YELLOW, a poem by Steven Peter Cooke, UK from



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YELLOW, a poem by Steven Peter Cooke, UK


Free Verse Poems & War Poetry

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Steven Peter Cooke, UK



Fumbling through a sheen of yellow
the land and sky merge as one,
and earthly song goes silent.
The stage is set for death to breed,
tendered by phantoms, catching the unwary,
these purveyors of men’s souls

The rats were the first warning,
blind panic the second.
The sting on the eye brought the fear,
the search for the mask the doubt.
was it by my side or did it fall,
Into the mud or by my gun.
Focus, Focus.

Shaking hands, remember the clip,
the burn in the eyes is it too late.
The feel of rubber sticking to my face,
breathe slowly searching for the cough
heart ready to explode, relief the smell of air.

Then silence replaced by the gurgle.
The gurgle of dying men walking blindly
grasping for air, but the air has gone.
Replaced by the yellow that kills
that yellow which delights in a slow kill,
that torments the sanity
of the view behind the mask.

To watch a man die in corrupted lungs,
to see his sweet words of life,
replaced by a froth that no one should see.
The mercy of god is elsewhere this day,
as the eyes blister,
and the light is dowsed from his existence.

Yet still the burning pain remains gathering its strength,
rushing through the brain.
No lasting thoughts of home,
only pain, manufactured by Adam
the gurgle, the last words of a dying man

And I who have survived will witness this,
every day of my life,
and people will say “there goes a hero”
a soldier of the Great War.
And I will accept their drinks and cigarettes,
and for a moment I will forget
The yellow that killed my friends,
but the yellow will return

The yellow that will always follows me,
hoping for a helping hand,
a rope, a pill, or a shot,
the choice is yours.
As long as you make the roll call right

But the yellow can never take
the memories,
that my comrades gave to me.
For they are immortal
and my comrades will always watch over me,
As I will of them.

And the yellow now fades from memory.
The ghosts will walk no more
for the ranks are full
the last Tommy has passed away.
The trenches are gone,
and the poppies are histories reminder
Of what has passed this way

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Responses from Visitors and Members about this Poem
FromComment about poem or authorResponse CountryResponse Added
Josef FirestoneCongratulations Steven, this reality you describe is indeed not the best - but it can only survive if it's getting full attention..Netherlands7/10/2012 2:47:19 AM
Nazreen Haidercongratulations...your poem is amazingIndia7/1/2012 4:06:42 AM
Steven well done, bless you for putting this on VN..and i hope and pray this biological war and such means is further prevented from happening this is so relevant for even today ..people are experimenting and hoarding weapons of mass destructions..wonderful, wonderful pathos. well puttogether..regards and love..CONGRATULATIONS.. rita singh. 6/29/2012 11:48:48 AM
Maggie PollockHi Steven Congratulations on your win. I did WW1 in my history as a mature student and was totally blown away by how these men suffered. Yes it was a slow agonising death which must have been horrific suffer and to see. WW1 was one of the worst wars in our life time not only the men who fought for us but the thousands of people waiting at home for the return of their fathers husbands and sons and so so many never did. Thank you Steven for giving an insight into such a horrific war. Cheers fae MaggieScotland6/29/2012 7:00:47 AM
Success AkpojotorWell done Steve. Obrigado! Felicitation!Nigeria6/29/2012 6:23:13 AM
Success AkpojotorWell done Steve. Obrigado!Nigeria6/29/2012 6:19:43 AM
Susan Burns Congrats Steven xIreland6/28/2012 5:08:28 AM
Nishu MathurCongratulations Steven ...a well deserved win. Warm wishes.India6/28/2012 2:15:46 AM
shane richardsincrebile poem steven, thought provoking and vivid. a well deserved winner sorry for the late post, computer broke, been offline a while again well done, a truly well written moving poemuk6/27/2012 3:44:13 PM
William WillisHello Steven, very well done.A very hard hitting poem with an array of blistering lines.I am so glad that your poetry has been recognised.I really love the images you give us in your own brand of poetry.It might not rhyme but I love it.A few of the lines that did it for me were "The feel of rubber sticking to my face, breathe slowly searching for the cough" and also "The mercy of god is elsewhere this day, as the eyes blister," The horrors of germ warfare is told terrifically well these torturous verses.Well done Steven, sorry I missed it first time around.I hope to read more from you soon.***** Wm. Scotland6/26/2012 3:58:59 PM
Thelma ZaracostasSteven such a wonderful poem a deserving win Congratulations!Australia6/26/2012 6:43:44 AM
Gail KayWhat a very moving poem ...and reminder of the horrors of war...especially WW1 and the use of mustard gas in the trenches. Congratulations Steven. LEST WE FORGET!Australia6/26/2012 3:31:23 AM
Dwayne RankinSteven, many many congratulations to you for having the winning poem for this contest. Simply wonderful in the telling of the tragedies of war, and the Great War in particular with the use of gas and the horrors that it brought. Once again Congratulations Sir. USA6/25/2012 9:18:12 PM
VoicesNet NewsBrilliant! Loved it! Congrats!USA6/25/2012 3:41:08 PM
Nishu MathurAnother wonderful, intense, though sad read Steven ...powerful images, hard hitting pictures...vividly written. Warmest wishes.India5/21/2012 12:56:53 AM


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