It’s places like these:

Not the big cities or the capitals

That teem with life and joy and tears,

Not where statesmen plot and decide

Nor where rulers sit in judgement,

But rather valleys and fruitful fields

By farmsteads or out in the wild,

Places which seem like lowly patches of earth —

It’s here

Where youth comes to be slaughtered.


They come to fight for a nation

Or to defend a freedom and rights

They normally don’t give much thought to —

Abstracts they don’t feel

In the concretes of a life or a job.

After they are trained in a war-technique

They are not prepared to learn properly,

Suffering the cynicism of hardened men

They haven’t earned the right to trust,

They sit in the dark or around a fire,

Not knowing what to expect —

Fearing for their life or thinking of home,

Trying to steel their wills.


It’s places like these

Which they don’t know or haven’t heard of —

But what would it avail them if they had? —

It’s places like these

That will drink their blood,

That they’ll fertilize with their flesh

Christen with their cries and moans.