Posts Tagged ‘military history’

This battle has ground on too long,
Our leaden provisions are loaded,
A thousand metal hailstones,
Placed carefully into our artifice of death,
Our own mouth of hell,

The power I have at hand is grimly palpable,
I need only turn this crank,
And hundreds of lives will end in gore,
Rotate sight and fire,
They told me there was honour in battle,

The order is given,
It’s us or them,
Rotate sight and fire,
Our engine of death rattles in rage,
Cutting down uniforms like chaff,

Despite the hellfire,
I feel cold,
There is no honour in this,
Warfare has become manufacture,
Rotate sight and fire.

Under thundery skies of white,
Came the rumble of tracks,
And the boom of gunnery,
A boreal front is rent open,
An iron cross enclosing upon an eastern jugular,
Hammer and sickle on the backfoot,
Surrender was no option,
And so flesh was ground against iron,
The blitzkrieg was on,

Two flags spiral around each other in dispute,
Cities and fields become their shrapnel market,
Lives were the currency paid in full,
But both fate and snow had other ideas,
The winter came to its sons aid,
Freezing fuel and choking soldiers in grey,
Another weapon against the iron cross,
Like the little emperor before,
This evil could not weather the winterstorm.

I’m a gunner,
The standard demands my service,
A red banner expects the same crimson in payment,
Ram and sponge and shot,
Me and my crew,
We are demons this day,
Preparing the very mouth of hell,
A grand battery of the kings fire,

The thunder at our command,
Iron swelling with brimstone,
Those before us see it as judgement,
What once was a rural spectacle before us,
Is now a depiction of Gehenna,
I care not,
So long as the pieces keep singing,
And those roses sprout on the horizon.

Plated and iron-willed,
Zweihander in grip,
We are the first,
The forlorn hope,
The first of the army,
The first to charge,
The first to brave that barbed storm,
To climb those ladders,
To brave those battlements,
The first to kill,
The first to be slain,
We are the first,
The forlorn hope,
The first to die screaming,
The first to burn alive,
The first to be impaled,
The first to perish under arrows,
To be pierced,
To be slaughtered,
The first to be buried,
The first to be forgotten.

I crawl,
I crawl because death looms,
Tracer fireworks and smoothbore orchestra above,
The air is a Russian roulette of lead,
To stand vertical is to welcome the reapers round,
Razor wire as spectators,
Bullet casings as applause,

Knees and elbows,
Along this dank trench,
Each inch ahead is a marathon,
The mud cossets me as a reliable guardian,
Enveloping me as I crawl panicked,
My uniform once regal,
Is now a butchers apron,

Knees and elbows ragged,
Each pound of the earth shakes forth more debris,
Fellow conscripts lie about as charnel meat,
Carved by arms dealer produce,
This ditch has become the grave of many,
Its mud surely pining to consume me too,
As readily as any artillery,

Knees and elbows bloodied,
Exhaustion grips me,
I crash beside a shredded standard,
I did not choose this war,
Have no ability to quell its fury,
But now I lay amidst its masterpiece,
Etched in grunge and gore and steel.