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The tale of the night-mare

My twist on war poetry, a story of a man who gets taken to hell by a hellish horse and his german rider during world war 1. Let me know what you think!

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The tale of the night-mare

Let me regale you with a tale of a mystery; that strikes suspicion into the hearts of men
Where in the battle scared fields the rains hurtles down and soaks to the bone
The hellish spectre rides out from the depths
And snatches the soul down into the hole and leaves nothing left.

The ground rattles with shell fire, the explosions illuminate the sky overhead
On an dark and dull day, the drizzle beats down on us while we stand in the trench
And the rats feast on the rotten limbs of the dead
The radiant light stupefies my senses

I stand; I pull my lapels up and wrap my trench coat tightly round
It offers some ease from the gale force breeze, but nothing from the sound
I trudge, shoulders hunched, with white knuckles through mud mixed with blood into a room to Speak to my commander
His retort, swift and short, “On my whistle” was his answer

I appealed “But sir, I’m concerned about the rumours I’ve heard”
“some say its a dragon, a Griffin or something even worse”
He quipped, “Balderdash, boy” stated this stern, moustachioed, Napoleonic figure,
“Look lively, get your weapon and show me some vigour!”

Some men at the back, having a smoke, having a chat
I ask them if they’re nervous about our attack
Simon says as he sweats, “I see shadows haunt me in my dreams
From the depths of hell, where the spirits scream”

Now came our moment, now came our time…


I charged forth on the whistle with everyone else I knew not what was coming
With rifle in hand and a roar in my voice I was flat out running,
To what
I knew not

and then I hear…

Through the shells and the blasts that I’m running past
The vapour, smoke and mist obscures my vision, blind madness madness pollutes my condition

and then I see…

The black equine beast, with evil in its eyes, with malevolence and manic
with a nefarious countenance, tongue hanging out, all dark and satanic

the helmet
the medals
the boots

The skeletal rider, suited and booted, I knew was Germanic
My condition changed that instant from madness, to awe, to panic

and time just stopped…

...and the cacophony, the calls and whistles fell away
all a muted echo was all the remained…

My heart stopped
A chill a ran down my spine
As it hurtled towards me at a fantastic pace
I realised my chances of living were
in a steep decline

So I fired and fired but to no effect
I had no idea as to what to do next
I had no choice I could not run, or to face 6 men with 6 guns

As he snatched me up over his steed the skeleton seemed to smile
With a high pitched cackle said in broken English “I’ve craved your soul for a while
Where we are going the weather is hot
and until the end of time it’ll be there that you’ll rot!”

The tremors oscillate fiercely as the ground gapes wide
The horseman and his night-mare penetrate the earth and take me down inside
As my gun falls and rattles on the ground the hole closes, there’s light breaking through
Now I’m burning forever, let this be a warning to you

It rides out from the depths
And snatches the soul down into the hole and leaves nothing left.
He will come
Out from the depths
And snatch your soul down into the hole and leaves nothing left.


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