The Trenches

Mud like superglue, makes battle grim,

mountains of slimed clothes, never clean,

boots feel like leaden weights

and the humble sandwich tastes like dirt.

The sweet face of a friend sinks down,

leaving the grief to to fight and show

that this hell is more than enough,

and bitterness bloats the corpse.


Precious moments in the lull to look,

birds have flown, they’ve more sense,

the sun dimmed by the bloody gore

and clouds unwelcome pour more mud.


Soon, too soon, they’ll all be gone,

and their death song forgotten,

all that will be left is the tragic

cry of the bereft childless mother.


We grow old in ancient lore

but never learn to abandon war.

Prayer on the Front Line.

I pray for Ukraine,

that each blade of grass,

flowers, bees and beetles,

birds and butterflies .


I pray for their protection

against the avalanche

of violence and vile



I pray for each small child,

girl or boy, their school,

hospital, park and their

climbing tree.


I pray for their safety,

in the minds, bodies,

and, cast away from families,

to be safe from harm.


I pray for the mothers, who

wait by the phone,

fathers, changing a job

for tanks, missiles and a gun.


I pray for their hearts

that they don’t break,

that the abusive powers

relent – speaking words of peace.


I pray for the medics, 

short of supplies,

for the vets who cannot

save bomb blasted pets.

I pray that they’ve

healing hands, their touch

to be as Christ, – in the absence 

of enough of everything.


I pray for the governments,

choices they are making,

to save a people or

bury them in ash.


I pray for them to see with

a frightened child’s eyes,

to hear the cries with a

shattered mother’s heart.


I pray for the world powers,

to put aside their quarrels,

to open negotiations,

and work solely for peace.


Prayer is a voice in the wilderness,

a light in the darkness

and always on the front line

of any battle for any life.