This was a task we were set on Monday’s Poets’ Platform at Theatre Royal, to write a poem about war. This may end up in a book we’re hoping to get published, so if you like your poetry keep your eyes peeled…
Just yesterday I was so fired-up,
So full of life, enthusiasm and gung-ho passion.
I was gonna slaughter some baddies and
Become a goodie in the eyes of all back home,
Finally be accepted as a 100% Brit, and anyone who disagrees can’t say s***.
Either that or die trying but hey!
Either way I’m glorious baby
Whether or not I’m victorious! Yeah!
I was ready, I was pumped to shoot dead some Soviet commies when they dared to oppose capitalism back in WWII,
Or the Taliban when they dared to hit iconic monuments of the Free World, the Twin Towers
(or was that al-Qaeda? Oh well, they’re all Muslims so what difference does it make?),
Or the Mau Mau when they dared to resist Great Britain’s rule of Kenya,
Or Argentines when they dared to take their Falkland Islands back from us,
Or any paramilitary rebels in some foreign land somewhere who ain’t got nothin’ to do with us whatsoever.
Today I’m so fired-up but in a different way,
Pumped full of death, agony and Gulf War syndrome.
Now I’m slaughtered like the baddie because
I chose to turn coat, because
I chose to see the humanity in my fellow enemies
And the animality in my fellow allies, because
I chose to evolve and thus became the black sheep, no longer in their herd.
What’s that called nowadays? Conscientious objector?
Pfft, back then it was just called treacherous coward.
That’s all they bleated at me as Sgt barked at them to
Drag my sorry ass to the wall! Line up in firing squad formation! Reload guns! Take aim!
The sacrificial lamb at the altar…
BANG! 1 shot, 2 shot, 3 shot, 4!
BANG! 5 shot, 6 shot, 7 shot, more!
BANG! Lost count, all shots sound like one!
BANG! Falling down, hit the ground, BANG!
© ONE TAWNY STRANGER 2014