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The Salt of the Earth ©

Franz Grimley
Falkirk, Scotland
2005

“The Salt of The Earth” they called them.
Fodder for cannon and gun.
No questions were asked when the time came
Just “Over the top boys, and run.”

“Over the top, and to Glory,” they called.
“Over the top, for your King.”
Not “Over the top into minefields and death,
And the terrible futures they bring.”

Over the top went “The Salt of The Earth”
And into the black jaws of hell.
Screaming white shell bursts and searing hot lead
And black stinking mud when they fell.

Bodies festooned over wire and gate
Like puppets discarded at play,
In deathly contortion, their clothes ripped apart,
There’ll be no surrender today.

Still running like madmen “The Salt of The Earth”
reach the trench on the opposite side,
where bayonets and bullets and battering bombs,
cut a swathe almost fifty yards wide.

But shells keep exploding amid the brave ranks,
rending young soldiers to meat,
And over the top comes a phalanx of tanks,
And somebody orders, “Retreat!”

“Comrades,” and “Buddies,” cut down in their prime,
for quarter an inch, on a map,
So Marshall’s and Gen’rals can gain one more 'Pip'
And bring more honest men to their trap.

“The Salt of The Earth,” are now lying at peace.
In green fields and meadows they rest.
While Haig and his bastards, all sanctified lie
thinking they were the ones who were, “Best.”

Now a new generation of “Salt of The earth”
are watching their, “Betters,” once more.
‘Cause the same bloody reasons of anger and greed
and the politics we all abhor
are spouted by “Betters,” again and again,
In the name of, “Your country,” they preach,
But “The Salt of The Earth” should now listen to me,
And beware of this blood-sucking leech!



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