“Gas-masks on! Into the trenches, lads, spritely as you can”,
the Sergeant said, as a pungent yellow cloud then spread
across the desolate ruined landscape with indecent haste.
Into those stinking shovelled rancid rat-run holes we ran
and hurled ourselves without a second’s time to waste.
I saw men fall, their gargled gasps and cries. So many died.
How different now those death-holes have become.
The trenches of today are never made of soil and clay.
Instead, they’re fashioned furrows in our minds
gouged into us over time by countless shovel-wielders
recruiting us as footslog squaddies in their curséd wars.
(To tell the truth, to serve as drones is all they want us for).
They threw those boys into the trenches long decades ago,
so they could die like rats caught in a drainpipe’s reek —
their chances of surviving being almost naught and bleak.
But I refuse to shelter in those sewers, waiting passively
to be a bloody sacrifice to make the devil wear a smile,
trooping into hell in single file — victim of those evil-doers.
I will not stay in any kind of trench those clowns have made;
and all attempts to coerce me will be wholly disobeyed.
For war today is not one fought on poppy fields or moors,
nor on the beaches, in the seas, nor on any distant shores.
All you who think (imagine) you have power in this world
will have no place in worlds to come but into fire will be hurled.
I will not live in trenches. I meet the enemy fair and square
on battlefields everywhere, and say, “I do not fear you!”
Then they, surprised, grow pale and filled with righteous zeal,
declare me a seditionist (against that charge I won’t appeal).
I say, “I will defeat you with my words [they are my sword]”.
Their faces show me they’re incensed. I truly struck a chord!
After all these years of their inventions, whether good or ill;
all the weapons they’ve concocted, human beings to kill,
they’ve forged no sound defence against the many truths I tell.
For every word is so much more than just a paltry shell,
and words can spear the brain (from spilling blood I will refrain).
What they call ‘normal’ in their world (not mine) is just insane.
So now some final words I give to all the masters of the war:
“I need no trench to hide me from your malice, that’s for sure.
For greater is the One in me than that which bolsters you,
and thus who truly masters you — determines all you do.
The trenches which you throw souls in can have no place in me.
The A.I. world you make will not succeed, as you will truly see”.
And so do not ever let yourselves into their holes be thrown.
The trenches of our time are not the same, as I have shown,
as those into which lads were put until they awfully died.
They thought it would be over quick but soon were horrified.
The power-elite want all entrenched down in their dirty holes;
But one day they will pay the price and pay it with their souls.
© Copyright, Alan Morrison, 2021
[The copyright on my works is merely to protect them from any wanton plagiarism which could result in undesirable changes (as has actually happened!). Readers are free to reproduce my work, so long as it is in the same format and with the exact same content and its origin is acknowledged]