In a mud churned furrow where poppy bloomed,
The root of cataclysm did take hold,
It was watered there by the dark red blood of a generation’s youth,
Ploughed over with once good earth by steel track and skittish hoof.

The cataclysm was set loose upon the earth,
In a rage of slaughter not to be outdone,
The screams, smoke, dust and pain conspired to blot out the sun,
As the poppy wilted in once bright green meadows.

The good earth was saturated, swollen, corpulent and corrupt,
The potential, beauty, wisdom, worth soaked away into the dirt,
The world would barely pause to contemplate the waste,
Before it began in earnest another desperate race.

The race was up and out and over,
Then slipping in fetid corpse mud slime,
Ducking low as snap of round went overhead,
Or crawling broken on the ground as lead found it mark,
shattered femur, pierced lung or heart,
And when the shelling stopped and the dead lay still,
The living staggered, knelt or screamed.

The cataclysm once sedated with its fill,
Sank back into the dark and waited still,
Patiently it sat and watched,
Until man turned on man and humanity was forgot,
More blood and waste to feed it’s hunger,
As the world plunged again deep into destructive thunder.

Another generation’s youth rushed to the cause,
As vicious thugs with sweet words lured boys to acts of bravery and glory,
When they were to be nought but compost, death and gory,
Footnotes on fascism’s twisted story,
The cataclysm bloomed for five long years and bathed itself in a flood of tears.

That root had withered back into hibernation yet underground its tendrils beat,
Wherever conflict unleashes violence,
It will burst forth with glee and mirth across any nation of this good earth,
Alas it will not be my generation that leads to its starvation,
For some still choose to feed it hunger,
For crime, corruption and sheer bloody murder.

by Ruairí de Barra

The poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge said “I joined the British Army because she stood between Ireland and an enemy common to our civilization, and I would not have her say that she defended us while we did nothing at home but pass resolutions”.

If you have never read his wonderful work, please go and do so. It is truly and simply some of the finest writing one could ever hope to read.

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