Category Archives: war

How Simple – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Thursday – Flourish




“I dream of giving birth to a child asks, ‘Mother, what was war?'”  Eve Merriam


How Simple

How simple to hold,
to love,
extend a branch towards hope,
how easy to cut the tree down
and offer striped pyjamas
and barbed wire,
to be disappeared,
how simple
that none flourish.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Economics, Free Verse, life, love, philosophy, poem, politics, quote, Therapy, war

Never – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Word of the Day – Vain




“War does not determine who is right – but only who is left.”  Bertrand Russell


Never have the vainglories of death
been so exposed as in the spectre of war
where truth is so relentlessly sucked dry
by the ghouls of righteous capital,
so cheaply purchased by the blood of innocents,
for those who would never near the fight
as to get their morals dirty
nor their boots,
they are the ones who would kill their own
for the sake of a few inches of sand
and forty pieces of silver.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Free Verse, grief, life, Link, poetry, politics, quote, war

As Poppies Weep – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon.

RDP Thursday – A Flower Cried





“All war is a symptom of man’s (sic) failure as a thinking animal.”  John Steinbeck

As Poppies Weep

How best can you die and
at what hands might that be,
how excruciating can we make it
of bullets, shells and gas
lost in the thick of bloodied mud
and barbed protections
that betray any sense of humanity
certainly not animal because
animals know better than we,
how is it that we,
the thinking species,
slit the wrists of
every generation
and dare to call it glory,
and for what,
some politician’s ideological orgasm
where there are no gasps of ecstasy
only sobs of grief and despair
as poppies weep for the seed of youth.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, politics, quote, war

Waiting – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

5 Lines – Fireworks


Image: provided by Patricia’s Place



Jack walked the streets at three
until a resounding boom of wheels in ruts
would send him marching ramrod home,
on fireworks night he would take cover
waiting for the shells to rain down.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Note: I observed “Jack” many times but never got to know him, in one week he never got to the shops because the trucks would sound explosive when they hit a rut or drain cover and he would stop, stand to attention, wheel about, and march home again. Shell shock/PTSD had wrecked him.



Filed under Five Lines, Free Verse, life, poem, war

The Bold And The Beautiful – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Bold – RDP Monday


Photo: the



The Bold And The Beautiful

Our lives are so overfull with every possible indulgence,
it’s not that we need to choose anything in a broad sense
but we do like to finesse the provenance
of absolutely everything
in our backyard,
there are bullets and bombs
that we acquiesced in our silence,
choices we made for the faceless
without consent,
buying their compliance,
while we simply carry on
the burden of our overload,
did you hear about the kid that stopped the tanks?
Or the woman who shamed the soldiers in the square?
Or the students who put flowers in guns?
Do you know the provenance,
the exact place,
the temp.,
the sugar content,
the weave,
the altitude,
the who,
of the bold and the beautiful?

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, war

Take Flight – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Flight – RDP Sunday



“From age 6 to 12, I lived in seven different countries, moving from one refugee camp to another, hoping we would be wanted.”  Clemantine Wamariya


Take Flight

Their guns,
it is always their guns,
we have no guns of our own,
Their guns are menacing,
and their words are spite and spittle,
we are suspicion incarnate,
despised and rejected we must take flight.
We are diaspora to the world,
our minds are broken down,
our hearts are ever restless for home,
but our feet seek places of hope,
and people of peace.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, Indigenous, life, poem, quote, war

I Said I’d Be Home For Christmas – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon


Image courtesy of Pacific Paratrooper

I Said I’d Be Home For Christmas

I heard it before I saw it,
an ancient sound,
a single engine piper,
that was in descent to the frozen field,
then I saw it,
bright yellow,
it yawed to one side as it hit the snow,
and corrected to a fine halt.
Some old guy clambered out,
a picture of an era gone,
leather bomber jacket
straight out of 42.
My mother holding the door frame,
they threw themselves at each other
with sobs and kisses,
the long silence punctuated with:
secret ops,
hopelessly lost,
but I said I’d be home for Christmas,
Honey, she said,
its ten years gone,
Well, he said,
a promise is a promise.

©Paul Vincent Cannon





Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, love, poem, war

I Hope Someone Remembers – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon



A World War 1 trench, not quite the Hyatt, Hilton or whatever, way beyond my experience.

I Hope Someone Remembers

Trenches could not be loved,
they were open tombs,
flooded, muddied, with
congealed wire garlands and
sodden timber treads,
and the stench of the living dead all round,
their sunken eyes testimony to
the glue of resignation and guilt.
Our feet blackened for love of country,
our minds already lost
in battles of their own,
Dante’s Inferno come to life,
with the sting of gas and metallic chatter,
always the thudding, crumping, shells
that shake our bones
and reshape our vision.
Our thoughts occasionally turn to
going home, could it be?
But that thought is scotched
as machine guns lace the air,
and the referee’s whistle calls play,
all the while the unrelenting cries
of death and pain rain down.
No more to hold a hand or taste her lips,
no more to cup her breast or hold her close,
what chance of laughter, to share life’s joys?
But then I dare not think of her,
such thoughts have no place here,
they could hold me in this tomb.
The whistle resounds,
my bayonet gleams,
a macabre accessory,
one I may yet wear.
Ladders ready,
up we go,
king and country,
I hope someone remembers us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, history, life, war

The Forge Of Vikings – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Fjord – Word of the Day





The Forge Of Vikings

There was a time,
long before we breathed in this place,
when the sea had cleft our mountains,
and before long, we rested there,
our souls forged of its very nature.
Then the sea and the oak formed a pact,
and the long boat came to be,
together we made our way across the seas.
At home we were blacksmiths, farmers, woodsmen,
but on foreign shores we were beserkers,
fearless, bringers of terror and death
as we plundered our way into history,
all the while the fjords a fire in our souls.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under life, poem, poetry, war


Alliance – Word of the Day pexels-photo-1246960.jpeg



Across the trench I see you readying to make a move,
the flares go up, a sure sign,
a prelude to a barrage,
the whoosh of shells and chatter of guns,
staccato, a painful beauty.
The shouting,
the frenzy,
down comes the wire,
the whites of their eyes,
that moment of surrender.
And, just as soon, comes the silence,
as before, so afterwards,
ordnance expended, tension eased.
Now we hold each other prisoner
the distance is closed,
an alliance begins,
in this tortuous war we call love,
where no one wins
and everyone loses together.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under life, love, poetry, romance, war