Poetry – What went wrong?

What went wrong?

Into the churning waves stained with blood,

To plunge over bodies towards shards of metal

And explosions that threaten to rip and tear.

Young men, boys,


Yet determined, resolute

And filled with ardour.

They died to set the world free.

So what were they fighting for –

These brave young men?

For a new world of greater equality?

For a world of freedom, fairness and tolerance?

For the end of fascism and fear?

For an end to tyranny and obsequiousness?

For a brighter future in which we all could prosper?

What went wrong?

Opher – 7.6.2019

Watching the D-Day landings and listening to the survivors speak was a moving experience. To this day, seventy five years on, their minds were still broken by the horrors that they’d witnessed and the acts they’d carried out.

War is a horrendous thing that badly damages the minds of all who are exposed to its violence.

But what filled me with anger was to think of what those young boys were so heroically going into that cauldron of fury for. When the front of their landing craft went down they surged forward shoulder deep into those waves weighed down with rifles and equipment, over the bodies of their dead and dying comrades, into a hail of machine gun bullets and explosions. Their bravery was not in doubt. But what of their dreams and wishes? What were they fighting for?

Was it so that fascists could march again on our streets? Or that we could have our youth channelled into zero hours contracts so that the wealthy could scoop in more loot? Was it so racists and nationalists and populist billionaires, like Trump, Farage and Tommy Robinson could spread their pernicious lies?

Is this the future that they were dying for?

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