Summer, 1914 – For Armistice Day

delightful paintings

It was a Summer of banners,
awash in tunics, red and blue
bedecked with golden epaulets
black boots, silver stirrups
pipes, drums, trumpets and Tatoo.

It was a Summer of boasts and toasts
of poems, songs and innocent prayers
nights made warm, breathless and palpitant
by excited young lovers saying farewell.

As millions cheered from the sidelines
in fashionable hats and billowing skirts
Princes and Serenities
Highnesses and Potentiaries
marched their spit ‘n polished legions
through ancient flag draped streets.

And so a cobbler went off
to kill a baker’s son
and a farmer killed a working “Hun”
though each wanted nothing more
than to live, love and someday die
in his own bed.

They went over the top
to the sound of the pipes
skirling aye for all they were worth
their rulers pointing the way
into machine guns.

And tens of millions of corpses later
as Princes and Serenities
fled a world that wept
the sound of the pipes
would never be the same again.





About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to Summer, 1914 – For Armistice Day

  1. jfwknifton says:

    A pointless waste of men’s lives, all caused by the upper class inability to negotiate the (relatively trivial) problems away. Not helped either by Kaiser Wilhelm’s unstable character and the fact that his withered arm was all the fault of an English doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    Nice one for today, Frank. One hundred years on, very little has changed, unfortunately.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sojourner says:

    My maternal grandfather went through this war, and my mother said he would never talk about anything dealing with it.

    My paternal uncle was a navigator on a B 17 in the second world war, and was shot down over the English Channel. He too, would not speak of his days in hell. And years later, when I was in my late teens, he stood up firmly against this government and the Vietnam war. I admired him greatly for this, since he, at his age, was one of a tiny minority at the time!

    Many of the guys I knew, those not killed in Vietnam, came home completely insane. All they could talk about was “killing gooks.”

    I hate war!

    Liked by 1 person

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