way to find peace globally.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on October 11, 2015:

Desolation Row is one of my favorite songs. It is sad that our young people are dying in wars all over the world. Most of them don't even know what or who they are fighting for. We need to find a way to have peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

@ Shyron, Thank you my friend. I tried to depict it as it really is. I am glad it worked.

@ Larry, yes it certainly is that. Thank you for reading and for the kind comment.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on October 11, 2015:

War is hell.

Wonderfully written.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 11, 2015:

Hi John,

You depict the war the way it is, sad and lonely and desolate. A job well done!

Blessings and hugs my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Yes Ruby, it's a sad fact that there has always been a war going on someplace. Your pan would probably work as I know this over 50 year old would not be going to war :) Thanks for your kind comment about this poem. Cheers.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 11, 2015:

There has been a war someplace in the world since my birth. How sad that is. I have always said that if only men 50 and older would have to serve, wars would cease. The old men dream up wars and our young men are the ones who must die. Your poem is beautifully crafted.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Diana, thank you for sharing your family's experience with the wars and also affirming your support for the brave soldiers who have served their countries in the hope of making the world a better place. Also thank you for your generous comment regarding this poem and message.

Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on October 11, 2015:

Brave soldiers are the reason most of us are here. Every generation have seen their share of wars. My grandfather's war was WWI and my dad served during the Korean War. My brothers nor my son ever had to see battle because by the time the wars broke out in their time, draft was a thing of the past and the soldier enlisted at their own will not the government's demand.

To those that serve your country, thank-you.

And thank-you, Jodah for such a powerful message.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Thank you Devika. Much appreciated.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 11, 2015:

A great meaning here and a well thought of poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Frank, I like those three words. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2015:

Frank, I like those three words. Thanks.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on October 11, 2015:

Jodah, this was raw, strong and powerful... just wow

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thank you Al. It touches many of us in some way. Cheers.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on October 10, 2015:

Great poem regarding war John. I sympathize here.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thank you Max, that means a lot coming from you.

Max Havlick from Villa Park, Illinois on October 10, 2015:

Devastatingly well done, my friend!

Surabhi Kaura on October 10, 2015:

Yes, prisoners are treated very disdainfully these days. It pains me know that 'The Stanford Prison Experiment' still prevails in today's society (in a concealed way).

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thank you for sharing that Surabhi. You are very well read on the subject. I agree totally.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Surabhi, thank you for enhancing this hub with your in-depth and intellectual view on the topic of war. The comparison of people (soldiers etc) as being treated like pawns in a chess game is profound and sadly true. Yes war i hell, and the aggressor should take responsibility for the consequences. I have heard the media refer to the "rues of war" eg. how prisoners are treated. Perhaps there once were such rules when people were actually "honorable" but I think they are largely ignored in today's world.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thank you MsDora, sometimes it is easy to ignore what is happening in other part of the world. So we do need a reality check now an then. SSorry if it made you tearful.

Surabhi Kaura on October 10, 2015:

Clausewitzian's idea of limitlessness - "... tyranny of war is no more limitless than is political tyranny. Just as we can charge a tyrant with particular crimes over and above the crime of ruling without consent, so we can recognize and condemn particular criminal acts within the hell of war."

Surabhi Kaura on October 10, 2015:

War is one of the most perilous manner in which people collectively attempt to protect or enhance their life to security. The human toll of war is profound and profoundly abashing. Simply put, war is mass killing. It always upshots in the fields of flaming bodies. On one hand, we morally feel justified in treating people like pawns in chess. Yet, on the other hand, war seems to be a condition where morality has been broken down, where civilization turns into barbarism and havoc, and so all our moralistic pretences go in vain.

German Sherman once said, “War is hell, because as in hell, terrors know no bounds.” However, Michael Walzer quotes, “Even in in hell, it is possible to be more or less humane, to fight with or without restraint.” I find Clausewitzian’s idea of limitlessness much more reasonable. He claimed that the aggressor is responsible for all the consequences of fighting he begins.

A vivid image painted, Sir. Soldiers go through a lot of turmoil that is unbeknownst to their family. I hope and pray that the border of war gets eradicated and seeds of peace are sowed in the heart of species. Hats off, Jodah for writing this flamboyant poetry.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 10, 2015:

Really touching; makes one tearful. Thanks for the reality scene.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Oh Dana, I totally agree, war is a tragic thing. I have written so much in support of our veterans, many of whom end up homeless and on the streets. Th laws are archaic. How can it be illegal to sleep in a car or on the street, and police wait to hand out tickets to the homeless at 6am? Most of thes people have no choice, there aren't enough shelters etc. You can understand why many ex-vets commit suicide as a large percentage also suffer mental illness due to the horrors of war.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

I notice that myself Phyllis, there does seem to be a greater power out there that directs our thoughts and puts us in sync with each other so we often publish hubs on similar topics but in our own destictive ways. Yes it seems we are messengers for a greater good.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thanks for reading Martie. You echo my feelings. Wars have always been tragic evens but once upon a time the purpose was clear..a way for one country to expand and take over another to expand its empire. Today the purpose seems unclear. It seems we now go to war just because we don't like the way a country is being run, or just using the excuse to spread democracy. Sometimes it seems just to create death and destruction in fact as with ISIL.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on October 10, 2015:

War is a horrible thing. My heart goes out when I speak with someone who is sick and homeless and find out he was a solider of war. Too many of them come out of the war- shattered. And, to see our hero's lying in filth, sick and homeless is heartbreaking.

I had spoken with one homeless guy trying to do research for an article I wanted to write about (Police brutality on the homeless. He shared with me a story about how police park on the streets at 5:58 am waiting for 6:00 am to come harass the sleeping homeless and write them tickets.

There is a law out here in Los Angeles Ca, that you cannot sleep on the streets, including cars ect: If you can't sleep on the streets or in cars where are you going to sleep if you have no home- the trees?

Now I do understand no one wants to see a bunch of people sleeping in front of their properties or businesses, and yes there are shelters that are always full, but why are they writing tickets to people who they know cannot pay. Who are sick and maimed on the streets. Why are they writing tickets and throwing in jail sick people with mental illnesses who the know are mainly x- vets.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on October 10, 2015:

You know, Jodah, it is really great to know that you and I often publish hubs on similar thoughts - Mother Earth, realities of real life, and messages to share. Like you said in an earlier comment here, it is our duty to enlighten on the way it is in the world.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on October 10, 2015:

Sad and thought-provoking! Wars are the most tragic events since the beginning of time. When will humans evolved to the stage where wars will no longer be seen as a method to achieve one or another selfish goal?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thanks Mike. Yes war has a profound effect on men everywhere. Thanks for reading and commenting.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on October 10, 2015:

Solemn and poignant. Funny how all men are affected by wars, both near and far.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Thank you Phyllis, I was hoping it would come across as having a powerfulmessage and expres what these young men went through. I appreciate your kind comment.

Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on October 10, 2015:

Hiya Jodah,

This poem held my attention, and seemed to me a mixture between Bobby Zimmerman and a Ken Burns Documentary (The War).

If you're looking for something to read this autumn, I recommend Tim O'Brien's Vietnam 'war story' The Things They Carried. There is an entire chapter of the book devoted to the descriptions of War as something it is not, i.e. Hell, and as inclusive of abstractions like Hell.

Keep Hubbin!


Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on October 10, 2015:

War is so devastating. Your poem paints a vivid image of the horrible life of soldiers so far from home and in harm's way. It is a powerful message, Jodah, and well done.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

I think anyone who has had friends and relatives involved in war can relate to this on a very personal level ps. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the Anthem and for your kind comment in regard to my poem and this hub in general, alo for sharing. Angels are always welcome here.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 10, 2015:

After hearing the Anthem and reading this poem, I am deeply moved. I had friends who thankfully came home (from Vietnam and from Afghnaistan and Iraq).

The sorrow, the desolation, the pain...rages around so many....

WOW ....you have expressed this so well.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2015:

Yes Manatita, I feel it i my duty to highlight the problems of humanity as I see them, through poetry. If that requires me to visit the o called "dark side" to do it than I am willing to do so and you often have to shock people or reveal the not so pleasant side of life to have the desired effect. Of course there is still a place for uplifting and love filled writing as well. Thank you for your interesting comment and I will have to check out the poem you mention.

manatita44 from london on October 10, 2015:

A beautiful poem and one of conscience. Both Bill and I have highlighted this problem. I do not usually enter the dark side, but Sri Chinmoy taught that poems of despair sometimes help us.

My Poem, The Sad Face of War, blames no one and shows no winners. It only asks for Love.

So you are doing a great service here to highlight humanity's problems, which, as you say, has been around for a while. When will we learn, or as I say in my poem: "Where has Love gone?" Thanks Bro.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Thank you dear Jo, it is comments like these that make it so worthwhile to be a writer. If I can touch one person or at least make people question what they are doing and contemplate change, then I am successful. I am glad you enjoyed my little protest against war. Blessings.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on October 09, 2015:

You have really out done yourself with this one dear friend. You touched on all the right notes. And one day those who can't seem to understand the pain and isolating feeling about being in a war zone and apart from family. If they were to read this. I don't think we would have war as often as we have or may have. The road to peace and ability to stay with loved ones is better! Amazing again..Shared, up and blessings! :-)

Thank you for this great read!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Thanks whonu, I think it's safe to say that you were spared for a reason. God had a plan and it sounds like you fulfilled your side of it. Never feel guilty for things you have no control over.

whonunuwho from United States on October 09, 2015:

Very poignant and well descriptive of war and how soldiers who may have been lured into battle by glorious speeches...must now pay the price war entails. My time...Vietnam...Uncle Sam refused to take me because I was "spoiled goods" as the Army Doctor said. I had a five inch scar in my spine... football injury...I lost several good friends...schoolmates. To this day I feel guilt that I did not die right along with them. Taught school 25 years and worked with handicapped kids. I guess I mattered.Thanks. whonu

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Bill, glad you escaped having to serve in Vietnam. I was still too young but had two cousins who were called up. My dad and five uncles fought in WWII, and one of them died during the Japanese bombing of Darwin. The futility of war is one of my soap box lectures. Glad you loved this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Mel, I thought this was one of the causes that a young Bobby D protested against, so I didn't think he'd mind either. Your feelings echo my own as far as war is concerned. Thanks for your comment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 09, 2015:

I never served, John. I barely escaped having to serve in Vietnam, but I have the utmost respect for those that do. "War is hell" is as accurate a description as there ever will be. Loved this, John!

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on October 09, 2015:

I'm sure Bobby D won't mind your rendition. Destroying our youth to advance the profiteering of criminals dressed in suits is folly indeed, and doing it under a false front of patriotism is beyond detestable. Excellent poem and hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Hi Flourish, thank you for reading this. I appreciate the word you used to describe my humble poem. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Rozina, I have always hated and feel it is a tragic waste of life. I am glad this poem was successful in portraying the grief and gloom these men felt.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 09, 2015:

Superb, simply superb.

Rozina Iftikhar from Islamabad on October 09, 2015:

Life of these men at the warfront, is really a living tragedy...

Grief and gloom ...woven around their situation ,can be easily and deeply felt in the poem...A very moving poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Yes Clive, it sure is ugly. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

That's correct Venkat, most pretended it was better than it was for their family's sake.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on October 09, 2015:

war is always an ugly thing

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on October 09, 2015:

Very sorrowful and gloomy story of the soldiers at the warfronts. They don't want to let their family members worry for them.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Thank you for being the first to read and comment Kristen. War is something that is impossible to ignore when it seems to be happening constantly somewhere in the world. Glad this poem hit the mark.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2015:

Thank you for being the first to read and comment Kristen. War is something that is impossible to ignore when it seems to be happening constantly somewhere in the world. Glad this poem hit the mark.

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