Thursday, 7 November 2013

W-A-R, Giving the Lie to Glory

Some readers have said they would like to read some of my poems again but either can’t find them on the blogs or haven’t time to look.  I am now linking posts/poems past and present to Google + where they will stay for about 5-7 days.  Over time, most regular readers should be able to catch their favourite poems while, hopefully, new readers will also discover them at the following link:


I was in a bar once where an injured soldier was being asked about his experiences in Afghanistan. Someone mentioned the word, glory, which met with excited murmurs of approval and expressions of admiration. ‘Glory?’ the young soldier exclaimed in disbelief, ‘Haven’t you people learned anything?’

Good question.

November 11th is Armistice Day closely followed by Remembrance Sunday. Since we are only just into October, some people have suggested I should wait until then before posting any poem in remembrance of those who have given their lives in two world wars and subsequent conflicts worldwide as well as those bereaved families left to get on with their lives as best they can; remembering, too, those who have suffered physical and psychological injury and their loved ones who are helping them to live as full as life as possible.

Ah, but every day is an anniversary for those who bear the emotional and/or physical scars of love and loss, in times of war and peace alike.  

Armistice Day or Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, whatever  we call it is an important anniversary; an opportunity for people to come together as a nation to commemorate those who have fought to try and make the world a kinder, safer place in which to live. Nor do I exclude our enemies, most of whom were (and are) ordinary men and women fed the propaganda of unenlightened politics by those they are persuaded to look upon as their 'betters'.

This poem is a villanelle.


Sure to give the lie to glory
(for all its medals won)
who live war’s horror story

No contemplating bravery
(the job has to be done)
sure to give the lie to glory

Struggling with the futility
of a friend’s mind blown,
who live war’s horror story

Flagging up a bull for history,
red rag to a politician
sure to give the lie to glory

Proud aloud, scared privately,
in for the duration
who live war’s horror story

Blind eye, tight lip, testimony
to the injured and fallen;
sure to give the lie to glory
who live war’s horror story

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011

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