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War Poetry
 
Duath
Ents’ Marching Song

To Isengard! Though Isengard be ringed and barred with doors of stone;
Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door;
For bole and bough are burning now, the furnace roars - we go to war!
To land of gloom with tramp of doom, with roll of drum, we come, we come;
To Isengard with doom we come!
With doom we come, with doom we come!

by J.R.R. Tolkien

https://youtu.be/yPV63iW6gFM
Duath
Mowgli's Song Against People
"Letting in the Jungle”-- The Second Jungle Book

I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines--
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines!
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!

In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing.
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept!

Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess.
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved!

I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host.
Ye shall glean behind my reapers for the bread that is lost;
And the deer shall be your oxen
On a headland untilled;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build!

I have untied against you the club-footed vines--
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines!
The trees--the trees are on you!
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover you all!

By Rudyard Kipling

https://youtu.be/Pbdqcorpdm0 - Mowgli's Song Against People [Hungarian]
17th-Jul-2019 12:00 am - Ursula K. Le Guin, 'The Jaguar'
Duath
The Jaguar

the ghost of a jaguar walks through the fence
the jaguar is our freedom

a friend gave me a precious thing
a little fragment of the Berlin wall

but this wall they are building
straight across my heartland

with our flag draped across it
is the coffin of my country

hands reach through the gaps
to clasp, until the gaps are sealed

and even music
cannot get through

but only the ghosts
of all we have betrayed

this is the wall of lamentation
the grave of the jaguar

By Ursula K. Le Guin
17 July 2017
Duath
The Lark Above The Trenches

All day the guns had worked their hellish will,
And all night long
With sobbing breath men gasped their lives away,
Or shivered restless on the ice-cold clay,
Till morn broke pale and chill
With sudden song.

Above the sterile furrows war had ploughed
With deep-trenched seams,
Wherein this year such bitter seed is sown,
Wherein this year no fruitful grain is strown,
A lark poured from the cloud
Its throbbing dreams.

It sang - and pain and death were passing shows -
So glad and strong;
Life soared triumphant, through a myriad men
Were swept like leaves beyong the living's ken,
That wounded hope arose
To greet that song.

by Muriel E. Graham
15th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Mark Lentz, 'At What a Cost'
Duath
At What a Cost

Send me there
I’ll do as you will
I’ll even kill
I’m your rock

You put me here
Can’t show any fear
You say it’s a thrill
I’m your rock

I fight your wars
On another tour
Defend your shores
I’m your rock

Trained me well
Put me into hell
Your point you sell
I’m your rock

How can I be me
Fighting for the land of the free
Doin’ all I’m told
Watching your plan unfold
Watching your plan unfold


I took your hand
You made me a man
In this foreign land
I’m your rock

You planted the seed
I fought for your greed
Now I live with the deed
I’m your rock

Welcome home
All I love is gone
No one on the phone
I’m your rock

Now all is lost
At what a cost
I’m at a loss
I’m your rock

How can I be me
Fighting for the land of the free
Doin’ all I’m told
Watching your plan unfold
Watching your plan unfold


By Mark Lentz

14th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Benjamin Landry, 'Night Vision'
Duath
Night Vision
(for Paul)

He chose the darkest part for us
between the campsite and communal fire.
Said this was just the place to teach us

night vision, which he’d perfected
as a Reservist in the jungles
of Florida, a simulated drop

behind enemy lines in ’Nam,
where survival depended on following
the footfalls of shy, nocturnal beasts.

Or picking out the metal catch
of a mine in the shuddering moonlight—
which, in these New England woods,

he translated into spreading roots
—splayed—tendons of hands—
across the paths. The sniper’s mark

was a spinner’s web at temple level.
Our task was to set our sight
on the sightless part,

then wait for the pupils’ dilation,
trusting the way to reveal itself
out of the barked periphery.

For some time, we stumbled—
horses riding into blinders.
The path we pretended to see

was only his voice, which we followed
through red oaks, scuffing
our boots on swaybacked stones.

When it happened, it was exactly
like looking through a stereogram,
the snow-white static of this

perceived world falling away,
the trails of badger and deer,
litter-drag of porcupines, the retreat

made implicit to the un-learned eye.
Years later, I’m at the sudden funeral
of his wife. He wears his grief

like a new shirt, self-consciously,
and I suppose there isn’t any other way.
I’m one of the scrupulous mourners

who wait for him to cross the mortuary lot.
That is when I notice
his slant-faced approach.

He is not-looking for the way,
trying night vision in broad day. I watch
him watch the static fall away.

By Benjamin Landry
13th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - A.D. Hope, 'Inscription for a War'
Duath
Inscription for a War

“Stranger, go tell the Spartans we died here obedient to their commands.”
— Inscription at Thermopylae


Linger not, stranger. Shed no tear.
Go back to those who sent us here.

We are the young they drafted out
To wars their folly brought about.

Go tell those old men, safe in bed,
We took their orders and are dead.

by A.D. Hope
12th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Clifford Newton, 'Stand Up'
Duath
Stand Up

Stand up
We shall not be moved
Except by a child with no socks and shoes
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
Stand up
We shall not be moved
Except by a woman dying from the loss of food
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you

We still don't understand thunder and lightning
Flash back to when we didn't fund the dam
Didn't fund the damn levy? No wonder man
Now our whole damn city's torn asunder man
Under water but we still don't understand
We see hurricane spills over on the land
Through gaps you couldn't fill with a hundred tons of sand
No we still don't understand
We've seen planes in the windows of buildings crumbled in
We've seen flames send the chills through London
And we've sent planes to kill them and some of them were children
But still we crumble in the building
Underfunded but we still don't understand
Under god but we kill like the son of Sam
But if you feel like I feel like about the son of man
We will overcome

So stand up
We shall not be moved
Except by a child with no socks and shoes
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
Stand up
We shall not be moved
Except by a woman dying from the loss of food
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you

I said, put your hands up and I'll copy you
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you


We shall not be moved
Except by a child with no socks and shoes
Except by a woman dying from the loss of food
Except by a freedom fighter bleeding on a cross for you
We shall not be moved
Except by a system that's rotten through
Neglecting the victims and ordering the cops to shoot
High treason now we need to prosecute

So stand up
We shall not be moved
And we won't fight a war for fossil fuel
Its times like this that you want to plot a coup
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
So stand up
We shall not be moved
Unless we're taking a route we have not pursued
So if you've got a dream and a lot to do
Put your hands up and I'll copy you

I said Put your hands up and I'll copy you
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
if you've got a dream and a lot to do
Put your hands up


Now shake, shake
A Polaroid dream
Nightmare negatives develop on the screen
We sit back and wait for the government team
Criticize they but who the fuck are we
The people want peace but the leaders want war
Our neighbors don't speak, peek thru the front door
House representatives preach "stay the course"
Time for a leap of faith
Once more

Put your hands up high if you've ever imagined
Hope that the pen stroke's stronger than the cannon
Balls to the wall, nose to the grindstone
My interrogation techniques leave your mind blown
So place your bets let's speak to the enemy
Don't let 'em pretend that we seek blood
And who's we anyways, Kemo Sabe?
Mighty warlord wanna-be street thug
A threat for a threat leaves the whole world terrified
Blow for blow never settles the score
Word for word it's time we clarify
We the people did not want war

So stand up
We shall not be moved
Except by a child with no socks and shoes
If you've got more to give than you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
Unless we're taking a route we have not pursued
So if you've got a dream and a lot to do
Put your hands up and I'll copy you

I said Put your hands up and I'll copy you
Put your hands up and I'll copy you
if you've got a dream and a lot to do
Put your hands up


By 'The Flobots'

https://youtu.be/L8xTOadn1n0
Duath
To The Genius Of Africa

O thou who from the mountain's height
Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight
Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain
Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,
Amid whose desolated domes
Secure the savage chacal roams,
Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane
The Arabs rear their miserable homes!

Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!
Not always should'st thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude
Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;
Nor Genius should the midnight song
Detain thee in some milder mood
The palmy plains among
Where Gambia to the torches light
Flows radiant thro' the awaken'd night.

Ah, linger not to hear the song!
Genius avenge thy children's wrong!
The Daemon COMMERCE on your shore
Pours all the horrors of his train,
And hark! where from the field of gore
Howls the hyena o'er the slain!
Lo! where the flaming village fires the skies!
Avenging Power awake--arise!

Arise thy children's wrong redress!
Ah heed the mother's wretchedness
When in the hot infectious air
O'er her sick babe she bows opprest--
Ah hear her when the Christians tear
The drooping infant from her breast!
Whelm'd in the waters he shall rest!
Hear thou the wretched mother's cries,
Avenging Power awake! arise!

By the rank infected air
That taints those dungeons of despair,
By those who there imprison'd die
Where the black herd promiscuous lie,
By the scourges blacken'd o'er
And stiff and hard with human gore,
By every groan of deep distress
By every curse of wretchedness,
By all the train of Crimes that flow
From the hopelessness of Woe,
By every drop of blood bespilt,
By Afric's wrongs and Europe's guilt,
Awake! arise! avenge!

And thou hast heard! and o'er their blood-fed plains
Swept thine avenging hurricanes;
And bade thy storms with whirlwind roar
Dash their proud navies on the shore;
And where their armies claim'd the fight
Wither'd the warrior's might;
And o'er the unholy host with baneful breath
There Genius thou hast breath'd the gales of Death.

So perish still the robbers of mankind!
What tho' from Justice bound and blind
Inhuman Power has snatch'd the sword!
What tho' thro' many an ignominious age
That Fiend with desolating rage
The tide of carnage pour'd!
Justice shall yet unclose her eyes,
Terrific yet in wrath arise,
And trample on the tyrant's breast,
And make Oppresion groan opprest.

By Robert Southey
Duath
A Far Cry From Africa

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
'Waste no compassion on these separate dead!'
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?
Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilizations dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?

By Derek Walcott
9th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Tim Murphy, 'The Wall'
Duath
The Wall

On a drizzly D.C. morning, in the middle of July,
My brother brought me downtown to the Mall;
Past the watchful eyes of Lincoln, 'neath a weeping summer sky,
We crossed the street to the little green and visited The Wall.

I remember I was nervous then, I guess a little scared,
'Cause I wasn't sure how I'd react at all;
To see the names of the servicemen who'd been recorded there:
Who'd heard the final roll call and assembled at The Wall.

Someone might stoop to leave a rose, a letter, or a poem;
A message to a young man loved and lost,
To show they still remember those who never made it home:
Who built The Wall so long and tall, and paid the bitter cost.

And every name's a father or a husband or a son,
Or a daughter or a brother or a cousin to someone;
Or a name might be a classmate or a friend you may recall:
There's nearly sixty thousand fallen names still waiting at The Wall.

As I watched the lines of people that walked by in slow parade,
I read a different story in each face;
And I couldn't help but wonder at this pilgrimage we'd made,
And what common bond, if any, might have brought us to this place.

There were tourists, and the curious, and some veterans who came,
Still others who sought an answer to it all;
But the only thing I'm sure of is: we left not quite the same,
With our memories alive and well, and waiting at The Wall.

by Tim Murphy

http://youtu.be/wNtEGNUnzhE
8th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - David Roberts, 'Tempting War'
Duath
Tempting War

The nature of war is different now.
When the Western Federation flies in
only the losing nation suffers losses,
and the Federation will always win.

By David Roberts
(Kosovo, 8 July 1999)
7th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Robert Service, 'Tri-Colour'
Duath
Tri-Colour

POPPIES, you try to tell me, glowing there in the wheat;
Poppies! Ah no! You mock me: It's blood, I tell you, it's blood.
It's gleaming wet in the grasses; it's glist'ning warm in the wheat;
It dabbles the ferns and the clover; it brims in an angry flood;
It leaps to the startled heavens; it smothers the sun; it cries
With scarlet voices of triumph from blossom and bough and blade.
See the bright horror of it! It's roaring out of the skies,
And the whole red world is a-welter. . . . Oh God! I'm afraid! I'm afraid!

CORNFLOWERS, you say, just cornflowers, gemming the golden grain;
Ah no! You can't deceive me. Can't I believe my eyes?
Look! It's the dead, my comrades, stark on the dreadful plain,
All in their dark-blue blouses, staring up at the skies.
Comrades of canteen laughter, dumb in the yellow wheat.
See how they sprawl and huddle! See how their brows are white!
Goaded on to the shambles, there in death and defeat. . . .
Father of Pity, hide them! Hasten, O God, Thy night!

LILIES (the light is waning), only lilies you say,
Nestling and softly shining there where the spear-grass waves.
No, my friend, I know better; brighter I see than day:
It's the poor little wooden crosses over their quiet graves.
Oh, how they're gleaming, gleaming! See! Each cross has a crown.
Yes, it's true I am dying; little will be the loss. . . .
Darkness . . . but look! In Heaven a light, and it's shining down. . . .
God's accolade! Lift me up, friends. I'm going to win -- MY CROSS.

By Robert W. Service
6th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Sable, 'When He Comes Home'
Duath
When He Comes Home

it's been three hundred, sixty eight days
and twelve hours since he last saw her face
so the picture of her on her uncles farm
he keeps in his pocket close to his heart

he wakes in the morning from a faraway dream
quickly grabs on to his M-16
the horizons a blur in the scorching heat
it's been another long night of next to no sleep
but he's gonna get through this cause he knows soon

he comes home to her he'll end his pain
like a hot summer day blessed with sweet cool rain
like the warmth of a fire on a cold winter night
when he's holding her close everything will be right
when he comes home to her


he puts on his boots and hold the cross he wears
thinks of his buddies in a silent prayer
the things he's seen could leave a soldier numb
so he imagines her face in the warm summer sun
the taste of her lips the moment when

he comes home to her he'll end his pain
like a hot summer day blessed with sweet cool rain
like the warmth of a fire on a cold winter night
when he's holding her close everything will be right
when he comes home to her


when he thinks he can't take any more
he remembers what he's been fighting for
is when he comes home to her he'll end his pain
the day he steps off that westbound plane
he done his duty with honor and pride
now he's gonna greet her with his arms open wide
and hold her so tight
when he comes home to her

it's been three hundred sixty eight day and twelve hours since he last saw her face

By 'Sable'

5th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Street Dogs, 'Back To The World'
Duath
Back To The World

I got to go back to the world
Back to my girl
Back to my family and kids
Have to go and see my home again
Don't want my life to end
Before my time is due
And the kids are big


Just got the postal package from my wife and kids
It brings me comfort while I'm stuck in this desert mess
But don't get me wrong, perform my mission
Just sounding off on my homesick condition
Got to get out, a short timer, my heart it begs for home

I got to go back to the world
Back to my girl
Back to my family and kids
Have to go and see my home again
Don't want my life to end
Before my time is due
And the kids are big


Seen many a firefight since we deployed out here
Learned how to survive with my friends
They're focus, adrenaline and fear
But the odds haunt me, hope I don't get hit
Be that body with a flag adorned to it
I'm gonna make it, the short timer, hellbent on going home

I got to go back to the world
Back to my girl
Back to my family and kids
Have to go and see my home again
Don't want my life to end
Before my time is due
And the kids are big


I'm not a policy maker
Just a sworn-in order taker
Doing my best to stay alive
I'm gonna make it
To conus real soon
Hope some days still lie ahead for me

I got to go back to the world
Back to my girl
Back to my family and kids
Have to go and see my home again
Don't want my life to end
Before my time is due
And the kids are big


I've gotta go back
Too short to turn back
Gotta go back
Back to the world again

By 'Street Dogs'

https://youtu.be/1RaXbjv206o
4th-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 'Protest''
Duath
Protest

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(1914)
3rd-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Mason Douglas, 'Home Free'
Duath
Home Free

I’m a soldier – that’s what I am
Maybe you don’t agree with me or just don’t understand
Just like you, I’ve got a home and family
And I leave it all behind when you call on me, so

I will fight for what is right
For my country, for my stars and my stripes
And I’ll stand tall ’til the day I die
And if I fall, I’ll have my brothers by my side
And I may come back home to a big parade or to my name carved in stone
But either way, don’t shed a tear for me
Yeah either way I’m comin home…
And I’m comin home free

It’s an uphill battle all the time
But it’s what I do for you to sleep safely thru the night
And I’ll be on my way home when the gun-smoke clears
When we all live to love another day, it’s all downhill from there

And I will fight for what is right
For my country, for my stars and my stripes
And I’ll stand tall ’til the day I die
And if I fall, I’ll have my brothers by my side
And I may come back home to a big parade or to my name carved in stone
But either way, don’t shed a tear for me
Yeah either way I’m comin home…
And I’m comin home free

Yeah I may come back home to a big parade or to my name carved in stone
But either way, don’t shed a tear for me
Yeah either way I’m comin’ home…
And I’m comin’ home free

By Mason Douglas

http://youtu.be/0DegJDPE0Z0
2nd-Jul-2019 01:00 am - The Thornlie Boys, 'Poppy Fields'
Duath
Poppy Fields

There's a town just north of Belfast, white houses row on row
Where was raised an Ulster family, how proudly they did grow
Now proud and happy parents watched their son grow to a man
And they taught him truth and justice in this part of Ireland

Then one day there came a letter, with his comrades he would go
To a place across the water where the tears and blood would flow
So he waved farewell to Ulster and next morning at the dawn
A broken-hearted mother sent her son off to the Somme

Then one night as she lay sleeping, in a dream there at the door
Stood a handsome looking soldier, the King's colours he had wore
He said mother don't you know me, let me in I'm feeling cold
But the crimson blood upon his chest the fateful story told

There's a town just north of Belfast where a father proudly cries
And a broken-hearted mother wipes the tears falling from her eyes
There's a graveyard north of Theipval, the white crosses row on row
Where he sleeps beside his comrades now
In the fields where the red poppies grow
Yes he sleeps beside his comrades now
In the fields where the red poppies grow

By 'The Thornlie Boys'

The 36th (Ulster) Division and the Battle of the Somme, 1916

https://youtu.be/6K9ZeH9yt6s
1st-Jul-2019 01:00 am - Unknown, 'Silent Flowing Somme'
Duath
Silent Flowing Somme

The old men stand there weeping, the haunting bugle calls,
At a white marble cenotaph, beside the city hall,
On a July morning, the aging veterans join,
To mourn their fallen comrades of the Somme,

We keep them in remembrance, those who died so young,
For those who died anonymous, who passed away unsung,
By transient grass that flourishes, that withers and then is gone,
So passed the generation on the Somme,

Fleeting as shadows are,
Transient as fallen stars,
Lives fragile gossamer,
Oh the silent flowing Somme,


Floods of sorrow follow, the battle's aftermath,
When the sound of weeping replaced the noise of wrath,
Mothers' lamentation for their butchered sons,
Ancient Rachael weeping on the Somme,

Was it predetermined,, or the cruel flow of chance,
Just a repetition of the races' deadly dance,
As mists of early morning dissipate at dawn,
A generation vanished on the Somme,

Fleeting as shadows are,
Transient as fallen stars,
Lives fragile gossamer,
Oh the silent flowing Somme,


Thousands on the altar of living sacrifice,
Grim participation in the agony of Christ,
Unending tragic drama played out since time begun,
Repeated on the killing fields of Somme,

Were they merely wrinkles on history's heaving sea,
So small and insignificant beside eternity,
Ripples on the ocean of pure humanity,
That washed the rock of ages cleft for me,

Fleeting as shadows are,
Transient as fallen stars,
Lives fragile gossamer,
Oh the silent flowing Somme,


Now the scene's unruffled, white gravestones stretch for miles,
As far as I can see to where the green fields meet the skies,
The Ulster Tower stands dreaming in warm summer sun
On the silent cemeteries of Somme,

Fleeting as shadows are,
Transient as fallen stars,
Lives fragile gossamer,
On the silent flowing Somme,


On the silent flowing Somme.

--Unknown

First day on the Somme, 1 July 1916

The Battle of the Somme (1917 Silent Film)
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