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Ruan Mills Burke

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Our Boy
by Ruan Mills Burke

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 172

In memory of those lost in the tragedies of WW1 1914-1918.


1914. World War One. A time of dark and dire events

When those in power disagreed and staged a bloody war immense


Our boy stood up to do his bit, buoyed by thoughts of victory

And where’s our bonny soldier now? They swapped his life for purgatory


His body cold in foreign fields, his memory engraved in stone.

But what of all the life he missed? How come they didn’t send him home?


Three times he played a shield for them. They blatantly ignored his plight.

Injured, shell-shocked and afraid, they forced him back into the fight


Torso wracked with filthy sores, trapped in squalid no man’s land

Stinking, ailing, short of food, expected to endure a stand


His spirit weak and traumatized, he had to go for fear the price

He’d pay, should he cling on to life, of being shot for cowardice


‘Twas only once that life was spent, they set him free from battle-field

A battered, broken human shell, his spirit lost, his blood congealed


He’ll never see his home again or know the joy that life could bring

He’ll never feel the warmth of love. They bled him dry of everything.


A tin-pot medal handed then to say that this boy gave his life

But there’s no hand to pass it to. He never even had a wife


So justify it, if you can, the cost of all those cherished boys

Set up as human targets while they waged their war and flaunted toys


They said that it would be the war to end all wars and guard our homes

They said, they’d come home heroes but the heroes left were fit for homes


And still the wars are raging on and still they take our treasured kin

In spite of all the pain and grief, they still have not learned anything.


The only power within my grasp is the power of my pen to set

New memories of those tortured souls upon the world

 Lest we forget.


John Mackey (pictured)– died 5th October 1916. WW1 Battle of the Somme, France.

This is his story, taken from his war records.

              The Green fields of France









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Reviewed by Z McClure 2/26/2015
I like this poem because it is honest, and strips away all the BS and politically korrect glory-glamour that politicians try to make war seem!
I feel sorrow for those who have given all they had, to support the few in power who create wars and then close them - all for their personal profit - while pretending to protect. The soldiers, usually young and innocent, and trusting, are treated like urinals. This is a VERY effective poem. I served in the military. My nephew was one of "Our boys". Thank God for free speech. Outstanding write Ruan!
Reviewed by Budd Nelson 3/31/2012
John Mackey is very proud of the honor you have done him here,of that I am sure. I have been one of those "buoyed" in the 60's for over 2 years and again just 2 years ago, but this time serving as a civilian...there has been no real change in the passing 40+ years. John would thank you for your caring so well.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 3/30/2012
And still the wars are raging on and still they take our treasured kin

In spite of all the pain and grief, they still have not learned anything

How so sadly true, since mankind first walked this planet, and I doubt it will ever end.

Reviewed by Mary Ann Biddinger 3/29/2012
A few soldiers left of this WWI. Embracing their memories
each one for their enduring agression at its worst.
Lady Mary Ann
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 3/29/2012
War is ugly. War is just about the most traumatic experience a human can endure. Those who are in charge of sending the troops and individuals into the burning pit of hell called war can be merciless. Would they have sent their own son where this soldier had to go? No, I can answer that question, they would not. Human are greedy and some rulers are vainglorious. And greedy. And inhuman. They must be stopped. From all I know about WWI, it was bloody hell from start to finish.

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