Monday, December 24, 2012

The great Xmas truce of 1914

Sub zero in the trenches of Armentieres
It’s the most unheard of event in years
Amidst the ravaging spectacle of war
A most certain killer comes to the fore

Putting aside the stench of the death tax
Cacophony of despair and poison gas attacks
Then came much aerial bombardment
Gas sprayed with so much resent

No guns and roses in the dressing room ring
No frenzied team mate in full swing
No chest thumping or head butting
Not even a wooden door breaking

Only warm carols, silent, soft in tone
Lone German voices mixed in with death’s moan
Joined in union with the English enemy
Echoing across no man’s land, beyond the darkened stymie

‘Tipperary’ echoes across death’s plains
‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ resonates like clanking chains
‘We come in peace’; the English walk into German territory
Crossing no man’s land, unarmed in hope and glory

Bully beef swapped for smokes, amity flows
Trust braveheart, wee willy Wallace, his face glows
Thus a Scot brings on a football
Will there now be a melee, a scrum or a brawl?

Helmets for goals, no offside on the dry ice
Foraging through gunge, 'watch that detonating device'!
Chasing this instrument of peace, a marauding hunting pack, a free for all
Crazed hounds and dogs of war seek the ball

Mud football as the teams descend the autobahn
King George’s officer embraces the Kaiser’s man
Where the foe was part of the peace plan
Not from a faceless enemy clan

A hearty 3-2 win with Fritz defeating Tommy
Not a shot fired in the festive Tsunami
That so loathed, became for an instant, loved
London & Bonn joined, for a moment betrothed

Merry Christmas Enemies together in surprising fashion
Through football the great healer
Not an ounce of hate, replaced by loving authority
Commonality, smiles, brotherhood from this minority

The dawn of Boxing day and Cap’n stockwell’s three shots signal the end of the truce
Goodwill to all men

© Emdad Rahman -

Comment - An Austrian at Ypres called Adolf complains at such bizarre integration.

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