Tag Archives: War


There it is again
that friggin finger that pokes and
prods each and every day of
the goddamned week,
and twice as often
come the Saturdays and Sundays of this
forsaken existence.

ceasless noise,
blood splatters reek
of cordite,
grenades, rip roaring
numb my brain,
shit, the bombs
bigger and better as
each new one arrives

Hack, slash,
Stab and impale,
Swordfights, gauntlets
thrown down in endless
armies of thousands, ready
to sack a waiting world,
its unbearable!

No, no, no
i beg of you
boom boom boom boom
enhance the bass, graphic
the equalizer, balance the bins
tweak the tone
boom boom boom boom
guitar heroes all
one day
one day soon
i shall wreak my revenge

I am the warrior
I am the mage
I am the hero
of the age
i am
who you choose me to be!

I pray for a power surge
an early death
for today
peace and tranquility
mine to but dream of
for even death
is better
than this life i

I have zero idea if I have got this anywhere near right. but I had a bash anyway. Over at d’Verse, my #1 poetry hangout, Anna outlines what Negative Capability is about in poetry. Its all a little over my head as I had about no formal education from about age 11. I have read it over so many times, anymore and I will just confuse mysef even further. I have read a few offerings by others and kinda followed their lead really. Hopefully, even if this does not quite fit the requirements, it might just raise a smile.

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Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines

Over at the poets pub today, they have offered a very tough challenge to us humble poets, turning prose to poetry.  Pop in there from the link to find out whatits all about.

That is a famous quote belonging to Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the second World War. I thought it was fitting to use something like this as tomorrow, 11th of November is Armistice Day [Remembrance Day, Veterans  day]. I always try to stop whatever it is I am doing at 11am and just think about all the people who have died or been affected by war all over the world.

So I took the quote, tried to make something of it, then added my own words and thoughts and only hope I did it justice. The quote is taken from a speech given by Sir Wistone Churchill as the tide turned in the skies for the Battle of Britain and its airspace. Securing the air was a major step in turning things around after some terrible losses inflicted on the Allied forces.

Never in the field of human conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few

In the field,
Of human
Was so much,
Owed by,
So many, to,
So few.

This is my own interpretation

Those magnificent men in their flying machines,
Fight for survival as a matter of routine,
Resembling swallows, they duck and they dive,
For control of the skies, they vigorously strive.

Engines roar as the machines take to the air,
Ground crews ensure they are properly prepared,
Guns blaze their murder, the dogfight ensues,
This is a battle we dare not to lose.

Those brave few carry the hopes of millions,
Fight men, protecting civilians,
We owe them so much, for being so bold,
Theirs is a story readily told.

Samhain Samhain

A little explanation before I start ok.

November [Samhain] is a special month for many reasons as outlined in what you are [hopefully] going to read here.

First of all, Nov 5th here in England is Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes night. He tried, unsuccessfully, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, got caught, was tried for treason and met with a very grisly end. I have added to the nursery rhyme [Remember Remember] my own observation of that night.

Down the centuries, there have been many wars fought between Scotland and England. This heritage is very evident where I live and one of the most important battles for this area was the Battle of Alnwick on Nov 13th 1093. Because of that and Nov 30th being St Andrews Day, I have added Flower of Scotland, written by Roy Williamson of the Corries and is Scotland’s unofficial National Anthem. You will also find, in Gaelic, my own piece in celebration of St Andrews Day.

Lastly, you will see the Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem’ For the Fallen’. With Nov 11th being Remembrance Day , I thought adding that was very relevant and in memory of all those who have died in wars across the world.

Thrown in there somewhere is Happy Birthday for my Little, Big Sister, who is very small, but older than myself and whom I love dearly.

Cullen Skink is a fish dish from Scotland.

Last and not least, just a great song by a great band to finish, Guns and Roses, November Rain.

This folks, is what November [Samhain] means to me.

Remember Remember [Nursery Rhyme]

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Bonfire Night [Tino]

The atramentous night sky,
Undergoes its metamorphosis, as
Pyrotechnics explode in a collage of colour,
A sonorous cacophony assaults my ears,
A paradox of sound and vision.

O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Happy Birthday [Patty and Mildred J Hill]

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday my little big sister,
Happy Birthday to You.
Many Happy Returns.

The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O’er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Cullen Skink [Tino]

Thairiscint mé dhuit a dram bheag,
I cheiliúradh,
Tar cailín Bonny,
Chun, do shláinte na Naomh Aindrias,
Ith a Cullen Skink,
Comhroinn a chuid aráin,
Bí láidir,
Albain O ‘, a bheith go deo,

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

Ode of Remembrance [ Laurence Binyon]

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Cullen Skin [translated version,by Tino]

Cullen Skink

I offer thee a wee dram,
In celebration,
Come bonny lass,
To, the health of St Andrew,
Eat his Cullen Skink,
Share his bread,
Be strong,
O’ Scotland, be forever,

Ingredients for Cullen Skink

Smoked Haddock
1 Onion
1 pint of milk
Mashed Potato
Salt and pepper
25g butter



Gods of War

The walls of Troy stand so strong and so proud,
The trumpets warn of the oncoming war cloud,
A warrior arrives, a hero to all,
Will the walls of Troy thereafter fall?

A fleet of galleys, a thousand strong,
To Agamemnon,s war machine they belong,
To avenge his brothers honour and pride,
On Achilles shoulders hopes of victory shall ride.

Brave Hector,a Trojan, Priams favourite son,
Paris the lover, the beautiful one,
Helen, Queen of Menelaus,The Spartan King,
Their elopement responsible for the war it would bring.

Agamemnon dishonours Achilles, who refuses to fight,
Achilles prays to Thetis to help Trojans plight,
Hector forces the Greeks to retreat,
Back to the beaches on the verge of defeat.

Patroclus leads the Myrmidons behind Achilles back,
Wearing his armour he commands the attack,
He meets Hector in battle, a fight to the end,
Achilles enraged by the death of his friend.

Achilles wreaks havoc on the armies of Troy,
Seeking out Hector who he longs to destroy,
Finally they meet, a ferocious engagement ensues,
A battle that Hector will eventually lose.

The fall of Achilles which would lead to his death,
Was predicted by Hector with his last dying breath,
Paris put an arrow into Achilles heel,
The only weakness his armour revealed.

The Greeks tricked the Trojans with a glorious horse,
An act that was to alter this war and its course,
Into Troy this victory trophy was wheeled,
Trojans oblivious to what it concealed.

Under cover of darkness, from the horse they emerged,
Unlocking the gates, into Troy the Greeks surged,
The city was sacked, its great walls were taken,
Razed to the ground and then left forsaken.

Achilles and Hector, our Gods of War,
Fall into myth, legend and lore,
Immortal heroes that shall live on forever,
In stories and fables of all their endeavours.


Claude Choules, R.I.P.

This is the recent story of Claude Choules.

Briton Claude Choules, who died Thursday aged 110, was the last surviving man to have seen action in the First World War.

On the outbreak of war in 1914 he tried to join the British Army as a boy bugler by lying about his age. Instead he was sent in 1915 to the boys’ training ship Mercury, under the headmastership of the athlete CB Fry, moored in the Hamble river. He then completed his training in the former 140-gun wooden Impregnable, berthed in the Hamoaze. He was still in her when he heard the news of the battle of Jutland.

In October 1917 he joined the 40,000-ton battleship Revenge as a boy seaman, first class. The ship had fired more than a hundred 15in shells at Jutland, and Choules’s next ship was another veteran of the battle, the fast battleship Valiant.

Choules witnessed the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet off the Firth of Forth in November 1918 and King George V’s review of the fleet at Southend in 1919.

He was still in Revenge when the German ships were scuttled at Scapa Flow and remembered the German commander-in-chief, Ludwig von Reuter, being brought to Revenge’s quarterdeck and accused of acting dishonourably for scuttling his ships contrary to the internment order. Later in 1919, as flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron, Revenge was sent to support the Greeks in their war against the Turks and entered the Black Sea to assist the White Russian army during the evacuation of the Crimea.

Christened Claude Stanley Choules, he was born on March 3 1901 in Pershore, Worcestershire; his father was a haberdasher and his mother an actress, Madeline Winne. As a boy in the village of Wyre Piddle he recalled fishing in the river, tourists arriving by steamboat, and the first motor car – led by a red flag.

Known for most of his life as Charles, he went to the village school and Pershore National Boys School. His sister and his two older brothers, Henry and Douglas, emigrated to Western Australia, where the two boys joined the Australian Imperial Force. They survived the fighting at Gallipoli and in France. Henry, a sergeant in the 16th Battalion, earned the Military Medal in April 1917 for his “magnificent courage” in rallying his men during an advance on the Hindenburg Line, and served in the Australian Army in the Second World War. But three other members of the family left their names on Wyre Piddle’s First World War memorial.

After Revenge and Valiant, Choules joined Eagle, the Navy’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier. While she was in refit at Portsmouth, he was in a party sent to Cardiff, where he played football with striking miners.

As a leading torpedoman he answered a call in 1925 for volunteers to man the Royal Australian Navy. He took passage in the Aberdeen and Commonwealth Line’s steamship Diogenes, in which he fell in love with one of a party of 12 children’s nurses whose passage to Australia had been sponsored by the Victoria League.

They married soon after reaching Melbourne, on December 3 1926. She was a Scot, Ethel Wildgoose, from Lossiemouth.

The RAN promptly sent Choules back to Britain for courses at HMS Vernon, in Portsmouth, and then to John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde where the new heavy cruiser Canberra was being built for Australia. She was commissioned on July 9 1928 under the command of Captain George Massey RN and, after five months in British waters, sailed for Fremantle, Western Australia.

Choules’s new bride had accompanied him back to Britain and their first daughter, Daphne, was born in Portsmouth – his new family did not see Australia again until January 1929.

In 1931 Choules was briefly discharged from the RAN but joined the reserve and served short spells at sea in the cruisers Canberra and Australia. He was recalled in 1932 as a Chief Petty Officer Torpedo Instructor and for nine years trained hundreds of young Australians at the Fremantle depot of HMAS Leeuwin.

In the Second World War Choules became chief demolition officer on the west coast of Australia. When a strange object washed up in December 1940 near Esperance, he was flown there to investigate what was the first mine to reach the continent during the war; it turned out to be a dummy from the German raider Orion.

In 1942, when it was feared that the Japanese might invade at Fremantle, he was given the task of preparing the demolition of the harbour facilities and oil tanks. He also planned to sink with depth charges any ships which could not escape the invaders: his personal evacuation plan was to cycle the 300 miles south to Albany.

For three months in the Australian summer of 1943-44 Choules was sent in the patrol vessel Kingbay, a 237-ton motor ketch, to clear the harbour of Broome of flying boat wrecks. Fifteen aircraft, which were being used to evacuate Dutch refugees, had been destroyed at their moorings during a Japanese air attack on March 3 1942, with much loss of life, and Choules’s task with a team of divers was to blow the wrecks into segments and sink them again in deeper water.

At 50, when his character was assessed as “very good” Choules was obliged to leave the Service. He settled on the beautiful and then lonely Coogee Beach, 10 miles south of Fremantle, where he and his family loved to camp, fish and sail in a dinghy which he built himself.

He worked briefly as a warder for the Western Australian Prisons Department, and regarded himself fortunate when he found five years’ service as a dockyard policeman, cycling to work to keep fit. On retiring in 1956 he built a house further south on the front at Safety Bay, buying himself a 20ft clinker-built wooden boat, and becoming a crayfisherman for the next 10 years. He made craypots from tea-tree cuttings and prospered at the beginning of an industry servicing a growing number of restaurants around Fremantle.

In his eighties Choules took lessons in writing from the bestselling authoress Elizabeth Jolley and wrote his autobiography, The Last Of The Last (2009), for the benefit of his 36 direct descendants. He was also interviewed for the BBC’s program The Last Tommies.

Until he was 100 Choules cared for his ailing wife before they moved into a Baptist hostel, where she died aged 98. Attributing his longevity to the love of a happy family and a good, daily dose of cod liver oil, he said that if he lived his life again he would do just the same. In 2009 he was awarded the Australian Defence Medal.

Charles Choules is survived by two daughters and a son.

Courtesy of  The Daily Telegraph.

This is posted to OSP in remembrance of all those who have died in action protecting their loved ones and country. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude.

The Theatre of Dreams.

They walk the tunnel like  
Gladiators to the Colosseum,
The Theatre of Dreams awaits,
Expectant crowd roars its approval,
As they stride into view.

The mighty Red Devils,
Prowl, Jaguars stalking their prey,
The challengers,
Resplendent in blue,
Stand firm in the face of adversity.

Formalities complete,
The combatants take position,
An eerie silence settles,
The mob draw their breath,
Let battle commence!

The shrill sound of the whistle,
assaults the ear,
22 men, waging war,
Superiority lies with the brave,
The spoils to the strong.

Barely 36 seconds pass,
The error forced,
The Red Devil seizes the moment,
Control, shoot,
Goal, goal, goal.

The battle rages,
Heroes to later emerge,
The war ebbs and flows,
A set piece looms, dark,
Courageous Vidic, steals in unseen.

Goal, goal, goal,
The Theatre erupts in applause,
The rapture, vivid amongst their faces,
The sweet smell of Victory lingers,
History is being written.

The Title is now theirs to lose,
The valiant blues surrender the cause,
Anguish on faces,
The truth of defeat, as,
Battle weary troops exit.

The Theatre of Dreams is Manchester United’s home stadium. Yesterday, in the English Premier League, the top two teams, Manchester United and Chelsea played what was virtually a title decider. M United should now go on and win the title as they are six points ahead of Chelsea with only two games left to play. With three points for a win and one point for a draw, I think the task is a thankless one now for Chelsea.

This will be title number 19 for Manchester United, which surpasses Liverpool FC, who have 18. There is great rivalry between these two teams and it has always been Sir Alex Ferguson’s [ Man Utd manager] ambition, to take that record away from Liverpool. It looks like he has finally succeeded.

My submission to the Monday Morning Writing Prompt.