by Chris Want
I’d spent the night in the watch house
Damp of foot, driven mad by louse
Longing for light, yet when it came
Battle commenced, always the same.
Pure Hell this was, day after day.
Yet for us there was no other way.
Religious leaders said we must
Obliterate others, even to dust
For daring to say they didn’t believe
Rejecting our faith. Let them grieve.
Heathens must die, families all
Deserving, their people must fall.
For if by chance, they should prevail
Our leaders rule could then but fail.
Great power they have, these holy men.
The sword is mightier than the pen.
They’ll fight to keep what suits them best
Their rant and ire directed west,
East, south or north it matters not
Where on the map they place their dot.
What matters most is their own power
Over all mankind they would tower.
And us now, soldiers to a man
What makes us fight? Can’t we just ban
This violent, bloody way of life
Return back home, renounce the strife?
In my small shack there’s thirteen more
To house and feed, yet we’re dirt poor.
Our assets gone to Global Trade
Foreign business vast wealth has made.
We can’t survive on what is left
The choice is fight or live by theft.
I’m on my own, no ties bind me.
Bitter and angry, war holds the key
To give me a role, identity,
A purpose, camaraderie.
And a promise to those who fall
Acceptance awaits in that great hall
Where gifts abound, eternal bliss.
Next life rewards much more than this.
Fear not the loss of this cruel earth
All will be better, a rich new birth.
So, now I’ll fight; it’s the only way
Of life I know; and thus I may
Be violent, cruel, heartless and more.
Hatred seeps through every pore.
Careless of those whose life I take
No love I’ve known; no love I’ll fake.
Following on from those who lead
In course of time we will succeed.
I care not if my faith is blind
E’en less what happens to mankind
For now I breathe and have a role
Confident this way will save my soul.
This poem developed from a line of Banjo Patterson (of Waltzing Matilda fame); “I had spent the night in the watch house”
Copyright © Chris Want. May 2013
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Category: Member’s Work, Poetry. Tags: Creative writing, Poetry, Power of words, Writing verse