by | Jan 22, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

Their voices echo down the years, demanding justice.

“It’s the noise, echoing rebounding in the muddy trenches,

The shells, continuous, shrieking, exploding in front an rear”

“I’m not afraid to die, its living in this hell

That causes the problem, I start to shake, my brain goes dead”

Then the finger pointing General “No time for cowards,

Court Marshall them, Stamp out this cancer”

Court martials obligatory, verdicts guilty, punishment death.

Shell shock, trauma, just excuses for cowards.

Then the voices of the firing squads are also heard,

“The poor devil was legless, his brain already dead,

His bowels running out of control. He called for his mam

As we tied him to a chair he talked to her”

“What are they doing to me mam,

I cant see you mam, I’ve messed myself. Help me mam”

The executioners once more “What a way to die,

His blood mingled with the filth in his trousers,

God forgive me my part in his death”,

And still the voices of the dead cry out.

I’m not a coward, no blindfold for me,

I will look death full in the face, I’m not guilty.

Shot as a coward, no pension for my wife”.

Once more the General points the way,

“shooting is wasteful, take them back, patch them up,

Return them to the front, we are desperate for men”.

Then again the chorus of doomed voices is heard,

“They strapped me down, attached the wires,

My body convulsed as it took the shock”

I couldn’t speak, not a word or a croak,

So they gave me electric shocks, I screamed”

“They gave me injections, I slept for ages”

“It must have helped me, I am better now I think”.


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