Derek. A. Sim
The Heat Of The Battle
The devastation mounted, stacked high on layers of grief,
damnation comes to visit, taxing all belief.
Scanning all about me, the air thick with battle's noise,
in craters of mud, stained the colour of blood, lay heroes, made from young boys.
Rat-a-tat-tat, the din from a sten, releasing to the smoke filled air,
singing pellets, searching for flesh, I'm reciting; ‘The Lord's Prayer'.
Engines roar, from tanks galore, and mortars rain down from the sky,
my friend is smashed beyond repair, traumatised... I'm unable to cry.
I carry the fight, with all of my might; I'm a soldier, that's what I do,
I'm killing another, who has a mother, who's praying for her son, too.
I watch him fall, as he tries to crawl, then lay still in his filthy grave,
‘Forgive me', I pray, as his life ebbs away, I'm shamed by the way we behave.
Whizzing past, it sings in my ear, a tiny missile goes by,
as close as can be, though still missing me, the soldier behind me must die.
Where does it end, why can't we bend? There must be an easier way,
instead of this killing, and wounding, and hurt, we are more than creatures of clay.
Young men to the slaughter, like lemmings, like sheep,
climb out of the trenches, I watch them and weep,
following the first, each trembling with fear,
young boys who chose soldiering, as an exciting career.
The noise decreases, the gunfire ceases, it's over; ‘thank god I'm alive, '
The silence is deafening, now comes the reckoning, how many boys will survive?
How many walking, how many carried, how many cold, in a bag?
How many others await sons and brothers, in a casket, draped in a flag?
From my book, 'By The Way...' by Derek A. Sim
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