One Hundred Years Ago

One Hundred Years Ago
by cricketjeff on October 28, 2014.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved
At the time they were the heroes who defended all we knew,
They fought with classic tactics that new weapons overthrew;
To start the British Cavalry drew swords and charged the lines
But men were killed by Lewis guns and blown apart by mines.

     The leaders of the nations chose their teams
     And fashioned better futures in their dreams.
The flesh of human bodies can’t withstand explosive force,
So digging holes and trenches was these soldiers’ one recourse.
Barbed wire and blinkless snipers soon created no-man’s land
And years of static struggle then replaced what generals planned.

     Great wars are not confined to battlefields,
     Those left at home aren’t safe behind their shields.
Brave men in feeble aircraft, next-door heroes on the seas,
Fought the elements that faced them as they faced their enemies.
Poison gases drowned their victims, massive shells blew them apart,
Tanks and lorries full of slaughter stood in place of horse and cart.
     The Empires all defended what they held,
     Cementing other nations in the meld.
Each generation sees itself inside its history,
Too easily the past becomes a written mystery
But facts and motivations cannot be a duotone,
What right have we to judge them, to condemn, or to condone?
     The lessons we’ve not learned were dearly bought,
     A war must be a last, not first, resort.
Author notes
Not sure about this yet, but we’ll see how it feels as I fettle it.