Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower

Pupil Showcase: Yr 10 War Poetry

Haven’t I?

Oxygen fills my lungs

The stench of decaying bodies

I gag

My sleeping body struggles to stand

The majestic sun blinds my delicate eyes

I fall to the ground with a thud

 

A bullet rushes past my head

It buries itself in the trenches crumbling walls

I hide

I clench the cold metallic gun trigger and shoot

The explosion drives my bony body into the dense soil

I have killed the enemy

 

Knee deep in mud

I am being dragged down

I panic

I pull and tug in an attempt to free my legs

The bloody mud splashes my face with a squelch

I free myself

I am dirty but I am a true soldier

 

I am congratulated

My first kill is a success

I smile

My comrades slap my back in pride

I stand in pride holding my muddy gun

Pretending the trauma isn’t killing me inside

 

A shell screeches

All faces blanched white

I scream

The poisoned air burns my insides

I choke and everyone falls around me like flapping gasping fish

My eyes are heavy

I want to relieve the pain with death

 

I die

I die in pride

I have died for my country

I have made everyone proud

Haven’t I?

Bailey Cormac 10 SL

 

The Battlefield

Stagnant water strewn over the upturned land,

Burnt stumps; crimson hot,

Noxious stenches hinder man’s grasp

Explosions shattering thousands of nerves.

 

Yorkshire’s sunlight once awoke soldiers,

Replaced by the glowing light of flames,

Farmers who would prance over a drink,

Now stumble upon corpses, friends.

 

Glory awaits you,

They said.

Thundering shrieks for help,

Corrupted, rotting bodies,

Upon zigzagged lines of conflict,

This awaits them.

 

Soldiers, now a mangle of limbs

Twisted,

Wheeled around barbed wire,

Limbs blasted to specks,

Once belonged to man,

Last flicker of a heartbeat,

Gone.

Leigh Higgins

 

Unforgotten Deaths

Shot,

 The man’s pupils a widening pool of black

Velvet droplets falling from his wounded head

Tremulous hands, body shaking,

Severed legs

Curled up like in barbed wire.

 

Grasping a photo of his wife

Waiting.

Waiting for death to come,

Taking his last breath,

Lying in the crimson streaked mud.

 

Men rushing, trudging in the mud to catch him

Before he goes to the forgotten land.

Men mowed down

By the clatter of the machine gun

 

Explosions going off, ringing,

Ringing ears,

Ringing like the sweet ring of the doorbell back home.

Ringing.

 

As he takes his final moments

He lies to go to sleep in the blood filled mud

Never to return again to this monstrous place,

Dead.

Luke Taylor10GO

 

 They are not coming back

Rivulets of crimson blood meander through the battlefield

The gloomy abyss of fog skims across the soldiers’ heads.

As they trudge through the blood mottled mud

Coiling shells screech over the vulnerable men

Skimming each man by inches.

 

A body, half submerged in blood, lifeless pupils dilated, face dejected.

The aroma of his rotting body, the stench making each man’s eyes water

His frozen body, like the churned up ground around him, icy with winter.

A fellow companion.

Gone.

 

The silver gleam of the whistle glints in the piercing morning sun

As its deafening screech rings across the battlefield.

As soldiers begin to jostle out of the mud flooded trenches,

Reluctantly trudging into a cacophony of noise,

Slowly rambling towards their fate.

 

The rattle of the machine gun breaks the eerie silence

Shearing down each man like cattle at the slaughter

Still, bloated bodies lie lifeless across the desolate field.

Bullets continue to spit out,

Skimming the corpses, young men

Who have drowned in the veined crimson mud.

 

Innocent young men, persuaded to fight

Venturing into the unknown.

Over the top they go,

Scrambling towards their inevitable fate,

Never to be seen again.

Callum Stewart

 

Lost Hope

Lice and rats scamper through squelching mud,

Men’s hearts pounding, breaths short, pale, pasty skin.

Agonizing silence surrounds the trenches,

As wind caresses the hairs on petrified heads.

 

A booming whistle erupts from the horn,

The signal to go

Like ants, scuttling out of holes, they go,

Dreading their fates

As the stench of crimson dances through the air.

 

Charging cattle herded into the slaughter house

While machine guns spray their victims, slicing through bone,

With ear-splitting staccato,

As bullets dart through revealing crimson.

 

Down and down they go, breath fading,

Dilating pupils and squirming bodies

Ruby red merging into crimson lakes

As all men are

LOST.

 

Seeing men demented

The sun peeps around gloomy clouds, mocking us

Immobile, rigid corpses with horror etched upon our faces

A soiled hand raised to reach forgotten light.

Kobby Gbolon-Teye 10GO

 

Thoughts Of Home

Sunny blue seaside,

Seagulls fighting over the dropped chips,

Smells of fish, chips and candyfloss,

Families gathering round,

The thump of carnivals, the lights of festivals and fun.

 

Then in the blink of an eye,

The sunny sea side turns to smoke filled crimson torn skies,

The smell of rotting corpses and sulphur choke the air,

The only family around is your fallen brothers on the frozen mud,

And the thump of festival fades to the thunder of bombs pelting the ground.

 

Screaming, the rattle of the ice cold rifles,

The splash of a body falling onto cold, hard battlefield,

The thud of the upturned helmet,

The jatter of the dropped rifle,

The last sigh that wind carries.

 

The struggle of a soldier,

Grasping a letter and a photo,

A photo of his family,

He can’t remember his home,

It’s all half known.

 

The anxious mother,

The letter in the post,

The drawing of the blinds.

Toby Rickard 10SL