ww1 1

It is dusk

I crane my neck

Score her initials in

The condensation

Then wipe the window clean

A shirt cuff has many uses!


To the beat of hunting oscillation

From the passenger car I see

A glum star submerge

An inevitable sinking

Into the quicksand

That is the far horizon


Travelling coast bound

I leave in my wake

My impetuous inamorata

And head toward a place of

Trench coats and rain clouds

Arras and the

Undeterred stray dogs

I am told

Will molest anything

In search of sustenance


Soon the others and I will arrive

Folkestone Harbour Station

Our destination

The last piece of England

We shall set foot on


Soon we shall be in Calais

Soon we shall be at the front

Soon we will be at war


I shall write her daily if I can

I traded her intimacy

Her flesh and soul

For the thuggery of battle

And know not why


From the back of the train

Some of the lads break into chorus

“Mademoiselle from Armentières”

And no doubt live in hope

Of meeting with her or

One of her filles de joie friends

Good luck to them I say



I have a dream that

I will be home by Christmas

That we shall toast good fortune

With Calvados, ripe cheeses and bread


Armed with Belgian chocolate

I shall smother her

Have her for desert……….


……….. “Wake up son

No time for daydreaming

Get your act together

We’re going over the top”


    1. Cheers – it is debatable if the poor chap ever got home for desert methinks. I asked Shirl to be covered in chocolate yet she declined fearing for my diabetes – she suggested a vindaloo as a worthwhile alternative though.

  1. you have a remarkable affinity for, and ability to convey, the atmospherics of the “war to end all wars” – the line “To the beat of hunting oscillation” is simply sublime

    1. I was in Folkestone (the place all soldiers left from for war) just this morning to see the memorial arch just put up there and got a bit carried away when I got home – hence this post. I enjoy being in places where, on occasion, one can squeeze history out of the surrounding air/ambiance.

    1. Thanks for that – went to Folkestone to see the new memorial of the dead of WW1. Merely a chrome arch yet it took me back in time. Dead yes – as you know well there is nothing more – but remembered; that’s the important bit.

      1. The Victorian ladies couldn’t be expected to walk down to the beach in those days – there are a number of those lifts all over the UK. What I did like was the old concrete beach huts all painted different pastel colours. The beach used to have a station adjoined to the harbour – a harbour from which all troops (US ones as well) crossed over to France during WW1. The last piece of England many of the chaps ever set foot on – so there is a bit of sadness there. Still had I not gone there I wouldn’t have written that poem which – by my standards – seems to have gone down well with the readers all of whom I would like to thank.

    1. That’s not what the missus said when I got into character to write this – there was me with the hired soldiers uniform and having spent a small fortune in Brugge on chocolate (plus the train fare) when she declined the offer of being covered in it. Where’s the fairness in that! Thank you for reading by the way – appreciated.

    1. I think it should be an Olympic sport if the truth be told – I was going to go into training yet the wife denied me the opportunity. There is the next door neighbour available though yet she must weigh 20 stone if she weighs a stone and I fear for my diabetes should I cover her in chocolate!

    1. Odd you should say that – in a fit of weather related depression (it was supposed to hot and warm this day but wasn’t) I wrote a couple of poem things that I rather liked (unusual with me) that I shall post next week. The fact that I liked them probably means they are crap but who knows. I am off for three days at a wedding in the north of England but shall get to post sooner or later in the new week.

    1. Cheers Sir. It is only that I try different things since starting a blogging thing I had never heard of previously. It was my son who told me to try for he was sick of me saying, ‘I’m bored’ following the sale of our business and giving up work. I do a bit of writing on Wednesdays for;
      leagueofmentalmen.wordpress.com you may or may not like. Let me know if you do and we will ‘follow’ your blog – being computer illiterate I don’t know how to find you on that one.

    1. Thank you – I had doubts about this poem as it arrived in a flash and was written in an instant – quite the opposite of how I usually struggle with poetry. Felt like I was cheating when I posted it yet I feel so much better as it has gone down reasonably well. Thank you again for taking time out to read and comment.

  2. I don’t know if it’s your thing but ‘writing magazine’ have a war poetry/story comp with deadline 12th September if you fancy taking a second look at this for an afternoon – or if you have other war writes.

    Right, going to study your poem. I entered btw :/

    1. Thanks for that – I have never entered anything on the writing front as I have long since fought to lose my annoying competitive streak (knackered me leg and had to give up on opening the bowling and all that) but will certainly take a look. I have knocked out a few other poems and bits of writing re WW1. My songwriting son wrote a sublime song ‘Aged 19’ after visiting the war graves in Etaples yet will do nothing with it as it is in demo format presently. A kind thought Sir.

  3. Your WWI poems stand out in the sense that they, like no other, convey the sentiment of dreams and hopes crushed so violently as was the case with the WWI generation. This is another one that I believe does a lot of justice and pays a lot of respect to what those people 100 years ago went through. The last verse was particularly poignant the way is has reality smacking us in the face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.