[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Merry Christmas, My Friend

'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”

One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

By James M. Schmidt

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Christmas 1916:
Thoughts in a V.A.D. Hospital Kitchen


There’s no Xmas leave for us scullions,
We’ve got to keep on with the grind;
Just cooking for Britain’s heroes,
But, bless you! We don’t really mind.

We’ve scores and scores of potatoes,
And cabbages also to do,
And onions, and turnips, and what not,
That go in the Irish Stew.

We’re baking and frying and boiling,
From morning until night;
But we’ve got to keep on a bit longer,
Till Victory comes in sight.

Then there’s cutting the thin bread and butter,
For the men who are very ill;
But we feel we’re well rewarded;
For they’ve fought old Kaiser Bill.

Yes! We’ve got to hold on a while longer,
Till we’ve beaten the Hun to his knees;
And then ‘Goodbye’ to the kitchen;
The treacle, the jam and the cheese.

by M. Winifred Wedgwood
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
On Returning Home
(Written whilst on leave, after completing a UN tour in Bosnia, 1993)

Christmas is happening,
All around, people laugh, play,
Shop, looking for nice things to give,
The world hasn’t changed,
It’s all as it was before,
Happy, carefree people,
You go about your lives.
If bliss is caused by ignorance,
We are one blissful nation.

You pass me in the street,
As you hurry to buy your presents,
Gifts that cost you dear,
But have only weeks of value
For those who will receive them.
You pass me by, you see another happy shopper,
One of your own, nothing unusual.
Yet only I know where I’ve been;
Only I know what I’ve seen.

Last week I was watching,
Last week I was a witness,
A witness to the worst that man can do,
A house, a home for a happy family,
Merely wanting to live a pleasant life,
Now burned into charred flesh and ashes,
All killed, all slaughtered, all destroyed,
Last week, I saw this,
Just last week.

Still you all shop,
Spending your money, carefree,
Untouched by war, this land of peace
For fifty years, this land unburned.
Yet a few hours journey from where you consume with joy,
Hate consumes life with fire,
You know it’s happening,
It’s all on TV, yet to you, it’s a distant affair.
So far away.

Yet it isn’t so far, it’s here within me,
That distant image on your TV screen,
Etched into my battered soul.
While you walk beside me,
You don’t know what I’ve seen,
That I still smell the bodies,
While I shop, while I walk amongst you,
Emptiness in my heart, for all time.

By DL
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Santa Bring My Soldier Home

Santa, have you seen my soldier?
The one who wears my heart
We're so far apart

Santa, have you seen my soldier?
I'm bravin' through the lonely nights, just gettin' by
Livin' prayer to prayer

It's so hard to be apart this time of year
The ones you love should be near
Material things lose all their value
'Cause all I want is you

Santa, have you seen my soldier?
Let him know that I miss him and I love him so
Santa, bring my soldier home
I need him here in my arms 'cause love's worth fighting for


Santa, bring him home
Santa, bring him home

Life's not the same without my soldier
Every time we laughed
The comfort that we had

He's the one that's been there for me all along
He taught me to be strong enough when times are tough
And keep the faith when I can't hold on

It's so hard to be apart this time of year
The ones you love should be near
Material things lose all their value
'Cause all I want is you

Santa, have you seen my soldier?
Let him know that I miss him and I love him so
Santa, bring my soldier home
I need him here in my arms 'cause love's worth fighting for


Santa, bring him home

The wind blows so cold
Without your hand to hold
It's haunting my mind
Like the day we said goodbye

There's a boy overseas
Who's lonely just like me
I'm waitin' for the day
My hero comes home to me

Send my love, send my love, send my love, love
Send my love, send my love, send my love, love
Send my, send my love, love, send my love, send my love, love
Send my love, send my love, send my love, love

Santa, have you seen my soldier?
Let him know that I miss him and I love him so
Santa, bring my soldier home
I need him here in my arms 'cause love's worth fighting for


Santa, bring him home

Love, love, send my love, send my love
Send my love, love, send my, send my love, love, send my love
Send my love, love, send my love, send my love
Send my love, love, send my, send my love

By 'The Stunners'

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
When The Drums Shall Cease To Beat

When will the laughter ring again in the way that it used to do?
Not till the soldiers come home again, not till the war is through.
When will the holly gleam again and the Christmas candles burn?
Not till the swords are sheathed once more and the brave of our land return.

When will happy hearts meet again in the lights of the Christmas tree?
Not till the cannons cease their roar and the sailors come from sea.
When shall we sing as we used to do and dance in the old-time way?
Not till the soldiers come home again and the bugles cease to play.

Oh, dull is the red of the holly now and faintly the candles burn;
And we long for the smile of the missing face and the absent one's return.
We long for the laughter we used to know and the love that made giving sweet,
But we must wait for the joys of old till the drums shall cease to beat.

We shall laugh once more as we used to do, and dance in the old-time way,
For this is the pledge they have made to us who serve in the war to-day;
And the joys of home that we treasure so are the joys that their lives defend,
And they shall give us our Christmas time as soon as the war shall end.

By Edgar Albert Guest
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Ballad

COUNTERINSURGENCY (December 2006),
Headquarters, Department of the Army


Galloping with his drum, the singer
Rides in a split second over
Plains that outdistance their tympanum sky,
And all by the song’s power.
  Ideology gallops the story:
  What values spur the teller?


Down a “smoke-hole,” he comes to the shore
Of a cavern-sea to be crossed.
On a bridge the breadth of a hair, he totters
Over the drowned and lost.
  Never wrongfoot your informers.
  Shield them from retribution.


To appease the netherworld’s vengeful Khan,
He pours a gift of liquor
From the limitless shell of his drum, then softly
Taps out the hetman’s hiccups.
  Fa-la for what’s known to PSYOPS:
  The psyche’s the theater of war.


To obtain the vital intelligence
That bears on a blessing or cure,
He must wheedle, deceive, and lean on
The chief of a somber empire.
  With intel, a counterinsurgent
  Can excise the social tumor.


The soul shears free from the body to go
On subterranean missions,
But a mystic geography is sown
With hidden demolitions.
  O religions and all –isms
  Are types of belief systems.


Because they won’t accept their new mode,
The recently dead are feared,
But, as informants and guardians,
The long dead are revered.
  Culture’s the crackable code
  That guides all tribes and clans.


Armed with his drum alone, the singer
Projects the power of sound,
Leading those slow to forsake the air
To their gritty new home in the ground.
 Heigh-ho for the social skeleton,
  Culture’s the muscle on bone.


By Phillip Fried
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Men of Verdun

There are five men in the moonlight
That by their shadows stand;
Three hobble humped on crutches,
And two lack each a hand.

Frogs somewhere near the roadside
Chorus their chant absorbed:
But a hush breathes out of the dream-light
That far in heaven is orbed.

It is gentle as sleep falling
And wide as thought can span,
The ancient peace and wonder
That brims the heart of man.

Beyond the hills it shines now
On no peace but the dead,
On reek of trenches thunder-shocked,
Tense fury of wills in wrestle locked,
A chaos crumbled red!

The five men in the moonlight
Chat, joke, or gaze apart.
They talk of days and comrades,
But each one hides his heart.

They wear clean cap and tunic,
As when they went to war;
A gleam comes where the medal’s pinned:
But they will fight no more.

The shadows, maimed and antic,
Gesture and shape distort,
Like mockery of a demon dumb
Out of the hell-din whence they come
That dogs them for his sport:

But as if dead men were risen
And stood before me there
With a terrible fame about them blown
In beams of spectral air,

I see them, men transfigured
As in a dream, dilate
Fabulous with the Titan-throb
Of battling Europe’s fate;

For history’s hushed before them,
And legend flames afresh,—
Verdun, the name of thunder,
Is written on their flesh.

By Laurence Binyon

Battle of Verdun, Feb. 21-Dec. 18, 1916
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Little Song of the Maimed

Lend me your arm
To replace my leg
The rats ate it for me
At Verdun
At Verdun
I ate a lot of rats
But they didn’t give me back my leg
And that’s why I was given the Croix de Guerre
And a wooden leg
And a wooden leg

By Benjamin Peret
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
'This night is irredeemable.’

This night is irredeemable.
Where you are, it is still bright.
At the gates of Jerusalem,
a black sun is alight.

The yellow sun is hurting,
sleep, baby, sleep.
The Jews in the Temple’s burning
buried my mother deep.

Without rabbi, without blessing,
over her ashes, there,
the Jews in the Temple’s burning
chanted the prayer.

Over this mother,
Israel’s voice was sung.
I woke in a glittering cradle,
lit by a black sun.

By Osip Mandelstam (1916)
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
More Than A Name On The Wall

I saw her from a distance
As she walked up to the wall
in her hand she held some flowers
as her tears began to fall

and she took out pen and paper
as to trace her memories
and she looked up to heaven
and the words she said were these...

She said Lord my boy was special,
and he meant so much to me
and Oh I'd love to see him
just one more time you see
All I have are the memories
and the moments to recall

So Lord could you tell him,
He's more than a name on a wall..

She said he really missed the family
and being home on Christmas day
and he died for God and Country
in a place so far away

I remember just a little boy
playing war since he was three
But Lord this time I know,
He's not coming home to me

And she said Lord my boy was special,
and he meant so much to me
and Oh I'd love to see him
But I know it just can't be
So I thank you for my memories
and the moments to recall

But Lord could you tell him,
He's more than a name on a wall..

Lord could you tell him,
He's more than a name on a wall.

By the Statler Brothers

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Hero

'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the mother said,
And folded up the letter that she'd read.
'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.

by Siegfried Sassoon
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Deserter

There was a man - don't mind his name,
Whom Fear had dogged by night and day.
He could not face the German guns
And so he turned and ran away.

Just that - he turned and ran away,
But who can judge him, you or I ?
God makes a man of flesh and blood
Who yearns to live and not to die.

And this man when he feared to die
Was scared as any frightened child,
His knees were shaking under him,
His breath came fast, his eyes were wild.

I've seen a hare with eyes as wild,
With throbbing heart and sobbing breath.
But oh ! it shames one's soul to see
A man in abject fear of death,

But fear had gripped him, so had death;
His number had gone up that day,
They might not heed his frightened eyes,
They shot him when the dawn was grey.

Blindfolded, when the dawn was grey,
He stood there in a place apart,
The shots rang out and down he fell,
An English bullet in his heart.

An English bullet in his heart !
But here's the irony of life, -
His mother thinks he fought and fell
A hero, foremost in the strife.

So she goes proudly; to the strife
Her best, her hero son she gave.
O well for her she does not know
He lies in a deserter's grave.

by Winifred Mary Letts
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Lights Out

'Lights out, lights off,'
we flee our beds,
downstairs, down there
helter-skelter, into the shelter
hidden from bombs
dropped by fathers in uniform
with similar smiles to Santa Claus.

Spotlights touch those planes above,
fingers too thin to catch the bullets
and bombs that fall like sand
and stones that clatter on children's heads,
bent over, pushed down by shaking hands
of mothers crying with hopes they wish could shield their children's bodies
when the blast sends waves of sound
so loud it deafens the ground,
which quakes and groans and moans,
and breaks the house,
bursting it open, spilling its guts
all down the street.

There's the broken leg
from granddad's table.

There's the kettle
bursting and boiling too quick to whistle.

There's mom's laundry
never again in need of ironing
having found its final form
as singed confetti thrown
towards those planes
which fly so close, almost engaged,
but free to break for home,

which may not exist,
when they get back
if our fathers' presents are handed out
to foreign children, just like me.

My ears! My ears!
They bleed and ring with deafness
lodged too deep to think.
Its been so long the blood has dried
and died, so long the skin
has fallen off and blown away,
pieces of dust unmissed, unseen
blown over sea to find a field
where people plant and pray for life
to burst from seeds, then march back home
to bare houses where light
is scarce and mothers screech,
'Lights out, lights off,
no need for light when you're asleep.'

Late at night I hear mom ask,
'To kill, to die, are we better off?'
but she should know better,
the ground's too deep
for dad to hear her cry.

By Phuoc-Tan Diep
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Lights Out

'Lights out, lights off,'
we flee our beds,
downstairs, down there
helter-skelter, into the shelter
hidden from bombs
dropped by fathers in uniform
with similar smiles to Santa Claus.

Spotlights touch those planes above,
fingers too thin to catch the bullets
and bombs that fall like sand
and stones that clatter on children's heads,
bent over, pushed down by shaking hands
of mothers crying with hopes they wish could shield their children's bodies
when the blast sends waves of sound
so loud it deafens the ground,
which quakes and groans and moans,
and breaks the house,
bursting it open, spilling its guts
all down the street.

There's the broken leg
from granddad's table.

There's the kettle
bursting and boiling too quick to whistle.

There's mom's laundry
never again in need of ironing
having found its final form
as singed confetti thrown
towards those planes
which fly so close, almost engaged,
but free to break for home,

which may not exist,
when they get back
if our fathers' presents are handed out
to foreign children, just like me.

My ears! My ears!
They bleed and ring with deafness
lodged too deep to think.
Its been so long the blood has dried
and died, so long the skin
has fallen off and blown away,
pieces of dust unmissed, unseen
blown over sea to find a field
where people plant and pray for life
to burst from seeds, then march back home
to bare houses where light
is scarce and mothers screech,
'Lights out, lights off,
no need for light when you're asleep.'

Late at night I hear mom ask,
'To kill, to die, are we better off?'
but she should know better,
the ground's too deep
for dad to hear her cry.

By Phuoc-Tan Diep
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Refugee Blues

Say this city has ten million souls
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
"If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread":
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, "They must die":
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dears, looking for you and me.

by W H Auden



[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Christians At War

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain,
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Savior's bums must eat,
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies, jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well;
God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant's tools;
History will say of you: "That pack of G.. d.. fools."

By John F. Kendrick (1916)

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Tonight’s Target is the Face of Scrooge

War like cities is more lovely at night.
I climb tank tracks, like Jacob’s Ladder
To the ridge and watch the bombardment
Bursting in red gold and silver coin phosphorous,
Santa Claus pouches. Tonight’s target is the crumbling
Face of Scrooge. These sounds are not bombs,
Not schools or hospitals, they are Ming vases,
Old Masters juggled by drunks.
Once governments told to mind how you cross a road.
Now they urge you stream between instant potholes, run excitedly
In lines of zeros like the zero hour on digital displays,
In long lines, like those on armaments’ manufacturers’ cheques.
The burglar bullet that ransacks your heart
Is a kiss, a blessing, a golden guinea.
The shells that travel over your heads like priests’ hands,
Explode hilariously, like drunks falling over. It is a party.
Above you are the fireworks of a hundred nations.
Check your magazine. It is loaded with party poppers.

By Michael Brett
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
An Idyll of the War

He came into the billet,
A captain worn with care,
For two weeks' rest from Ypres,
Then on, he knew not where.

He greeted her so gently
And smiled through tired eyes,
When all that homely comfort
He saw with glad surprise.

She met him at the doorway
And gave him welcome true,
For she had two dear brothers
At Verdun, fighting too.

She watched his needs and tended
With willing cheerful face,
Her brown eyes shone with kindness,
Her lithe form moved with grace.

He rode a gallant charger,
Like Launcelot of old,
His nickel shone like silver,
His brass-work gleamed like gold.

A sergeant followed after,
A batman waited near,
He seemed so strong and forceful,
So free from pride or fear.

And she was young and merry,
And full of winsome ways,
Yet with a heart beneath them
That shone with ruby rays.

Her voice was softest music,
Her laugh was like the stream,
Her sadness a deep symphony,
Her pensiveness a dream.

He tried to learn their language,
And touch the thought that blends,
He told her of his country,
His work, his home, his friends.

She spoke in broken English,
And wondered oft and sighed,
And found in him a comrade
In whom she might confide.

They played at draughts together,
But lingered o'er the game
To talk of times and places,
And thoughts they'd had the same.

The long war was forgotten
In nature, flowers, and skies,
And poetry, and laughter;
They walked in Paradise.

He came into the billet
With trouble on his brow,
The smile fled from her features,
She was the woman now.

She came and sat beside him,
He took her pretty hand,
And told her all his worry,
He knew she'd understand.

She was a gentle French girl,
He needed help that day,
So is it any wonder
That love should show the way ?

His worries seem to vanish,
And just for five days' flight
She was his gentle Marie,
He was her khaki knight.

Then out into the darkness
He rode before the train,
And all night through his Marie
Was at his side again.

While lonely as a widow
She wept the whole night through,
For he was gone for ever,
The first love that she knew.

Ah ! was it wasted pity ?
And was it broken troth ?
They loved without a future,
They kissed without an oath ;

Or were it Heaven-sent blessing
When exiled soldiers fight,
If every gentle Marie
Might find her khaki knight ?

by T.A. Girling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Afghan Skies

‘Neath Afghan skies I lay my head
and dream of soft brown dancing eyes.
Your sweet scent from my senses fled,
your gentle touch, a distant smile.

‘Neath Afghan skies I see you sleeping,
yet when I awake you are gone.
We share the same constellations fleeting
but countless miles see us alone.

The ceiling stares – a ticking clock
and still no calm to wistful sighs.
The shadows in the corner mock
while pictures play before my eyes.

I see across Drumavish hills,
the waves break on Rosnowla beach.
As winter blows its icy chill
your splendour smile just out of reach.

The passion that we often know.
The pleasure as our spirits ‘twined.
Breast to breast, a knowing glow -
our heart beats beat as one defined.

As slumber breaks, alone again
but images of you endure.
I hold them as my thoughts remain,
I save them in my mind secure.

‘Neath Afghan skies I write a while
and as I wish this night to fade
(a soldier’s curse, a spouse’s trial)
I wait for our reunion made.

By Robert Kiely
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Afghan Skies

‘Neath Afghan skies I lay my head
and dream of soft brown dancing eyes.
Your sweet scent from my senses fled,
your gentle touch, a distant smile.

‘Neath Afghan skies I see you sleeping,
yet when I awake you are gone.
We share the same constellations fleeting
but countless miles see us alone.

The ceiling stares – a ticking clock
and still no calm to wistful sighs.
The shadows in the corner mock
while pictures play before my eyes.

I see across Drumavish hills,
the waves break on Rosnowla beach.
As winter blows its icy chill
your splendour smile just out of reach.

The passion that we often know.
The pleasure as our spirits ‘twined.
Breast to breast, a knowing glow -
our heart beats beat as one defined.

As slumber breaks, alone again
but images of you endure.
I hold them as my thoughts remain,
I save them in my mind secure.

‘Neath Afghan skies I write a while
and as I wish this night to fade
(a soldier’s curse, a spouse’s trial)
I wait for our reunion made.

By Robert Kiely

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War Poetry

January 2017

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