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Jo Baldwin Oct 2015
In a station in the city a British soldier stood
Talking to the people there if the people would
Some just stared in hatred, and others turned in pain
And the lonely British soldier wished he was back home again

Come join the British Army! Said the posters in his town
See the world and have your fun come serve before the Crown
The jobs were hard to come by and he could not face the dole
So he took his country's shilling and enlisted on the roll

For there was no fear of fighting, the Empire long was lost
Just ten years in the army getting paid for being bossed
Then leave a man experienced a man who's made the grade
A medal and a pension some mem'ries and a trade

Then came the call to Ireland as the call had come before
Another ****** chapter in an endless civil war
The priests they stood on both sides the priests they stood behind
Another fight in Jesus name the blind against the blind

The soldier stood between them between the whistling stones
And then the broken bottles that led to broken bones
The petrol bombs that burnt his hands the nails that pierced his skin
And wished that he had stayed at home surrounded by his kin

The station filled with people the soldier soon was bored
But better in the station than where the people warred
The room filled up with mothers with daughters and with sons
Who stared with itchy fingers at the soldier and his gun

A yell of fear a screech of brakes the shattering of glass
The window of the station broke to let the package pass
A scream came from the mothers as they ran towards the door
Dragging children crying from the bomb upon the floor

The soldier stood and could not move his gun he could not use
He knew the bomb had seconds and not minutes on the fuse
He could not run to pick it up and throw it in the street
There were far too many people there too many running feet

Take cover! Yelled the soldier, Take cover for your lives
And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives
They turned towards the soldier their eyes alive with fear
For God's sake save our children or they'll end their short lives here

The soldier moved towards the bomb his stomach like a stone
Why was this his battle God why was he alone
He lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell
To those at home in England to those he loved so well

He saw the sights of summer felt the wind upon his brow
The young girls in the city parks how precious were they now
The soaring of the swallow the beauty of the swan
The music of the turning world so soon would it be gone

A muffled soft explosion and the room began to quake
The soldier blown across the floor his blood a crimson lake
They never heard him cry or shout they never heard him moan
And they turned their children's faces from the blood and from the bones

The crowd outside soon gathered and the ambulances came
To carry off the body of a pawn lost in the game
And the crowd they clapped and cheered and they sang their rebel songs
One soldier less to interfere where he did not belong

But will the children growing up learn at their mothers' knees
The story of the soldier who bought their liberty
Who used his youthful body as a means towards an end
Who gave his life to those who called him murderer not friend

By Harvey Andrews 1972
A true story. Posted in remembrance
  Oct 2015 Jo Baldwin
OA Agusto
Why so ignorant?
Why so naive?
Why so blind?
You fill my eyes with fury.
Even though I feel this way,
My mindset, I shall not betray.
Because at the end of the day
What have you accomplished?
Homes demolished
Lives diminished.
You’ve scarred the young children,
Widowed the young women,
And caused regret for the old.
Where are our men?
In a pile in a forest.
Now tell me again,
What were you trying to accomplish?

Whatever it was,
You Lost.
  Oct 2015 Jo Baldwin
kushal jindal
Empty homes, barren streets.
Empty thoughts, barren minds.

Fallen metal, leather beats,
Falling metal, pierced sheets.

****** hands, wet cheeks.
Airy walls, cement heaps.

Masked faces, naked hearts.
One eyed vision, fatal arc.

Decorated bodies, decorated lives.
Travelers ? Protectors?

  Oct 2015 Jo Baldwin
Vincent S Coster
She adopted Irish words and lingo
As her moniker-  
Like the Meadbh of old, a queen
Of many talents
Her's was the gathering of languages
A menagerie of the tongues of the earth
Spoken as she lamented with crossed accents
So that her French sounded Italian
Her German sounded English
And her Irish like the incantations to old legends
In which she would have been worshipped-  
If not feared
For what is not to fear in her eyes
Which speak of a passion
Like the intensity of Picasso's eyes
That screamed his power
She is the same- A famous beauty
Like a song from childhood
Her power to transfix is in her eyes
Wells to get lost in-  
For she is the fairy queen of Hessen.

©Vincent S. Coster 27th October 2015
This poem does not feature in any collection and is appearing in "print" for the first time here on this website.
Jo Baldwin Oct 2015
Hello Joe, I'm married to Jim
I'm sure that you remember him
I know it's been a lot of years
I'm sure there's been a lot of tears
I'd like to help, to reconcile
So think about it for a while
I am a soldier, you were too
We both did what we had to do
And we both know war takes a toll
It leaves a black mark on your soul
No matter what you try to do
It makes it hard to be with you
Whiskey just won't chase away
The ghosts that haunt you every day
Before you know just what you've done
You lost your wife and lost your son
The damage done you can't undo
And I'm sure that's not lost on you
Your son's a man and he's so fine
I'm very proud to call him mine
I know it's more than 20 years
You may be rightly full of fears
I hear his childhood wasn't great
A violent time and full of hate
In Germany, the cold war chill
And home grown trauma left him ill
Back to Suffolk, civvy street
Life still violent, not too sweet
But Jim grew into quite a guy
His childhood makes me wonder why
He overcame as time flew by
It's not the beatings that you gave
That helped him learn to be so brave
Your son's a pilgrim brave and true
Despite and not because of you
But now I've found you, Happy Day
So what you got to say?
I've been looking for my husbands father, Joe Cole. I found him here. I've never met him but am looking to do so. I'd like to know what sort of man he is
  Oct 2015 Jo Baldwin
Anne Sexton
I am torn in two
but I will conquer myself.
I will dig up the pride.
I will take scissors
and cut out the beggar.
I will take a crowbar
and pry out the broken
pieces of God in me.
Just like a jigsaw puzzle,
I will put Him together again
with the patience of a chess player.

How many pieces?

It feels like thousands,
God dressed up like a *****
in a slime of green algae.
God dressed up like an old man
staggering out of His shoes.
God dressed up like a child,
all naked,
even without skin,
soft as an avocado when you peel it.
And others, others, others.

But I will conquer them all
and build a whole nation of God
in me - but united,
build a new soul,
dress it with skin
and then put on my shirt
and sing an anthem,
a song of myself.
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