Dim and daunting, the atmosphere unveils dark figures trudging near,
The darkness of nightfall is piecing and the soldiers live in fear.
Disconsolate men in the hardened despair of night,
Fond memories of their love ones will help endure the fight.
The innocence of dawn reveals the sunken faces of the men,
Soon the light of the sun will force them onwards once again.
Their devastation reflects that they have lost their hope of peace,
And the echoes of distant gunfire attest the war will never cease.
However sometimes these men who cling to life with defiant war torn hands,
Can smile despite adversity, through storms of death and ruined lands.
The young army sent to perish and leave foreboding grief in place,
Has reluctantly begun to question its existence, and lose faith.
Gravely walking in the shadow of death, so extremely forsaken and still,
The men realise their duty to their nation, the efficiency to kill.
In the mist of all the fierce conflict, stand once proud, dignified men,
Who know that they shall never see their loving families again.
Above the silent horizon a single soldier does appear,
He has witnessed numerous people die and he rests to shed a tear.
Returning from patrol he has lost trust in the beliefs he was taught,
He has his own story to tell, of the despair that he has fought.
I can still remember the years before the war tore us apart,
I once lived in a time of splendour, not wealthy but rich in heart,
The life I used to live during the time of the sweet-scented dove.
And I still treasure the moments I spent with you, my one and only true love.
We lived together in a place of great beauty, equally only by yours,
You were remarkably adventurous, and we spend most time outdoors.
We visited the beach and I watched you with a content I can’t describe,
And into the warm soft sand, our names I did inscribe.
I remember taking you to the mountains and the forests so pristine,
We walked throughout the lush ferny landscape, because you were so keen.
You and I swam together in the cool depths of mountain streams,
That was quite a while ago, or at least that’s how it seems.
I greatly value the passion and companionship we share,
The time we spent in happiness, the time I knew was fair,
I was astonished by your natural charm, the radiant light you spread,
However we live in a different time, and soon I will be dead.
I look tensely over the ridge at the remains of a city town,
A once prosperous community, is now a battleground.
I can see the twisted metal of buildings and the bodies in the street,
The lives that were ended by bomb shells, in the intensity of the heat.
How can we tolerate war, and mans desire to fight within,
The devastation we bring to others, is nothing less than sin.
I force myself to look away, from the destruction that I see,
But as I do I glimpse shining metal within a nearby tree.
A rush of blood overcomes me, I stop still in my breath,
I watch the forests come alive with movement, anticipate my death.
The squadron is unprepared for the attack I can only watch in dread,
The first gunshot from the enemy penetrates the Sargent’s head.
The land erupts into fire and I cry out in a senseless anger,
I draw my gun and in a rage of vengeance I kill the responsible stranger.
I see the enemy turn towards me, I taste the heat of lead,
My love we live in a different time and soon I will be dead.
-- by Andrew Noske