IOI (7/4/1934 / Hebburn.Co Durham U.K)

Will We Ever Learn?

The scarlet flares illuminate
a scene from Dante’s inferno.
In muddy trenches soldiers wait.
They’ve learnt to fear the rosy glow.

Behind the lines artillery
sing out their litany of hate
to terrify the enemy
In this respect they are too late.

Exhausted men beyond all fear
crouch numb and sleepless in the mud
and should a heavy shell fall near
They do not hear but feel the thud.

They have no hope all hope has died
These broken men their courage gone.
The veterans on either side.
Each one some loving mothers son.

They answered to their country’s call
each swallowing their country’s lies.
They were prepared to give their all
the ultimate in sacrifice.

Two thousand men died in one day.
A day in June nineteen fourteen.
This was the price they had to pay
. A price which could have been forseen.

The General Staff were confident
old fashioned tactics would prevail
and to a man would not relent.
Quite certain that they could not fail.

Both sides bogged down, total stalemate.
The allies claimed the victory.
Each side has realised but far too late
that modern warfare could not be

conducted in the same old way.
The world was forced to recognise.
Some prices were too high to pay
and rarely worth the sacrifice

of brave young men on either side.
The cream of Europes breeding stock.
Although we honour those who died.
There are some memories we block.

We don’t learn lessons from the past
It seems the human race cannot.
Although the painful memories last
the lessons they should teach do not.

8-Jul-08

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Comments (1)

Very good indeed Ivor. What a wonderful read, and you have captured the war so well in this write. Such a meaningful piece. Excellent. Love and hugs Ernestine XXX