The Trenches

Norris Nuvo is an Audio/Video Editor, Graphic Illustrator, Performance Artist, Musician, Poet and Writer based in Wales, UK...

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Norris Nuvo
artist, poet & writer
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:18 pm
Location: Caerdydd, Cardiff, United Kingdom
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The Trenches

Postby Norris Nuvo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:53 am

Many years ago i was given some letters which had been written by my grandfather to his younger brother while in the trenches of WW1
within their pages were some gruesome descriptions and many pleas that his young brother would not join up with any romantic ideals about war.

My grandfather died without ever seeing his son, my father, but his letters did indeed turn his younger brother against the idea of war, to such an extent that
he went on to train to be a doctor and eventually a psychiatrist who spent his time working with soldiers who had succumbed to 'shell shock', or Post Traumatic Syress Disorder as it is known today.

From those letters i took some of the descriptions and worked them into a poem which I simply call, 'The Trenches'...

Slip the knot Boys, pull the noose and make it tight,
for we must meet our enemy and then go far this darkest night.
Crack the bones Boys, break his back and slit his eyes.
He must breathe his last and leave this life with no more lies.
Chop the limbs Boys, cut them deep and rip them out
There must be no part left to walk again, no room for doubt

Edge your knives Boys, make them cut and slice and stab
Make a corpse of living flesh Lads, gut ‘em on the slab
Aim well and true Boys, blow out his brains and rotten liver
Plunge the steel in hard and deep, make a red and flowing river
Kill them all Boys, don’t leave a beating heart to tell
How we have learned to maim and kill so well

Grind his gristle Boys, mince it up and mince it slow
There must be no trace left, no bone, no blood to flow
Crush his skull Boys, break it to shards and splinters
We learned to kill in the spring, now all we have are winters
Bury him deep Boys, seal him in and turn the clay
And let no man leave this place, none shall know what passed today

Turn our graves Boys, for we too shall lay our bodies here to die
Our bones will make a pretty cage from which no bird can fly
Lay you down Boys, still you now, it’s time for you to rest
Sleep soundly lads, held fast beside your mothers swollen breast
Say goodbye Boys, to all you love and all that has loved you
The time has come to finish lads, now our tale is through.

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