Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soldier's Poem


Do away with medals
Poppies and remembrance parades
Those boys were brave, we know
But look where it got them
Reduced to line after perfect line
Of white stones
Immobile, but glorious, exciting
To kids who haven’t yet learned
That bullets don’t make little red holes
They rip and smash and gouge
And drag the world’s dirt behind them
Remember lads, you won’t get laid
No matter how good your war stories
If you’re dead
So melt down the medals
Fuel the fire with paper poppies, war books and Arnie films
Stop playing the pipes, stop banging the drums
And stop writing fucking poems about it.

Poem written by Danny Martin.

"I am an ex soldier currently in the third year of an English and Creative Writing degree course in Liverpool. I was in the army for just under seven years, leaving in early 2006. I completed two tours of Iraq, totalling one year over there. Most of my poems are based around my experiences during my second tour (TELIC 6 in 2005), when I was serving as team signaller on a Tactical Air Control Party, mainly based around Maysaan province."


  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is the only one I've read that is written by someone who wrote it from experience.

  2. Hmm, interesting to see the bitterness in this poem. But each person has experiences from serving, and they certainly have a right to share them.

  3. The Army wasn't my home nor was it Georges. He always wanted to be an officer. I just wanted to be far from home. Sometimes even the young find out they don't belong in the military. LOL If nothing else, I got a lot of years of college paid for via the GI Bill.

  4. If wars were defined by bitterness and grief, there might be fewer of them than when we glorify wars with false sentiment and heroics.

  5. Stephen, you have hit the nail on the head and I think that is what this soldier is saying. We glorify with false sentiment instead of realizing when war is necessary.

  6. I can't warm to this. I see our Remembrance Day as honouring those who served.. dead.. alive.. damaged. It's a thank you. It's respect. Of course we want war to be gone.. I have a son in the military. I want it GONE. But that's not our reality right now. There are still the suffering and the lost and the best we can do as individuals is show the the respect they deserve. I will always wear my poppy. I will also always understand this soldier's bitterness and pain, and my heart aches for him... others and their families.

  7. I have respect for those who have served, but this I respect the sentiments expressed in the poem.

  8. This is the kind of thing that wouldn't ring true if I wrote it, but it means a whole lot coming from somebody like Danny.
    Veteran's Day is always a sad day; I never think of it as glorifying war. It's just...sad.

  9. War isn't glorious, it's a horrible thing that is sometimes necessary, when you are attacked first. So sad.

  10. This is beautiful. His writing must be a wonderful release for his bitterness, anger, grief - so many emotions.

  11. Finally! A war poem I like.

  12. Anonymous10:06 PM

    Powerful writing, and I'm sure it's very therapeutic for him. It's true that some go into it with romantic notions, but there are many who go in with eyes wide open, yet never hesitate. I give thanks to all of them.

  13. Brilliant!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

  14. His poem is very poignant, and kind of fits in today's world.

    But nothing gets me more misty eyed and moved than the poppies in Flanders field. Every time I see a poppy I think of those we lost and I have such empathy and sorrow for them.

    His poem make me want to smack somebody.

  15. Hits you between the eyes, doesn't it. I've been listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast about World War I. It's absolutely fascinating and chilling stuff; and makes me appreciate our veterans even more.


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