I have been sent some poems recently and thought that it would be a good idea to publish them here so that they may help and inspire people, especially as they have been written for & from fellow sufferers. I will not include any names unless specifically asked to do so but hope that they will have a positive impact on your life.
- Christmas Poem This was written by a US Marine but I think that it passes the barrier of nationality and covers every soldier from every nation in the world.
- PTSD This poem is dedicated to those who will forever carry the anvil of trauma strapped to their backs.
- The Words of an Angel This is a poem that I wrote upon hearing the news that a very special person who had helped me through some of my worst moments had died.
- P.T.S.D. is a state of the mind, that leaves our minds in a state
- Forces Poetry The Forces Poetry website has been created for you, anyone. Whether you are or were a member of the armed forces anywhere, a relative or you just want to express yourself then this is where to do it.
- Thank You Soldier This is a poem written by Chris Woolnough and has a link to an American website called ‘The Aftermath of War’ that calls itself “a safe place for support of those who love a wounded veteran” Chris’s poem was originally emailed to my Guestbook however I felt that it deserved to be put in the Poems section as it is such a wonderful poem.
- Goodbye Brave Soldier This is a touching heartfelt and only too sad poem written by Andrew Wright.
- A Veterans Fear This is a poem along with the following 3 that have been written by an Australian veteran who Speedie Sahariv.
- Hyson Green The Penny Arcade
- A Veteran Fathers Prayer
- Don’t Judge Me This is a poem written by lady with a huge heart who has suffered from PTSD for many years.
- The Isle of Wight Rifles This poem was sent to me via email from Mark Francis who has seen and coped with PTSD first hand at work and also from a carers point of view.
- The Day That I Die This poem was written by me with deep sorrow in my heart.
- My Pain This is a poem written by Murray (Charlie) Brown B.E.M who is a GW1 veteran who like all of has suffered with PTSD crippling his life and in his final words of the poem says “But please don’t forget, the dead that are living”. Murray has written many more poems which you can see by visiting his website here
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
SOON ROUND THE WORLD THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN’T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.
I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”
The cell I live in is my mind, where I reside, the place I hide.
For when the past comes here to stay, I fold away, I hide inside.
This cell is dank, it’s walls sweat blood, it’s ceiling crushes from above.
The floor is wet, the stench is sweat, this place is lacking warmth, and love.
I built this place with my own hand, the reason for to lock away,
The light of day.
And darkness reigns in this foul place, the flashbacks come, the nightmares stay.
For when the past comes round to call, my sanga hides me from the truth.
It shelters me from all that hate, it is my only covering roof.
And though to all I’m brash and bold, my outer skin seems hard and cold,
Reality is a different thing, I feel so weak, so used,
I’ll tell you how this came about, although I really have no doubt,
That you already know,
Because like me you have this room, the place to go, where you can shout,
It came about as I am weak, a person plagued by simple thoughts,
That are not simple anymore, they squirm and toss, a hate, of sorts.
And when I close my eyes so tight, I see again the shattered forms,
Of burning buildings, burning men, in bloody lightning storms.
Of screaming children, arms and legs, just lying there, the dawn to find,
Of shattered lives, of shattered minds, of shattered hopes, from my own kind.
And so my cell protects me from this scene, but in itself provides a place,
Where torture rules, the stinging whip, the tears of blood run down my face,
For in my mind, I built this place.
The brick’s are moulded from my hate, and kiln-fired in the fire of life.
The morter mixed from fear of death, and watered down with tears, and strife.
So course by course, as years went by, I built this cell,
I learned to cry.
And when at last my time does come, when I lie down, to wilt and die,
Then this fine shelter will collapse, fall over and be turned to dust.
For all my fears will go with me, my legacy of brick and rust.
My spirit then will fly so free, the past not there to trouble me.
And so to you I say these things, to fellows who have lived like me,
To you who’s anguish rules your lives, fear not,
For someday we’ll be free.
The Words of an Angel
No Wounds upon my body,
No scars that you can find,
Just hurt from wars fought long ago
implanted in my mind
No outward signs of injury,
No telltale signs of pain,
Only flashbacks and the nightmares
Time and Time again.
But all’s not lost for us old friend
There are those that understand
Just let them lead us through the darkness
Go with them hand in hand
P,T.S.D. is a state of the mind, that leaves our minds in a state
Thank You Soldier (By Chris Woolnough)
Have you stopped to thank a veteran today?
For the price of freedom they had to pay?
Did you gaze into those distant eyes?
Did you see the ghosts he can’t deny?
Did you think a soldier’s heart was made of steel?
Because he was trained to kill, he couldn’t feel?
Did you see the guilt written on his face,
For the loss of life he can’t replace?
Did you know he mourns the lives he couldn’t save,
And walks with comrades in their grave?
Did you remember the boy with innocence lost?
Do you really know war’s ultimate cost?
Have you felt the blast of artillery fire?
Do you have the courage it would require?
Have you stood in trenches consumed with fear?
Felt the enemies breath so very near?
Have you walked with God on a battleground?
Seen your brothers dead or dying all around?
Have you stopped to thank a vet today,
Or did you just turn and walk away?
From the pain he’ll carry for the rest of his life,
Did you consider his family, his children, his wife?
That watch him suffer in silence each and every day,
As he’s haunted by memories that don’t go away?
Did you care that the soldier is still pulling guard?
That his heart, mind, and soul will forever be scarred?
Do you know how he suffers from ptsd?
Or that our precious freedom is never free?
Do you care that he still hears the blood curdling screams?
Or that he returns to the war each night in his dreams?
Have you felt the sorrow of a combat vet?
Or would you rather just forget?
That war has pierced his hardened heart,
And torn this soldier all apart?
Would you rather our heroes just fade away?
Or will you stop to thank a vet today?
Goodbye Brave Soldier (By Andrew Wright)
To that distant land weall flew,
Because our government ordered us to,
On a big green jet plane,
Not knowing what to expect.
Day after day bullets whizzed by,
We all feared we might die,
For eight months we fought,
Did exactly what we were taught,
To survive the deadly battle,
We’d suppress fear, pity…remorse,
And respond with violent, deadly force.
Then after eight months…
Back to that far away land we call home,
Home…from that tragic war we were sent,
No longer able to feel,
Because the wounds are unable to heal.
The war is over for us now, we left it behind,
But we’re always forced to remind,
Those long-long nights in the desert,
Wondering if we’d ever make it back,
From that god-awful war in Iraq.
At night you still here the blood curdling screams,
Dead children and dismembered bodies are forever your dreams,
You thrash in your bed through out the night,
Jumping up screaming from the fright,
For serving your country, PTSD is what you get,
Waking up from your dreams soaking wet.
Day by day and night-by-night the years pass,
You hope to god the dreams wont last,
You just want the pain to stop,
So pill-by-pill you begin to pop,
Your eyelids feel heavy,
But now you are ready,
To walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
No more nightmares, no more pain,
As you fall asleep into eternal, peaceful rest…
Goodbye brave soldier…goodbye.
A Veterans Fear
Today I was seen
at Hyson Green;
for it seems to me
to fix my esteem;
I was full of apprehension,
To try and keep my pension,
But was told not to worry,
The governments in no hurry
They just want to help you
Really; that’s true,
Because lately you’ve been
So blinking blue,
How will I cope?
My fellows to meet,
Eight others with pain
Such as I have to beat!
I thought it was me,
Alone in the world,
No one would know
What I had unfurled
Alas I was wrong,
The boys were together,
As all in a throng,
We’re all here for the better;
In came Doc Julie;
To tell us truly
It’ll be like a storm
And if we’re lucky,
We’ll all be reborn.
For now this story
will have to wait,
to see how the boys
will take the bait!
If we don’t try
We’ll all but scream.
For a wasted time
At Hyson Green!
9th of July 2007
Why do I dream?
Why do I scream?
What do I see?
Is it pain for me?
Where have I been?
Where am I now?
Was I ever seen?
Do I take a bow?
Did I ever kill?
And was it a thrill?
Was the blood real?
How did it feel?
From where did he come?
What was his name?
Who was the mum?
Who bore to this one?
Why did he shoot?
When he could’ve fled!
On my first shot
He lost his head!
Why did I not see?
He was just like me?
To kill the enemy?
I was trained,
Not to care,
Just shoot the bastard,
If he’s there!
15th April 2006
HYSON GREEN THE PENNY ARCADE
Hyson green has been renamed!
I’m a veteran of no fame,
Who’s seen much pain!
But really can’t be blamed.
I’m here to find a way,
Not to make me pay,
But to show me how,
To control my play!
When the penny drops,
My fears will prop!
The frown on my brow,
Will be gone to pot.
Right into the slot,
Where my penny has dropped!
Oh that sure is hot,
To be on the spot,
At Hyson Green the Penny Arcade.
A veteran Fathers Prayer
I asked my children,
Why are you sad?
Because you’re yelling,
And that is bad!
We love you dad,
As you know!
But you don’t help,
Us to grow!
I ask myself,
What have I done?
My kids are sad
When they should be glad.
Am I really such a pain?
To treat my children
With total distain?
Am I to blame?
I love them so,
Those little kids,
I yell and scream;
Even though I see!
I can’t resists,
To taunt them so;
Even though I know,
After I’m done,
I could get a gun,
And finish me all,
For what I’ve done!
Can someone plead,
This poor old fool;
To keep his cool,
And give his kids
The love they need?
DON’T JUDGE ME
DON’T JUDGE ME FOR WHO I AM
WITHOUT KNOWING THE REAL PERSON INSIDE
YES YOU WHO SIT IN YOUR IVORY TOWER
I AM A MOTHER SO DON’T JUDGE ME FOR THE
JOB I HAD TO DO NOR WHY I HAD TO SPEND
THE TIME AWAY FROM MY CHILD
YES YOU WHO SIT IN YOUR IVORY TOWER
I STRIVED TO CARRY ON TO PROVIDE AND PROTECT
MY CHILD BUT AT A PRICE
THE WORDS AND ACTIONS THAT EVENTUALLY BROUGHT ME DOWN
YES YOU WHO SIT IN YOUR IVORY TOWER
THE PAIN GUILT AND SHAME I WAS MADE TO FEEL
INSIDE THE MEMORIES THAT NEVER FADE BUT TORMENT
AND HAUNT MY NIGHT AND DAY
YES YOU WHO SIT IN YOUR IVORY TOWER
SO THE NEXT TIME YOU THINK BAD OF ME
TAKE A STEP BACK AND THINK WHAT WAS IT
I ACTUALLY DID THAT WAS SO WRONG
YES YOU WHO SIT IN YOUR IVORY TOWER
LOOK AT ME GO ON SEE WHO I REALLY AM
A MOTHER JUST LIKE YOU WITH A HEART
FULL OF LOVE FOR MY CHILD
SO DON’T JUDGE ME WITHOUT KNOWING WHY
AND THE REAL PERSON INSIDE
The Isle of Wight Rifles
(12 August 1915)
Beneath the parched dirt and scrub of a foreign field
Lies their English dust-
Enough to recreate the chalk boned spine of their Island home
Once more in shells and blood and bone.
Horn-handed farm boys, trained for the plough,
From ploughshares and sickles to bayonets now.
Lads who liked beer at the old Volunteer,
Men who drank Mews at the sign of the Crown,
Boys dinking Burts at the old Hare and Hounds,
That tended the sheep upon Ashey Downs-
Slaughtered like lambs before Anafurta,
On a mute, inglorious twelfth of smoke and mass murder.
Thick blood staining their general’s hands,
As they poured out their lives on Gallipoli’s sands
They formed up in lines as they marched from the beach-
Buckett and Scovell, Attrill and Peach,
The cold fear runs through you, as you leap from the boat,
And freezes your bowels and catches your throat.
The fear passes through as adrenalin flows,
And you think you’re invincible
When the whistle now blows
And with bayonets aloft and a cry on their lips-
The scream of a shell and men blown to bits.
You keep running forward, for there’s no turning back,
“We’ll all be killed!” said the captain who led the attack.
And the Ballards and Boyntons, the Hinks and the Pinks.
The brave and the cowards, the quick and the lame,
The bullets and shells cut them down all the same.
The lucky died fast- unlucky died slow;
But those who survived- unluckiest of all-
Every night of their lives when the dreams come to call.
When your bedding is soaking with sweat-
The blankets and mattresses all soaking wet,
And every night the terrible dreaming-
Your wife wants to leave for she can’t stand the screaming,
And every day all inside your head
The voices come to you of comrades now dead,
And all of the doctors never can purge,
The smell of the mud, blood and wet serge.
Back from the boatyards and in from the stables,
There are gaps at the fireside, spare chairs round the tables.
And some have gone blind and some are disabled,
Some went to Whitecroft and some of them died.
And sweethearts were widows before they were wed-
A generation was lost of men lying dead .
They scattered the Rifles like dust in a storm.
Where were the Princes in their fine uniforms ?
Shooting at grouse that couldn’t shoot back,
When you went into the smoke of that final attack.
When you gave them your honest,
Your uncomplaining and your hard-won lives.
What had you suffered and what have you done,
For your King and your Country, Empire under the Sun
For Nothing. Nothing in victory, yet nothing in defeat
Nowhere in foreign lands lie their graves.
For I grew up beneath granite crosses,
Scattered in villages, staring out to sea-
Monuments to Our Glorious Dead,
Their Names Liveth Forever-
Yet Never, Ever will our Island sons return.
- Mews and Burts are now defunct Isle of Wight breweries.
- The Volunteer is a pub in Vintner
- The Crown is a pub in Showroom
- And the Hare and Hounds is a pub on the Downs near Arreton.
- Buckett, Scovell, Attrill, Peach, Ballard, Boynton, Hinks and Pink are all common IOW surnames
- Whitecroft was a large psychiatric hospital near Newport .
- The IOW Rifles (Princess Beatrice’s Own) were drilled and inspected by the Princes at Osborne.
- The officer who led the charge at Anafurta was Captain Clayton Ratsey who wrote in his diary “My God, we’ll all be killed” when the orders were received. He was and so was the other captain – his brother,
The day I die
Love, Hate, Shame, Self-hatred
I’m not who I was, will I ever be wanted
Guilt, Self-loathing, Anger, that’s me
I hate who I am, but my family loves me
I don’t deserve them the pain I put them through
But with love, care and support, they try to guide me through
Nightmares, Flashbacks, the deafening noise
The memories never go, I’ll not forget the boys
You see me now a broken man
No trust have I, should I or can
Society has forgotten what deed I did
Abandoned by government, what harm they did
No hope, no love, no friends or foe
Only awaken from dreams when I stub my toe
I was a proud man, all strong and straight
Now I hang all crocked, like a broken gate
I sharpen the knives hoping someday to use
Tie the knot in the rope, no what is the use?
I walk on the kerb hoping a lorry will take
my sorry old arse, please do for my sake
My pain will end it has to I know
My demons come out, your face please show
I woke up this morning, I know it for shore
There was peace and calm, I was happy and more
The sun now shines in the blue clear sky
For today is the day… The day that I die
Do you know what it’s like to feel the pain?
The aching body, life’s a constant drain.
Uncontrollable anger, throughout does surge,
I hate those feelings that pent up urge.
Incredible discomfort, the body suppressed,
An altered ego, the other depressed.
Unknown instructions, relentless road,
Self destructing, helpless mode.
Outbursts of emotions, not good to the eye
Alternative actions curl up and die.
Unable to see, why with life I can’t cope,
That eternal triangle, end of the rope.
At night the dreams come, destruction of life,
Death is the struggle, the pain and the strife.
That feeling of running, with no-where to go,
These are some of the feelings, you’ll never know.
Keep down the man, but the thoughts still remain.
Eternal combustion, ever-lasting pain.
Help is the plea, yet these words, you don’t hear,
When will this end, this living in fear.
Not fear of the living, not fear of the dead,
Only fear of the thoughts, trapped in my head.
My life’s been destroyed; I’m no longer free,
This is what war has done to me.
Not out for revenge, I’m no bodies fool,
One hundred percent, I gave them my all.
I’m living an endless, nightmare hell,
I want my life back, I need to be well.
Control is no option; it’s all down to fate,
Please help me return, before it’s too late.
See the mouth move, but the words you can’t hear,
It’s like screaming in pain, you’re so unaware.
Alone in this world, comprehension is void,
No wonder I’m angry, pent up, and annoyed.
Remorse for my actions, hit hard on the soul,
Relentless searching, never reaching the goal.
Swap places with me, from my feet to my head,
Feel what its like, alive but yet dead.
Discontinued association, emotions depleted,
In this war I have lost, completely defeated.
Understanding is absent, in death I’ll prevail,
An easy way out, without, it can’t fail.
Adverse discomfort, causes unwanted thought,
Complicated reactions, leaves this lifeline taut.
Constructive conclusion, assistance required,
Derogative emotions, from the heart have been fired.
Détente relaxation, of thoughts to survive,
Comprehension is needed, whilst I’m still alive.
Fractious deception, on the way to go on,
It’s been some time; it’s been too long.
A final plea, before life I depart,
Hapless, helpless screams from the heart.
Last chance to resume, tow the line,
Please give me back, what once was mine.
Denial of life, held by a strand,
The desert took toll, alone in the sand.
So open your heart, as your ears seem so closed,
I’m not who I was, all calm and reposed.
Please feel what I feel, be exposed to my life,
Feel as it goes in, the twist of the knife.
The pain everlasting, never apart,
Feel what I feel, deep in my heart.
Know what its like, withdrawn inside,
Feel the feelings, from which I hide.
It’s just not fair; hear these words I tell,
That to be with me, you must share my hell.
So hear these words from present and past,
I ask not much, but peace at last.
The war may have ended, the battle was won,
I’m still fighting my fight; my war still goes on.
Despondent, dismayed, feeling low and diminished,
The war may have ended, but my battles not finished.
With what’s left of life, I hold on and sustain,
Yet within this darkness, I wallow in pain.
There’s no moving forward, I’m held in the past,
Please free me from this hell, at last.
Know what I see, from these eyes of fate,
Help me return, before it’s too late.
And remember the dead, the commitment and giving,
But please don’t forget, the dead that are living.
If you would like to have a poem added to this page please email it to me written within the text of your email (please do not add it as an attachment as unless I know you I always delete emails with attachments to protect myself and you all from dangerous viruses and Trojan horses that can identify any of my contacts) to email@example.com.