Free at last, he returns home;
The soldier who fought for king and country.
Tortured by the silent cries of the fallen,
He brings with him a darker soul.
At long last, the beautiful landscapes
Unveil themselves from the chalky mountains.
A land of what was hope, and love, and peace.
A home to the brave soldier of war.
Dusty roads and old wooden taverns.
The old and feeble rocking in their oak thrones.
Children playing with their insatiable dreams,
And mothers watching with joy and pride.
There was not a prettier picture
That could ever be painted by the gods.
The painting could not live forever.
A bittersweet lingering of sorrow fills the air.
This is no longer the soldiers’ home.
The children and the townsfolk are gone;
Not even their ghosts will haunt this land.
Heaps of charred wood are scattered
Where proud homes once stood.
A cursed raggedy doll rests in the midst
Lingering with an eerie presence,
As if trying to cling on to the soldier’s fear.
Whilst spiders and other land creatures
Dance a mournful groove in tribute.
They were the only witnesses
Of the horror and the blood-spill
That ravaged the infant village.
Bending down on his rusty knees,
The soldier rescued a lone lily.
The last of its race, a sole survivor,
Just as the soldier was to his own.
The lasting survivor of his people.
He cried a lament to the skies,
Cursing the God that took his family.
The God of benevolence and fairness,
The God of falsities and malice.
Why was the world so cruel and complex?
Why did it make war on itself,
When all it ever brought was heartache?
He had seen so much pain,
He had witnessed so much death.
Serenaded the souls of the fallen,
As he had plunged his sword in.
Stained with the blood of his enemies,
He had come home to wash his sins.
But instead found an abyss
Where not even the Devil would play.
So now the soldier stands alone,
Immobilised by his sorrows,
Frozen from his grief.
Suffering from the doubt
That God actually exists.
This is a poem I wrote for my third writing portfolio at University. It is a poem that I wrote whilst listening to the song Psalm by Jan Garbarek.