Dave’s Celebration

It’s fifteen years since I wrote a poem, so imagine my surprise when Mr Cameron provided the long missing inspiration.  I don’t pretend its great, but it carries my feeling well.


Crisis in the Balkans!

Imperial proxy wars aflame.

Whilst bullets fly a dynasty is overthrown.

No longer

supported by Austro-Hungarians.

The Balkans need the Russians now, a new entente

Alliances crumble.

A crown falls away from the three

The double eagle eyes the bear and prepares for war.


War in the Balkans

The Bears nose is bloodied and Serbia

left alone.  The Prussian Eagle brings peace to guard its nest.

The Cock crows

The Prussians sit uneasy in Alsace-Lorraine

The Bear goes home, begins to build and build and build for war

Bulldogs want peace

Trading empires need calm to grow

Bulldogs tries to balance every ounce whilst Eagles laugh.


Franz Ferdinand dead,

The Archduke of Eagles undone

By bomb wielding, Serb trained, Bosnian student assassins!

The Eagles demand,

The Bulldog bays for profitable peace

Demands cannot be met without Serb death. Back to war in the Balkans

If not now, when?

Two empires threatened

With time the Bear will be unstoppable, Prussian Eagles soar to war.


Austro-Hungarian Eagles war on Serbia


Prussian Eagle wars with Bear


The Cock won’t promise neutrality, the Prussian Eagle swoops


Trading Empires live and die on contracts. The Bulldog sides with the Cock.


The Rising Sun, long allied to the Bulldog, takes aim at the Prussian Eagle


Austro-Hungarian Eagles face the Bear

The zoo is revolting

Imperial powers like dominoes

Stacking their young men into rows to fight for Empire

Six weeks at most,

Of all the learned men that send

their young to war. Only Kitchener says three years.

Billy Smith stands,

With shit in his pants, his mate dismembered

A Boro bakers boy six months ago.  A Bulldog’s soldier now.


Celebrating war,

Is celebrating animals that through

their own stupidity get others maimed and killed.

Commemorate the dead,

whichever animal sent them there,

Those bakers’ boys, train drivers, ferrymen and more

Keep respectful silence,

As you mourn the idiocy of their fate,

And shout, shout loud when some new animal calls for war.


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