Soldier’s Tales


The cigarette’s glow bleeds away
and in the gathering darkness
faces bloom like nocturnal flowers
in the dreamfields of the night,
names unknown – tales unspoken –
since many hidden years of pain ago.

Through acrid smoke a pale face
slowly floats across the gunsight
your hand reacts, flame bursts the dark,
death’s cry – that never leaves the ear –
forever live in dead-men’s-fields of fear,
rasps your nerves through battlefields of night.

But come the day, grandchildren with delight
soak up the violence innocently unrepelled,
see only life – as life only is –
free from secret sadnesses and guilt;
sat on your knee open a storyfield
if only you can say the words aloud.

Quiet years have rotted covering boards
and exposed the dugouts in your memories fields.
Now is the time while your mind’s yet strong
to face the enemy in daylight’s glare
pick up your pen, take up arms once more
unfold old fears and write … your wrongs of war.


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