1918 Then and Now 2018

A poem by Kenneth MacLeod, Rotarian in Troon, Ayrshire


1918 Then and Now 2018

If they could speakā€¦ ?

Memorials                                           to war they stand

In cities, towns                                   across our land

The lists of names                              are there to read

They gave their lives                          our nation’s need

Each believed                                     in time we’d gain

Valued freedom                                  our prize – their pain

With which to build                             as time moved on

A better world                                    for those unborn

If they could speak                             what would they say

To us who stand                                 Remembrance Day


“If we could speak                              these tales we’d tell

Of how we died                                  or bravely fell

We who faced                                    the bullet’s point

That passed  through                          lung or heart or joint

Or deeply lodged                                 with scant respect.

It lay within                                          our body wrecked

On crater’s edge                                 some did recline

And saw their blood                           with mud combine

Beneath black slime                            watched bodies slide

Still uniformed                                      there to abide

Their ‘morrows  lost                            for your todays.

If we could speak                                here’s what we’d say



Tell us - the fallen                               what can  you  claim

Improvements made                            in freedom’s name.

Our God revered                                 we all believed

Helped us to do                                   what we achieved.

Today your Gods                                who are they?

Celebrities                                           change day by day.

Your present poor                              the ‘lower ranks’

Why do they seek                               their food from banks?

Your elderly                                         in later years

With family live                                     or lonely tears?

Why as we look                                  down city street

In doorways                                        cardboard, frozen feet?

Your addicts   crave                            drugs damage  health

Yet more obscene                                is craving wealth.

Rich poor despise                                devoid of heart,

Society                                                 falling apart?


So why such pomp                              each year’s parade?

We died not for                                     this world you’ve made”.




Kenneth H.  MacLeod                        November 2018



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