“Gallipoli, 1915”

Five years ago I wrote this for Memorial Day. It is anti-war, as a mother I have a 24 year old son in the US Navy, now somewhere in the Horn of Africa.  I post this in tribute to my father, my deceased in-laws and to my belief that war brings no good to any nation.

Lady Nyo 

“Are you joining up, mate?”

“Why? It’s the Brit’s war”.

“Cause Aussies are part of the empire, ‘one for all’…you know the drill”.

Both young men soon in the trenches, barely eight meters from the enemy.


“Hasim, leave off the plowing, we all go to fight the British.”

“My wheat will not be planted in time for the rains.”

“Forget the planting…leave the plowing to the women.  If you don’t go, the infidels will take your fields… Once more our country will be invaded.”

Both young men crawled into their trenches, pushing past bodies bobbing like apples in gore.

The slaughter was horrific.  New men replaced dying men. Then, within hours, they too were dead.

The trenches filled with blood, guts, madness – a stinking circle of Hell serving all faiths, welcoming all comers.  Plenty of seating.

The Aussie mates and the Turkish farm boys didn’t last the night.  Their bodies, shoved aside by a seemingly endless supply, sank in the mud.

These were the “Founding myths” of nations, claimed with pride by politicians who never saw the muck up close or personally.



Beautiful Gallipoli.

 Turkish soil and streams nourished by the mixed fruit of the dead.  

All Mothers, your children rest in the now gentle bosom of the land. They sleep as brothers. Your tears feed the oceans forever.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyright, 2007, 2012

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33 Responses to ““Gallipoli, 1915””

  1. Poetry & Icecream Says:

    Nicely done. Being an Aussie, I know about Gallipoli and the bloody carnage. …”pushing past bodies bobbing like apples in gore”. It was a slaughter and you’ve captured that well here.


  2. brian miller Says:

    by politicians who never saw the muck up…it is easier to send someone elses son or daughter to face what many of us are unwilling to…prayers to the mothers, the children, the families for their sacrifice…this is vivid jane…as it should be…may we one day find peace…


  3. ladynyo Says:

    You are right, Brian…..and what has happened in Syria this weekend reinforces that. Peace is desperately needed.

    Thank you for reading and your comment, as always, Brian. Back at you later today.



  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Norma.. Thank you for reading and your comment.

    So many of us Yanks don’t know about Gallipoli. I had to read about it because I had forgotten, or never learned. But it was a carnage, as many more battles were to become.

    Thank you again.



  5. zongrik Says:

    i’m a mother with two sons, and i’m glad i have not lost them to war and to political BS

    four memorial day senryu


  6. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Enjoyed this so much… very thought-provoking.


  7. Victoria Says:

    Such a very tragic reality, and well expressed.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Laurie.



  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, zongrik….and I am glad you have not lost your sons to war. Will check out your 4 senryu this morning.



  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Victoria.

    I checked my spam and there you were…I have no idea why. But I am glad I did check.

    Will make the rounds today to the other blogs….and thank you, again.



  11. TinoTino Says:

    This sums up perfectly, the abhorrence and futility of war.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Tino….as someone said here…..it is vivid….but war is vivid….and so much worse in every direction.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. laura hegfield Says:

    Oh Jane, where is love? How can this go on and on forever in one place or another…it is time to figure out how to end the madness and see the reflections of ourselves in everyone else too…we know this, why is it that the “powers that be” do not?

    Thank you for your brutal honesty.


  14. claudia Says:

    oh heck…what a tightly penned piece jane…if our politicians had just to spend one day in the trenches, they would think differently maybe..


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Laura…

    You are so right. Have you ever seen the program (BBC) “MI5”? That will scare the hell out of you…but I think it is a truthful view of what world leaders think of the state of things….and it’s intrigue, subterfuge, etc…one after the other. There, it seems that ‘war is necessary’…because it’s always a blatant power issue.

    It goes on forever, because of stupidity and greed….and we have little to say about it….’we’ being the unwashed masses. It seems very much that we are just pawns in the larger game of existence.

    That is why our voices raised in poetry, in love and political poetry….is important…even if it is read by a very few people on the internet.
    Thank you, dear Laura, for reading and your very insightful comment.



  16. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Claudia!

    If our politicians spent one day int he trenches, they would probably be dead. WWI was especially horrific…but all wars are.

    This was written 4-5 years ago for Memorial Day for another site, and it’s one of those 200 word flashers. Tight comes from that restriction.

    Thank you, sweetie…..



  17. leahJlynn Says:

    Brave and awesome write.


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Leah.



  19. ManicDdaily Says:

    Awful. Thank you for the poignant reminder. WWI about the worst, but then all are about the worst. k.


  20. Steve E Says:

    Apologize, Jane, for being so far behind in reading your blog. THIS was one not to miss.

    Re…those four soldiers: “It is culture and conditioning–not our NATURE–which divides us so…”

    Love and PEACE, Jane!
    God bless America, and her wonderful Sons and Daughters (and their parents…!)


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Steve….I’m so far behind I need a shovel.



  22. ladynyo Says:

    Hi K….I think you are right: they all are about the worst.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.



  23. marousia Says:

    here is an inspiring blog award for you http://marousia.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/inspiring-blog-award/


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Marousia….I am very touched.

    Lady Nyo (Jane)


  25. hedgewitch Says:

    Nothing could be more timely, with the horrific slaughter going on in Syria atm, not to mention the long grind of useless battle and one step forward three steps back in our own war in Afghanistan, where we seem to be fighting shadows for shadows. Thanks for speaking out.


  26. Charles Elliott/Beautyseer Says:

    Thanks for this, Jane. There is profit to be made in war, and resources to be seized. Myths to be defended (“freedom, freedom, freedom” and “best country in the world” when so many are in prison here and the life of the people is so ragged and tenuous). And anyone who speaks the truth about war is denigrated as “unpatriotic.” Geoerge Bernard Shaw, I believe it was, called patriotism :the last refuge of scoundrels.. Not worth one more young man’s life. One world. One people. Before it is too late!


  27. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Charles, good to hear from you. And I agree. Profit to be made with war. Wasn’t Obama (not to stir the pot…) supposed to get us out of war?

    I am so disillusioned with politicians, politics…that I feel the only place for me in in my garden, under my growing tomato plants.

    I think you are probably right, but I thought that quote was from Samuel Johnson….but Shaw seems more plausible.

    Thank you, Charles, for reading and for your insightful comment.



  28. ladynyo Says:

    What a wonderful and TRUE phrase Hedge: “fighting shadows for shadows”. That is exactly the situation. And yes, the most recent slaughter in Syria…over 100 women and children….oh god…there isn’t any.

    Thank you, Joy. Even with speaking out, there seems to be no one but poets listening right now.



  29. marousia Says:

    My pleasure 🙂


  30. Joanne Elliott (@soulsprite) Says:

    War is so wrong on so many levels and you’re right that those who make the decisions never see the muck up close. We’re in a sad state right now, but I have hope. Thank you speaking of the truths many would rather not see.


  31. Elliot Says:

    This reminded of a poem I hadn’t thought of in ages, “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” The reality of war is so insane that few people who have actually been in it talk of it as avidly as Ivy League politicians do.


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Elliot, and I agree.

    Lady Nyo


  33. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Joanne…the truth stars us in the face, regardless of the spin on TV news….

    Thank you for reading and your comment.



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