English poetry

Poems in English

Don't talk to me of War

Don’t talk to me of War or stalk the ground
Our fabled soldiers died upon, I’m sound
Of limb and strong of will, my mind as clear
As when we learnt those gory lessons founded
By our forebears; I’m whole still, my sanity intact,
Wife and sanguine life extant despite
The wrack of loyal Service, though I will avow
Some wrinkled stress in thirty years, more or less,
And pride as signal as the very best
Of graduates from OCS.
Oh the pomp and circumstance of that,
The cringing revelations, the flat drum beat
Of sibling cries alive with drear elation,
Steeped in deep emotion, plied and pried
By driving tides of damned humiliation.
In those early hours we sat confused
In closet ease to crew a hurly burly year,
Taking cheer in kindred arms and comradeship,
Bonded in the object cup of common deed,
Proud and young and strong and needing
Just the Company to keep the faith. In that year
We ran a cracking chase, a course of tally ho
And view halloo, of pulses racing in a strain of sweat
That smudged our painted faces,
Entrained our natural graces,
Tempered us in diverse ways without ado although
We grew and learned to look out for each other,
Holding in our hearts a strong belief that each
And every one of us would reach the fabled end.
And when the thief of Time denied those rites to some
Who sundered in the night; a shameful passing without fête
Or argent cause, or silent class debate,
We knew, and turned our eyes, it could have been our fate.
Who where we then? Fine striplings come
To take their place in larger schemes,
Subordinate, acquiescent, yet free of shocking dreams.
Who are we now? It takes a mighty leap to bridge the gap
Or shed entanglements that wrap us to our past
And sleep the deep and blameless sleep,
Survive the shrieking terrors of the night;
For some the task is nemesis, for some the quiet
Of peaceful death is rife, for most it is a part of life.
And yet we know that when we meet again
The years will disappear and time will be our friend.

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Poem Don't talk to me of War - Ivan Donn Carswell