‘EIGHTEEN—PLUS ONE HUNDRED - Dick Raymond's November Poem


                      'EIGHTEEN—PLUS ONE HUNDRED

"On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting in the Great War came to an end following
the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany that called for
ceasefire effective at 11 a.m.– it was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of         
the 11th month." -- News item, New York Times 11-12-1918

                        Eleven of the clock. The guns fall silent—
                        Men rise up from their trenches, half-afraid,
                        Wondering at the calm. Their war is over,
                        No more the brute barrage, the sudden raid.

                        Four years of death, of unimagined slaughter,
                        Germans and Britons, Frenchmen, Viennese,
                        Italians, Russians, last to come, Americans—
                        Three empires wiped away with horrid ease.

                        A world has changed—old ways to be forgotten,
                        Gracious old customs swept into the trash,
                        Boundary lines redrawn, nations created,
                        Ten years of feast—and then will come the smash.

                        No peace indeed—this Armistice is brittle,
                        While terms imposed by vengeance-blinded men
                        Shall hatch a nest of vipers, thrice-embittered—
                        In twenty years it will begin again.


No comments: