Where Youth and Laughter go

This poem is about a man who looks back on his experiences of war. The title is actually a quote from the poem "Suicide in the Trenches", by Siegfried Sassoon. I apologise if you find the tone kind of melancholy but I promise that I have a lot more cheerful work coming up! In the meantime, please read and enjoy this poem! As always, I'm happy to read your work!


1. Where Youth and Laughter go.

There was an old man with a kindly eye

Who spoke of life and times gone by,

Of boyhood larks and golden days,

Friends and meadows and summer haze.


Trapped in a memory hollow and mild,

In the coldness of the old man's eyes stands a child

A simple boy, white feathers on his toes,

Born in the place where the Songbird goes.


Over copper fields and streams of pearl

Went village boys and village girls.

Ruddy cheeked, caked with mud,

Far away yet from the Men-Monsters and blood.


But then a man with a gun,

He took their song, he took their sun.

Men in coats, all duty and knowing,

Found tin soldiers where the sweet grass was growing. 


Song in heart, a sweet lie in ear,

Meadows were forgotten that were once held dear.

Trains filled with hymns sung bright and slurred.  

When they returned, no song could be heard .


Cubby houses shaped out of cold mud,

Garnished with wire, painted with blood.

On the fields of lost time, warfare was sewn,

In the gardens of the damned, poppies had grown .


The simple boy, once brash and bold,

Lay dead yet breathed, was young and old.

The sky was not black, or red and uncouth,

It was tinged with pink, the pink of youth.


The game finished, someone rolled an eleven,

No hell, yet no one could quite recall heaven.

Society's mock-choruses glimmered and glistened,

No one saw the lost children, so nobody listened.


The old man stops now, for his eyelids fall.

His heart is heavy with the dead Lark's call.

Through fire, glory, ice and snow

He knows the place Where Youth and Laughter go.







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