Iraq War Poems 4

Poems added to this website collection 2005

Poems on this page

Remember their sacrifice by Jason Morris

Fallen soldiers by Alicia Cross

There is nothing more sad than our joy to be home by Bill Taylor

Grief dressed up by Bill Taylor

Penumbra over easy

Silence the most brutal grief known to man by Bill Taylor

In search of a water-filled truth by Bill Taylor

For more Iraq war poems see drop-down menu under "Modern" above.

Remember Their Sacrifice
 

September 11 was a clear day

As terrorists attacked family and friends

They awoke to avenge this cruelty

Lest their sacrifice be forgotten

 

October 7 was a brisk day

As American troops fought beside Afghans

They drove Al Qaeda from their bay

Lest their sacrifice be forgotten

 

March 20 was a fresh day

As US fighters took on terrorist Iraq

They pushed back the dark and evil play

Lest their sacrifice be forgotten

 

Lord God above

Be with them daily

Lest their sacrifice be forgotten

Lest their sacrifice be forgotten

 

By Jason Morris

Captain USAF

Operation Enduring Freedom

17 July 2005

Fallen Soldiers


Men lost to more than just death

lost to the pain that lives inside

inside their minds, their hearts.

The pain of those who survived

with the memories of those who didn't,

the memories that haunts

that never heals, that never leave.

That live within ones soul

always wanting out

but never really getting there.

As they try to fight their way back

to what they once knew

to those they once loved.

They slip further and further away

into the ghosts of their past.

The screams echo through the emptiness

of the holes left by the guns and bombs.

With every BANG! they fill less and less,

almost unrecognizable to them selves

and all the rest they once knew.

With the return of those who fought

comes more sadness from all that love them.

After all is done

they are never as they were before.

Alicia Cross
Greenfield, Mass, USA

Poems by Bill Taylor

There is nothing more sad than our joy to be home


"And there's no light to see the voices by;

 There is no time to ask  - he knows not what."

                                   Wilfred Owen

 

She held her hand our for me,

a dream I did not want to end,

 

her path and mine refused to cross

before the great call to arms,

 

I, deep within myself, knew that it

was highly unfair for her to marry a man burnt as badly

I was, for no matter how many decoration and ribbons placed upon my chest,

 

the flesh left over from a blast in the direction

of my hurling body,

 

I saved three white boys from dying,

yet, when I came to Magnolia Sweets,

 

I could not watch the movie shows downstairs with

the white man,

I was directed by guards to the balcony,

 

when I took a job mopping floors at that Richmond hospital,

they complained that my looks scared off the patients

and their families,

 

so I was switched to the midnight shift,

quiet,

I saw her, my first love,

 

holding the hands of one of those men I'd saved,

incidentally, as a matter of fact,

 

neither recognized me underneath a new face

the VA had given me,

 

passing right in front of me,

there was nothing more I could offer either

of them,

 

changing my mop water,

I punched out for the night,

 

walking into the cold Richmond air,

heading home,

 

riding the bus, at the back, I stood

letting the white ladies have my seat,

 

there are no thank you's for those of us

cursed with this hideous dress,

 

our only salvation

perhaps, is to realize,

 

that even a point blank wound

does not change the color of a man

skin,

 

enough to be treated like a warrior

in need of a woman who loves him

in spite of himself.

 

William "Wild Bill" Taylor,

June, 2003

 

Grief dressed up


Grief dressed up a long time ago when

she came on a crowded streetcar,

dream cakes, and indigo,

a feast for those with happiness,

count the number who ride invisible horses,

to homes far away from mountain lands,

the gentle river breeze slaps me like a caress

she gave me,

long away from the silliness

of youth's good-bye,

hell-o today,

cantankerous sort,

I'd rather be with her,

riding over treetops

glistening for something

lost,

yet even more present

than the campfire's shoot.

 

William "Wild Bill" Taylor,

February, 2004

 

Penumbra over easy

We danced with the Cherokee virgin from Budapest,

lying down drunk before the blinking eye,

the telephone does not say,

 "this is one great kid!"

 She defiled me in the bonnie wee hours of the dewey

decimal dawn,

 Take me home, Solomon name-dropper

vanity of vanities,

 One great kid!

red on red,

black on black,

 what becomes of the blinking eye?

 Cool man, lonely with the shared bed of

a blood sucker from paradise,

 One great kid

eating popcorn

dusty beach landings,

 alone,

consequential blink,

for the final time,

 let's half another drink,

shall we, General Westmoreland?

William "Wild Bill" Taylor,

March, 1999

 

Silence, the most brutal kind of grief
known to man

 

"Go tell the Spartans, thou who passest by,

That here, obedient to their laws, we lie."

--Simonides

Come up from the fields dear Papa

come in the house where it is warm,

go and get mother,

tell her to bring dear sister's yarn, too,

Until then, I cannot tell you anything,

so please hurry here as best you can,

By the look on my face and the new company I keep,

the news that comes in this house is not that good,

lament,

tears for the fallen,

lament,

there is a telegram from the War Department,

our Luke has been killed,

they will try and send his remains to us,

when the fighting stops in that part of the world,

where nobody gives a damn!

until then you have the condolences of a grateful nation,

and a wheel barrow with tweezers

to find your broken heart.

 

William "Wild Bill" Taylor,

August, 2004

 

In search of a water-filled truth


I was the soldier supreme

rough and ready

with the sleeves of my sunburned arms

carrying an appropriate tattoo

and short filtered smokes

kill or be killed

this desert is hot

anything that moves at night is enemy

fire in the hole

doesn't that child have a gun

what an empty canteen in search of cold water

don't worry about my buddies around

the campfire cry

it only takes one to kill you

dude

let no man beware

charge charge of

the light marine brigade

Kipling was no veteran

let other bewares

the price of victory is a politicians soul

and a sentry's nightmare

plus the head of a little boy

forever lost.

William "Wild Bill" Taylor,

June, 2004
 

Shall we remember what war is?

 

Each Remembrance Day

shall we remember what war is?

 

What is war?

In the human psyche

it is the fatal flaw,

a perversion of the human mind,

using our greatest brains to create

a threat to all mankind.

 

War is

the profoundest disrespect

for the sanctity

of human life,

the ultimate in racism,

the collapse of morality.

 

War is

the ultimate in criminality,

the ultimate obscenity,

the ultimate crime against humanity.

 

So shall we honour war?

and shall we now praise broken men?

Or shall we remember what war is

and give true meaning

to "Never again?"

David Roberts 

28 September 04

There Will Be Peace

I realised that my poem "There will be no peace" was entirely negative and that it could be the opposite. So this is a re-write of my 1999 poem written just after the Kosovo war.

 

Remembrance Day 2004

 

Remembrance Day 2004.

More British soldiers dead

In another British war.

 

Yesterday some of their parents

In anguish and anger went to Downing Street

To lay a wreath

To lay the blame

At the door

Of the man most responsible

For our latest war.

 

But their sons are gone.

 

And Iraq's cities are in ruins.

In many thousands Iraq, too, has lost its sons.

Their sons are gone, their children maimed.

Chaos and trauma are everywhere.

For the shattering of this nation

We share the blame.

 

No fine words can give these crimes

The slightest gloss.

 

Parents grieve. Such a quantity of grief.

Such needless destruction. Such needless pain.

Parents grieve.

Let us reflect on

Their needless loss.

 

Let us reflect on their needless loss.

 

David Roberts

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The original War Poetry Website, researched and edited by David Roberts for nearly 20 years, 1999-2018 was number one in search results for "war poetry" for over 15 years. Re-written and re-designed 2019, it was launched 16 May 2019 at warpoetry.uk and replaces the original which used to be found at www.warpoetry.co.uk . Copyright 2019 David Roberts.