The Somme – A spoken word poem


I try not to remember when they started to
chat about war. Joe Francis’ voice soared over the tables
talking about Kitchener’s finger; “it’s pointing at me lads, he’s asking
for me,” said with such seriousness the others looked
embarrassed to disagree. “You know,” said George, “walking to
work the other day three of my mates went off a different way.
Said they’d learnt about Pal’s battalions where mates join up all as one…” “How great it would feel,” said Ted “to
say you know what Mum, we won – and beat the nasty old Fritz, we’ve not
left a single one.” The boys laughed as if no nightmares lay ahead
at the Somme. Tom said: “I don’t know, might be hard
work, not fun…” “Hey, there’s three meals going, a uniform,
a gun.” The day they left us was bright with May sunshine
and blooms. The boys; packed up, wrapped up strapped tight
boots all shiny and new, swaddled in cloth like
the day they were born… Up ahead, barbed thorns and torn sleeves caught
on a hedgerow, in the last of the breeze. The hole they left spread like an ink-stain;
letters that never came home, fading picture frames, no more footie games on the green. And this is a tale from just one pub down
our street But listen close enough and you’ll realize that
thousands of people you might meet will have the branches in their family tree lying incomplete. We didn’t know they wouldn’t come back
to us, and now: morning is here, and we stand here mourning those voices that
disappeared.

7 thoughts on “The Somme – A spoken word poem

  1. gonetoosoon.org/memorials/albert-wade …  #Somme100 My Gt  granddad  I  am very proud of always.

  2. To Germany.

    You are blind like us. Your hurt no man designed,
    And no man claimed the conquest of your land.
    But gropers both through fields of thought confined
    We stumble and we do not understand.
    You only saw your future brightly planned
    And we, the tapering paths of our own mind,
    And in each others dearest ways we stand,
    And hiss and hate. And the blind fight the blind.

    But when it is peace, then we may view again
    With new-won eyes, each others truer form.
    And wonder. Grown loving – kind and warm.
    We'll grasp firm hands and laugh at the old pain;
    When it is peace. But until peace, the storm,
    The darkness and the thunder and the rain.

    C.H.Sorley
    (1895-1915)

  3. And in the morning we will remember them…RIP ,gone but not forgotten

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