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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
It was the first free-verse poem I ever wrote. It's about a battalion of men that are felled in a charge. Based on no real event, but things like this did happen in the war - almost certainly.

Thank you to all, humans and animals alike, that laid down their lives in the "Great War" in their heroic efforts to preserve our peace, and freedoms. May they rest eternally in peace.

Submitted: April 29, 2017

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Submitted: April 29, 2017



Bayonets, bloodied, they are fixed to the rifles.

The men stand faintly, breathless. Scared.

Officers walk up and down, inspecting the men’s equipment.

The bayonets shine menacingly in the searing evening sun.


The snow glistens, the air is freezing cold.

Nothing melts, but everything shines.

The already fallen, sleep peacefully in the fields.

Now in a warmer place, out of the war.


A soldier looks at a photo of his family back home

He touches it lovingly, feels her face, and hears the laughter of his children,

He sees them playing, happy. Innocent. free.

The order is given. He stands tall, and waits for the whistle


The men breathe hard, the cold air burns

The steam from their breath dissipates into the air

Some of the men cry, others pray

Their fingers are numb – their rifles cold.


The men are ordered to prepare

They line-up, ready to go over the top

The Germans are waiting, they know it too

The stomachs drop as they clench their rifles


The seconds are long, the men are ready to break

They are terrified of dying but they want to do their duty

Their legs are unstable, fear exhausts them all

Not one of them confidently stands.


The commander breathes in; places the whistle on his lips

He looks sadly at the men, as if to say goodbye.

The men look at him, desperate for something to save them

“Good luck lads” he says, and blows the whistle hard.


The machine guns chatter, the men, they are ripped apart.

They scream in agony, in anguish, fear and confusion

“Forward, forward. Forward is the way

Do not stop, keep going, and you’ll see another day”


Forward the men go, they are mowed down in their tracks

Bodies are strewn over no man’s land,

The advance slows, the men can no longer move.

Frozen in fear, frozen in their boots, they waver


Riflemen at the trenches aim at their own

Shot and shell pound the field, felling brave warriors

The soldiers can finally take no more – they break

Turning around, they are shot by their own


Muzzles flash on both sides, the soldiers in the middle are doomed

For they have no allies, all enemies

They are shot by their own and the enemy

Until eventually, the few hundred left, turn around again


They pass their friends, their family, the dying

They scream a heroic battle cry

Firing rapidly, so, so scared to die

They run through it all, and lunge into the enemy trench


Where they are met with men, no older than them

Boys. Armed, horrified too.

They aim, fearful. Hesitant. But one must shoot

They all know that


The men stand tall, rifles aimed at each other

Trigger fingers freezing numb,

The soldiers cry, torn by love and duty

The Germans open fire, and the last of the battalion falls.


© Copyright 2018 Hellraiser. All rights reserved.

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