Bill Mitton

Rookie - 0 Points (26-03-45 / Salford, England)

A Name On A Wall - Poem by Bill Mitton

It was a forgotten war
and a wall of afterthoughts
It was Black with white scars
and every scar a name, a life
It was pain it was sorrow
and I was drawn to it's names
drawn to it's single stories
It took a stunned nation years to
acknowledge their sacrifice
and perhaps not until the
vast black stone wall stood
did a people understand the
the enormity of that sacrifice
and the scale of their own
indifference and ignorance
fifty eight thousand scars
are marked on that black stone
fifty eight thousand lives
given to the cold ground
and as I scanned the names
of men and boys who in minds
and hearts will never change
this stone touched my life
in one more surprising way
as one white scar bore
for me a poignant reminder
of the smile of fortune
it was the name I have
and will carry all my life
William Mitton,
But this name was followed by
1949-1970 Killed in Action.
Wednesday, May 6,1970.
The Day he was killed in Cambodia
is the day I left Thailand,
The British army, and harms way.
I looked at that black wall knowing
Here are fifty eight thousand
prayers imploring, that we find another way.

Listen to this poem:

Comments about A Name On A Wall by Bill Mitton

  • Ernestine Northover (1/10/2006 12:41:00 PM)

    A war Cemetery is a very humbling place to go to. The rows of stones stretching further than the eye can see, is such a moving experience, it takes your breath away. It is such a waste of life, and all so young. This is a great reminder of these atrocious happenings, which seem to raise their ugly heads all the way through history. Like the song, ' When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn! ' I don't think they ever will, greed and domination rules the day, in every generation. Love Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 9, 2006

Poem Edited: Monday, January 9, 2006

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]