Colin F. Jones


I did not see them die;
Nor where they lay dead,
Thus I was not,
Splashed with blood!

Should I pretend
I saw them?
Pretend to weep forever,
Knowing their pain?

Is it better that I should?
For then perhaps
I’d more aptly fit
The image of the veteran.

Are we not all heroes
(Though we weren’t in the public eyes)
Well, in the minds
Of those who saw us go?

We went, afraid to stay,
pusillanimity; obedient through,
Fear; or processing,
Then ‘twas patriotism.

Only when it is safe,
Do we criticize our leaders,
When they are no longer leaders,
Now when they could not be.

A warrior rides a horse of fire;
He lives to fight,
To die with pride,
To be the man he is.

A steel helmet
Does not prevent smoke
From moistening the eyes.
Nor does armour
Stop the questions
Asking for the reason why.

Some seek the honey
Where red fires rage;
Some protest the bee.
Some, who cannot swim,
Board the boats;
Go to war and die.

I went a free man to war;
Those who sent me,
I do not deplore.
Is a warrior’s horse to blame
For falling in the field,
Which becomes a monument,
On his return?