Read introduction

The First World War started on 4th August 1914. It's too early to say what its consequences were.

There's a trend among historians to say the war was not as bad as it was depicted by poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon (who fought in it) and that a longer, more strategic view of the war is needed. They say we haven't taken the long view. I don't think these people's 'long-view' is long enough.

Please also see my poems "Mrs MacDonald Visits Her Father", and "General Freyberg's Wounds".

The Wave

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse10 Jul 2014

Who gets to say
Where it started
Or where it might end?

The vast oceanic surge
Churned and rolled
Oblivious and unstoppable

Crashing on and on,
A miasma of mud
And yellow vapour

Washing away the ages,
Drowning even the
Stinging hot metal

And the vile lusts
That fuelled it,
Washing away the ages.

Somewhere between
A champagne morning
And a filth-lathered night

It crashed ashore,
Headlong and wanton:
But no one marked

The final height of the tide,
Or counted the grains of sand
Sucked back into the depths.