War Poetry Books


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By INGRID RILEY of Canterbury, Kent, UK

Ruthless men play with instruments of death,
detonating bombs with random violence,
ruthless killing of the innocents.

Graveyards encroach on towns, death rolls over us
on a chill note with the speed of lightning.
Enemies locked and frozen in each eye.

Tanks lining streets, trampling the past into dust,
erasing names etched into each stone.
Tangible pain fused by the stench of conflict.

People tremble with fear in starless nights.
The suicide bombers' hearts with vengeance,
spreading carnage and mass destruction.

Burnt-out houses wrapped in a smokey screen,
hospital beds spill over with casualties,
crying children clasping shattered limbs.

A stupefying numbness grips the world,
our days seem paralysed with bereavement
touched by the cutting edge of agony.

Our dreams are beaten out by terrorists,
our fears spread to nightmares, haunting our sleep.
Wars should wear out, even the strongest souls
exhaust the reasons for revenge.

The Poetry of Ingrid Riley at booksmusicfilmstv.com

By PHILIP H. SIMMONS of Dover, Kent, UK

There is a new fanatical proposition facing our future,
featuring fear, where death is random dealt; a higher
esteem than life it seems. Children, Women, All
must suffer this fanaticism of fury, where War is
the Key to an Eternal Salvation; turning away
Christ's belief of toleration to a Samaritan lying
wounded. Whether Jew, Christian, or Moslem
revenge is the keyword. The tenet being to destroy
all disparity, re-uniting as an incarnatian of Ourself;

God help us all if we only truly care for death.
And death help us all to re-unite in dis-belief.

Heart beats
drum beats
pounding inside my head
inside my heart
pound, pound
I hate the sound
the sound of war
I want to hear again
the angel's song
their song of peace
I want to hear
the children's voices
rise up
their hearts and hands
lift up
I want again
to hear peace


Another soldier died today (so needlessly it seems),
Serving as directed in a place they say we have "redeemed".
Another soldier believed in all the patriotic hype,
Thus serving God and country, he offered up his life.
They said the war was over, another victory we had won,
So why are we still fighting when they said the war was done?
(I understand the answer to the question I have asked,
Yet wonder if we'll see an end to this monumental task.)

Far more soldiers it will take and twenty years or more,
To finish what we started (and complete what we're there for.)
Another soldier gave his life, the why remains unknown.
The only thing that's certain is, he's finally coming home.

By HELEN BAR-LEV of Jerusalem

At 11:15 that terrible night in my bed I lay
half awake and half asleep and prayed
the Angels to keep the victims' families
of the attack earlier in the day
At the very moment I finished my prayer that night
I heard with an awful fright
that horiffic explosion
I couldn't move nor catch my breath -
as though my blood had frozen
for at that moment I had witnessed Death
So very close the house shook
but I couldn't tell from which direction
Perhaps from the Theatre where I had just been
packed with people to the brim
In shock I lay waiting
for the terrible confirmation from the ambulances' wailing
which in just one minute pierced the utter silence
On and on - countless sirens
At midnight I was able to move
to turn on the news
and then heard that the attack
was at the coffee shop where I had sat
that very afternoon
In my bed I still lay frozen with grief and horror
when the helicopters began to hover
shining their orbs too bright
stabbing the dark of the night
And into my window their eerie light
I know that this is strange to say
but many of us had a premonition the previous day
And now we were somehow relieved that this was behind us
I know this is difficult to believe

By HELEN BAR-LEV of Jerusalem

I am a woman
walking in Jerusalem
The rain pitter-patters on my turquoise jacket
and splatters its freshness onto my glasses
And I walk because I'm reluctant to take buses
I am walking in Jerusalem
in awe of its beauty
in love with its gates and alleys
absorbing its ancient energies
I lift my head, strange,
I wasn't aware I was here
Here where there were two terrorist attacks
where so many died
Death palpable in the air
Raise your hand - it's there
heavily, tragically
Please God, enough already
(c) 2004 Helen Bar-Lev

 Helen Bar-Lev, Artist


I gaze at you, little ragdoll,
Lying splayed amongst the rubbish.
Alone and lost beside a bloody wreck.
Iron railings frame you
A little leafless tree stands guard.
Too late for help, too late for hope.
Did you feed the cat before you left?
Leave the bed untidy
Skip coffee in your haste to catch the train?
Glad to find a seat, still sleepy
In your sleepy little town.
Small puppet flung to infinity,
A trick of fate makes it you not me.
All I can do for you MARIA of EL POZO is weep.
All I can scream is --WHY?


Her long black hair
Matches skirt she wears,
White as shroud her shirt
Twins a face of frozen fear.

Bracing as they pass,
She bravely takes a step
To lift the stretchers sheet
And gaze in glad relief,
At a strangers, infant death.

No mound is seen
The burden feather light.
For saplings cut at prime of life
have little power, or strength, or weight
To stand against the force of hate.

For in a Russian Street,
Outside a childrens school.
September once again,
Rewrites cold terrors rule.

For her a ray, a flash of hope.
Today she moves outside of common grief,
When another's, death bed baby
Becomes her sweet relief.

Stepping back, her empty hands clasp tight,
Nails biting palms, holding in the fright.
She cannot think, her soul hangs in her eyes,
Each fibre of her being tuned,
To hear, her babies cry.

[To remember London 07/07/05]

Chilling out, in a borrowed mobile home.
Behind the red and orange curtains
With cock-eyed, animated stars.
I sluice my body with shower gel,
Bought in London, back in March.
Stepping back in time, to simple ways.
July 9th, how blest am I
To yet have time to play.

Over by the ditch, wild poppies fading,
Their season now is all but done.
Clinging on, reluctant, who can blame them?
To leave this rare and precious day of sun.
A boy and girl, pick a seeding dandelion.
I hear him tell her "Count the hours".
She puckers baby lips, laughs then blows.
"Start again", he shouts on losing track.
But no amount of wishes, can turn the moment back.

Through sun I feel the chill
Of unexpected London snow.
Back in March, we were happy then.
Touching blood red petals, I see them bruise.
Gather up the twisted stalks of seedless heads.
Had we but known, we would have begged them, Stay!
Take a break! Do not go to-day!
They mock at gods, who seek to snuff out life.
There is NO creed on earth, to make such carnage right.

ON 9/11

Cubes of bread, dropped to soak in hot sweet tea.
At 83 , Betsy always smiled, as gently I slowly fed it to her spoon by little spoonful.
Her child-like trusting face turned upwards, lips open ,waiting as a hungry fledgling.
Her blue eyes twinkled from the secret island outpost of her distant planet.
Devoid of fear, I had her total trust.
She knew neither my name, nor her own.
The muted television above her head flickered,
Allowing her time, my glance strayed and the poised spoonful tipped ,
Spilling over unheeded to the blue carpet
As ,blazing steel exploded
Gouging a chasm in a cloud lost Tower.
Black smoke billowing.
As bodies fell with crumbling walls.
And, inky smuts of a lost civilization
Slid, swooned to a hidden seething heap
Where even the dead, could not to counted.
I saw her innocence smiling up,
Awaiting the next spoonful.
A robot then, I cared her need.
Content, her smile rewarding kindness.
Gently she drifted into sleep.
Lucky, in her sad misfortune, not to know
How, between one spoonful and the next,
A world could end.

The Poetry of Mary Buckley-Clarke at booksmusicfilmstv.com

By RANDOLPH OUIME of Toronto, Canada

There seems to be nothing exciting on television anymore
the networks cancelled Friends and Fraiser
and we all said goodbye to that 244 year old vampire,  Angel
reality television is now on every channel

I dont want to watch reality anymore
in Iraq, American soldiers are dragging humans around on leashes
forcing them into humiliating acts like posing as human pyramids
crushed under and over each other

there are no soldiers here, only  faces stripped of dignity
there are no prisoners of war, only trophies of domination

how do i explain to my wife that this is really happening?
that human rights mean nothing anymore
and that justice is a dirty lie
i want to switch the channel but we seem to be running out of channels

Daniel Pearl beheaded. They tell us its a revenge killing
I cannot bring myself to watch the photos on the Internet
I just imagine the stark reality of terror in his eyes
I don't want to see reality, I don't want to see innocent men lose their heads
because George Bush wants to win the war on terror

I don't want to see Palestinians dragged from their beds
as bulldozers demolish their homes
I don't want to see airplanes and people falling from the sky

If anyone knows why, please tell me
why the world is so full of cruelty and hate
I need an answer, I want an answer
before the tv screen fades

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