THE SPOILS OF WAR. (Read by Alan S Johnson)

And the troops go marching proudly by

as she wipes a tear from her weary eyes,

the one that she seeks, she will never again hold

for he died at his post; he was thirty years old.


The colours fly high on a cool autumn breeze

as man and boy march with well practiced ease,

so glad to be home after being so brave,

with flags overhead and not covering their graves.


She can bare it no longer as tears start to flow

down pale damp cheeks as she sways to and fro,

too much of their blood spilled on foreign fields

at the whim of the tyrants and their deadly deals.


Friends hold her up with compassion and love

and so many look down from the heavens above,

surrounded by many who share in her grief

but the feelings yield little by way of relief.



And the troops go marching with heads held high,

ribbons on tunics for brave deeds gone by

but each feels the loss of their friends and their kin,

and trauma buried deep beneath a mask, now so thin.


They’ve experienced things that just shouldn’t be done,

in the name of freedom, down the barrel of a gun.

The memories will haunt them for the rest of their lives

as they try to return to their children and wives.


But in truth and reality, how can any return

to their previous lives after all they have learned,

no love and compassion; no laughter and smiles

can replace what was lost across many long miles.


They’ve all left behind their innocent souls,

dead and buried in deep desert holes,

leaving them drained and with aching hearts

for a love and a life that has been torn apart.



And the troops go marching so silently by

on streets lined with people; cheering and cries

but she turns her back on this painful parade,

wishing time could roll back and her son would be safe.


And there’s rage in her heart for the tyrants who sent

so many to their deaths; so much blood spilled and spent

as they cover their coffers; their spoils of war,

like ghouls in the shadows keeping count of their score.


Rubbing their hands and patting their backs

lying and cheating and covering their tracks.

Another quick round in their wretched games,

the dice from the dealer dishing out death and pain.


The survivors will never sleep soundly again

for the loss and the scars will always remain

The ghosts of their past, ever present and near,

taunting as they sink in depression and fear.



And the troops go marching so slowly by

some holding back, some with tears in their eyes

for the nightmare lives on in the world far and wide

where so many remain and so many have died.



Written by Darren Scanlon, 24th August 2015.

© 2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.


24 Comments Add yours

  1. WOW!!! In awe, this is quite a poem, dear Darren. Not only well written, rhyming and full of truths, it was felt with heart and soul! Oh, yessss! You are a True Poet, my Friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much, Granny.


  2. Davy D says:

    A powerful poem Darren which brings to the fore the insanity of war and the parts that politicians and dictators play in them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Davy. Cheers mate.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rita says:

    So, so powerful! Bravo, my friend 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rita. 🙃🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey Rita, I’m having trouble viewing your Rocky Mountain blog…it says it is no longer available. Is there a problem?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rita says:

        Hey there! I merged it with the private one. Can you get to that one? If not let me know. I posted on there why


      2. Have you got a link, mate?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Got it…nice one. Wherever you go and whatever you decide…take me along with you, my dear and wonderful friend. 🙃🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Rita says:


        Liked by 1 person

  4. Poli Impelli says:

    I broke down in teers, Darren.
    Excelente, profundo, y escuchándolo detrás ha sido maravilloso. Gracias por recordarnos que todos tenemos héroes.
    Infinite Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Una de las tragedias reales de todas las guerras que se pierden tantas vidas pobre, desafortunados e inocentes. El verdadero enemigo en cualquier guerra, es guerra. Gracias tan mucho, Poli.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poli Impelli says:

        Gracias, Darren. Por escribir en castellano y por tu respuesta. Así es, totalmente de acuerdo, y tu poema lo expresa de forma profunda y maravillosa. Abrazos, muchas gracias 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mi placer, Poli.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. sevoiland says:

    Darren, so moving. I have felt these things and more with my three children all military. I’m glad to know that other poets are thinking of our troops and putting them out there in front of the politicians and uncaring public – reminding them of the sacrafices being made for us all. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure, Sharon.


  6. Sue Vincent says:

    Poignant and powerful, Darren.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, and so beautifully read by Mr Johnson.


      1. Sue Vincent says:

        Indeed it is.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s