JUNE 2015
by Fred McIlmoyle
I have heard the soldiers singing,
Pure young voices strong and true.
I have heard them speak of valor
Each man the others must outdo

I have watched them march to battle
With final thoughts of homes and wives
Realizing—for the first time
They now are fighting for their lives

I have seen death standing—leering
While life fondled his barbarous knife;
Heard Apocalyptic horsemen stalking
Stealthily through halls of night,

I have smelt the devil's rank breath
Rasping harsh through nostrils flared,
His fiendish riders thundering by me
Slaughtering their prey with sabers bared

I have watched the victims stiffen
Petrified by loathsome scenes
Sheering through this realm of terror
Figments of evil demented dreams
I have wept for souls returning,
Floundering relics of mankind.
Condemned to a living hell they wander,  
Seeking a peace they cannot find.

Fred McIlmoyle is a retired sociologist and technical writer
living on the west coast of Northern Ireland. He spends most of
the winter on the Costa Del Sol in Spain—much easier on the
arthritis. He has been writing for many years in both the
technical and creative genres.
$25 Prize