The Patriot – Part 2

Posted on Jun 8, 2013


*This is the second in a trilogy of one man’s journey through the hell of war at home and abroad.

Royal Irish Rifles. Picture courtesy of

Royal Irish Rifles. Picture courtesy of

His first few weeks were a shock
no man should ever see such horror
But worse was to come to him and all
he feared for seeing tomorrow

Thoughts of home entered his mind
thoughts of family and his town
My god, he was so blind
to have left green fields, for mud he’ll drown

But months have passed now
almost a year
He’s seen friends die, away blown
amongst screams and tears

Home to him is so far away
its problems not forgotten
Never will they fade
like those here in the Somme

He hears stories of the Rising
back in Easter his people fought
Freedom their goal but many dying
and a deal struck, many were bought

Finally the war ends and home he returns
to a land changed, his people downtrodden
His heart and soul should fires burn
but thoughts return to what he’s seen in the Somme

Some of his countrymen spit on him
some see his eyes and notice them deep
The spitters, the haters focused on one dream
not realising the hero who took a brave leap

He hears the stories of past horror
of what happened whilst he was in Europe
Firing squads shot those he knew, he in sorrow
will the fighting he wonders ever stop

Sackville Street, better known as O'Connell Street, Dublin, just after the 7 day Easter Uprising. Picture courtesy of

Sackville Street, better known as O’Connell Street, Dublin, just after the 7 day Easter Uprising. Picture courtesy of

His uniform put away in a trunk
sergeant he made, medals he achieved
But hidden they must be, his heart sunk
he cries for human life lost, the bereaved

So he gets on with life as best he can
fighting against the ignorant he crosses
For he went to war with a plan
to do the right thing, against all losses

But loss is all he ever saw
human life on all sides to waste
Over politics and greed at its core
some a life barely had a taste

He swore the day the war ended
that he would never pick up again a gun
To take up arms against another, even goaded
no matter home or under a different sun

For now he knows what a patriot is
and it’s not what people think
For all human life is sacred
it can be gone in just a blink

He now hates no-one on this fragile world
for a country, a force can’t be blamed for all
Figureheads, a symbol, people insults do hurl
taking up their false cause to a battle call

But it’s the few behind closed doors he knows
that feed the hate to the blind and easily lead
The weak-minded follow their leaders cause
paving the way for those in power, while they lay dead

A patriot is not a flag waving fool
they are not there to help politicians greed
Not there to fight wars or line pockets
not to hate the innocent and the weak

Nuremberg, Germany, 1933, Parteitag parade. - Yad Vashem Photo Archive courtesy of

Nuremberg, Germany, 1933, Parteitag parade. – Yad Vashem Photo Archive courtesy of

He thinks his days will be fine
that he can live in peace
But passes the passage of time
A challenge to his beliefs

So as he sits by the fire at his home
news comes to him from old friends
It seems trouble is brewing again, he groans
will greed, power and hate always be, will it ever end…

*So ends part two. Read the next for the third and final part of the Patriot

Read here for Ireland’s part in the First World War

Read here for information about the Easter Uprising

Read here about the Nuremberg Rally

Posted in: Poetry