Done to Death

Bullets, bayonets and fixed charges
Billets, skillets, troops in barges
RSM, clenched teeth are hissing
God knows the number that are still missing

Mules and wagons, mud unyielding
Who won the toss and are we fielding?
The mortar shells are getting nearer
The entry price is getting dearer

Put your masks on! Here’s the gas!
Keen as mustard, attack en masse
Have to re-take that position
Eyes shut, running, on a mission

Zip! Shoom! Kerrmp! And then a scream
Not a nightmare, nor a dream
But treading water – last few yards

Firing, thrusting at the guards

Kamerad! Their arms held high
A bunch of kids, about to die
To die for what? The Captain said
So Englishmen may rest well in bed

No greater love is there than this
To give your life for Empire’s wish
And at the setting of the sun
Believe it’s ended – yet just begun


4 responses to “Done to Death

  1. The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

    Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

    So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
    And took the fire with him, and a knife.
    And as they sojourned both of them together,
    Isaac, the first-born spake and said, My Father,
    Behold the preparations, the fire and iron,
    But where the lamb for this burnt offering?
    Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
    And builded parapets and trenches there.
    And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
    When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
    Saying, Lay not a hand upon the lad,
    Neither do anything to him. Behold,
    A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
    ffer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
    But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
    And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

  2. if we could learn to look instead of gawking,
    We’d see the horror in the heart of farce,
    If only we could act instead of talking,
    We wouldnt always end up on our arse.
    This was the thing that nearly has us mastered;
    Dont rejoyce in his defeat, you men!
    Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
    The bitch that bore him is in heat again.

    Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

  3. so…we’re all doomed Captain Mannering, all doomed.
    But yet, there is an answer to all this – but it will have to wait – the pizza has arrived.

  4. That’s it! Pizza! Not 42! By George you’ve got it. I think you’ve got it!

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