Tag Archive | Danger

As Lands Lie Bleeding 

On Remembrance Day I write a poem which is based on the concerns of a 94 year old veteran who served in the Second World War. This former soldier believes that we are now standing at the brink of a third world war and potential global catastrophe due to what he calls the greed and self interest of a group of sociopathetic leaders who have no compassion or empathy for those they lead or for the greater human race as they seek only power no matter the cost to the rest of us. I hope I have done justice to the words of Harry Leslie Smith in this poem which I’ve titled As Lands Lie Bleeding. I hope you enjoy the read. 

As Lands Lie Bleeding 

I can’t stand by and watch the world explode

these are not my words 

but those of a former soldier

in the winter of his years

who genuinely fears for our human race 

this is a man who has faced unspeakable horrors

the likes of which we hoped we would never see again 

like hearing whilst stationed in Germany 

that atomatic bombs had been dropped on japanese cities

and turned the souls of inhabitants 

in to what he describes as chalk marked stenciled drawings on pavements 

in the fragile peace of a cold war world

we had believed those days were behind us 

yet now we stand at a crossroads

not seen since the 1930’s and rise of Nazi Germany

as once more the conservative right 

squares  up for a fight without realising the consequences 

these people have a glorified sense of self 

but no sense of other nor compassion for their plight 

without a moral compass they play games with our lives 

in contrast to those who rebuilt a shattered continent 

at the end of the last global conflict 

who in this country brought us

The NHS and welfare state 

but now the politics of fear and hate are on the rise again 

as the disadvantaged look for scapegoats

to blame for their decline 

shortage of housing and rising crime statistics

blame it on the forigners not the British 

say those who preach exclusion 

as if by doing so we magically solve all problems 

I support an independent Scotland 

but I recognise that independence alone would not solve our problems overnight 

however in the dreamworld of the British Conservative right

they are prepared to make no such admissions about their United Kingdom

and by perpuating their delusions 

they are sacrificing the ambitions of their children 

to live in a better world than this 

an old soldier is warning us 

with autocratic governments in positions of power 

the world stands at the darkest hour 

since the days of Hitler and the reich 

life he says cannot go on like this 

something has to give.

we are standing on the brink of war 

he urges us to take a step back 

not for the Saltaire, stars and stripes, or union flag 

but for humanity 

he worries about the sanity of sociopathetic leaders 

with no respect  for others 

as they lust for power at all costs

and watch lands lie bleeding 

as they play war games by remote control 

 © Gayle Smith 2017 



Hey Readers This poem is written as thank you to Monica, Bobbi and Bjorn. Now before you ask this not a line up of an Abba tribute act but the names of a fellow poet and her friends who walked me to my bus stop after attending a spoken word event for Glasgow University Feminist Society. I really appreciate the kindness the showed me and I have written this poem entitled Sisterhood to express my gratitude to them, I hope you enjoy the read.


In the darkness of night
I head home from an evening out
conscious that I have to pass through, spaces and places
which are not in my geography of choice
this area is not safe for a woman
on her own
even armed with umbrella and mobile phone
I have to calculate the balance
between risk and dignity
I can smell pseudo masculinity
at a thousand paces
men out to prove their virility
with any woman from whom they scent vulnerability
being middle aged or trans
wouldn’t save me from unwanted attention
with apprehension I prepare to leave the venue
sensing my anxiety a fellow poet
and her friends offer to walk me to my bus stop
stay with me till it arrives
and I’m on my journey home
as I arrive back on streets   familiar but  deserted
I feel a sense of contentment
give thanks in silent prayer for friendship
a sense of sisterhood
and the knowledge that it takes a real man
to be a feminist

@ Gayle Smith 2016