Shells fly overhead, then land with a thud,
As men below crawl around in thick mud.
The sky is black with clouds, made of smoke,
As men below stumble, and then start to choke.
Once fragrant fields are filled with death’s stench,
While soldiers tunnel and dig out their mud trench.

"Your country needs you" was that battle's cry,
As too many brave soldiers went off to die.
Not knowing when, or if, they'd return,
Or if sad news their loved ones would learn.
Yet still the soldiers obeyed their commands
And dealt with, quite simply, futile demands.

Twenty years later war broke out again,
Man's evil intent to cause suffering and pain.
How could mankind so quickly forget,
The suffering, and pain, and just awful debt.
The widows, the orphans, the soldier who's maimed,
Will man's evil intent ever be tamed?

Once more the sky was filled with strange sound,
Families fled deep down underground.
Winged flying machines, bomb, fight and burn,
And yet more families have sad news to learn.
"Never was so much owed by so many to so few"
Which meant nothing to men buried under oak tree or yew.

Armies marched overland day and by night,
Battleships with sailors too took up the fight
Against tyranny, evil, hatred and fear,
And tried to defend what most folk hold dear,
Honesty, truth, respect , care and love,
Gifts shown first of all by our Father above.

In cruel labour camps and jungles far away,
People worked wearily day after day.
Hoping and wishing for freedom's release
That all wars would end and all live in peace.
Countless service folk gave up their lives,
In the hope that full peace would for ever survive.

Yet seven decades on still service folk die,
Families and children still mourn and cry
Bosnia, Belfast, Iraq and Kuwait
Places which showed the extent of man's hate,
Korea, Falklands and Afghanistan
Where mankind still hurts his fellow man.

So today we are told "wear your poppy with pride",
And give thanks and remember all those that died.
We should never forget the debt that they paid,
Nor let their memories from our minds fade.
The cause of love, joy and peace should be our fight,
And stand firm for what we believe to be right.

Forget not the one who too gave His life,
Against all evil, war, sin and strife.
Remember Him who came down from above,
To show us God's plan for full peace and love,
He died on the cross but then rose again,
So let's bring Him our prayer for His peace to reign.

Paul Susans
Copyright © 2016