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Brandon Conway Jun 2018
Tie your shuka on your shoulder
Gather your shield and spear of death
The white God for now you are to soldier
Find your courage and take one last deep breath.

You thought war was made of
Those things that you gathered,
You were wrong, so we shoved
A gun and ammo for you to lather.

This is your duty, and that's what you believe  
This is your duty, go out and try not to bleed
This is your duty, and that of thy enemies.

You held the gun like we showed
You walked to the place we told
You believed the lies we sold
All while wearing the white man's blindfold.

With a smile and a glimmer of hope
The men you sought
Found you first
And now you rest
Under the dry dirt.

But that's ok for they
Were only shooting
In the name of Duty,
So Hooray!
Terry Collett Mar 2018
Sleep wants to claim you.
The shells exploding about
and sharp whistling shrapnel

prevents that claim to a large
degree. You watch rats run
along the trench with your

tired eyes. You dream of
home and homefires burning.
You catch laughter somewhere

over. Fritz and their Deutschland
humour. Some of the boys
shout obscenities back which

carries over no-man's land
and coal black. You smell
the stink of too many men

in too little space and death
and dying. You lean against
the wall of the damp trench

and stare at stars in that
canvas of sky. You will be
out of the trench tomorrow

you muse if you only survive
the night and bombs you might.
Terry Collett Sep 2017
There was a skeleton
of a German soldier in
a ditch; his helmet still
in place, the uniform

mud-stained. In a pocket
a sepia photo of some girl
smiling with curly hair,
looking out with her dark

eyed stare. His comrades
and army had moved away;
pushed back with last week's
shelling. Albert inhaled his

cigarette. It was hard to
picture him now crippled
with arthritis and age in
war's fight and mud and

lice, singing an old song
amidst the throng. He
gazed at me; his eyes
glassy; smoke from the

cigarette rising past eyes.
We left him there, Albert
said, had to move on,
Haig's orders, our sergeant

said. Death was all around
us; bodies, limbs and heads;
horses lying in mud wounded
moaning or dead. The stink

of war, boy; gets in your hair
and clothes and nose and skin,
in the soul, if we have one, within.
An old soldier recalls war 1
Terry Collett Sep 2017
Some poor sod
had it up the line:
his nerves went
or lost his way
in war's battlement,
was charged and shot
against some wall
by other soldiers down
from the Front.

But he'd been quite brave up
until then, boys in half a year
turned into men; bombs, mud,
lice and rats and all around
death in dark colours,
yet he'd seen and shouldered that
and sat and smoked and joked
like the rest- then something
turned him or he lost his way
in noise and shell.

Some poor sod lies
where other bodies lay
waiting silently
to be moved away.

Albert said no more on
that memory of war,
but sat and smoked
and waited for the chime
for dinner as he had before.
Firing squad in ww1
Silence Screamz Jul 2015
July Twenty Fourth, Nineteen Fifteen
The river was murky, The weather was seen

The steamer Eastland, firm on her bow,
loaded with coal, port side and sound

A captain, that's ***** and stout in his manner
stands on his bridge with an arrogant cantor

Mooring lines set, stern to the bow
Gangplanks are steady, awaiting a crowd

Employees of Western dressed to their nines,
a picnic awaits, everything's fine

Families with smiles and tickets in hand
looks up in wonder, the Eastland she stands

Boarding commences and loaded up full
Twenty Five Hundred, no more to call

Port side list, a lean to the river
Ballast is leveled, some felt the shiver

Worries amount to settling fears,
a starboard list and beckoning tears

Back to the port, no coming back
tipped on her side, everything's black

Panic in fever, screams are abound
echoes in motion, no silence no sound

The river's chaotic with bodies afloat
Kenosha stands ready and rescues the most

Eight forty four lost their lives
In the armory they lay and Chicago cries

The Eastland still rests in our hearts and our mind
Not a second or hour can turn back the time
Yesterday was the hundred anniversary of the Eastland Disaster on the Chicago River.. 844 lost their lives while the ship was still partially moored to the pier...I went to the site yesterday

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