Soldiers prayers are solemnly murmured,
As their transport boats drift slowly further,
Towards the shore and the hell incarnate,
With Germans stoic and defiantly guarding,
The beaches with bullets created for carving,
The flesh from off these soldiers, barking.
Sprays of salt water wet one’s face,
As the cool air bluffs this tepid place,
One solider fearful of coming slaughter,
Presses his lips to his pictured daughter,
And wishes for one last embrace,
In case, death’s gullet, gets a taste.
Boats hammered by the bullet’s blows,
They take on water as the sea swell grows.
Soldiers use their buckets for bailing,
And travel closer to this nightmare’s hailing.
Allied planes fly high through sacred skies,
Bunkered machine guns spray and allies die.
The landing boats have just arrived.
The boat’s ramp’s drop and men pour out,
Many men cut down, others filled with doubt,
Some soldiers drown beneath their packs,
Under the heavy weight upon their backs.
Some will find ways through to the beaches,
In an attempt to create strategic breaches.
Men fall like brothers,
With death as adhesive,
Survivors take cover,
Bonded by a fearful cohesive.
Hours pass which feel like days,
Artillery strikes fall like rain,
Sandy beaches, cratered and blazed,
Cries call out from those in pain,
The attackers brave but feeling dazed.
The entire mission was almost failed,
As stalwart heroes were viciously assailed.
One man looked upon his soldiers pleas,
And took the reigns to take the lead.
To push his men and lend them strength,
To take that last offensive length,
So that all those deaths were not in vain,
And to give some hope to this new campaign.
We owe them all our hearts and souls,
For a bloody victory and heavy toll,
And to force a loss of evil’s control.
May their virtues always be extolled.
For all of those who died there on that beach,
May they forever rest in piece.
I’d written this while watching a documentary about the D-Day landing and WW2 on Youtube. General Norman Dutch Cota was the man who took control when the mission began to look like it was failing. He was 50 years old and a heavy man, they say he knew no fear and passed his fearlessness on to the soldiers around him. Many aquatic tanks were released on D-Day to help storm the shores, and unfortunately most of them took on water and sank. They’d only been tested in calm waters prior and the seas were not calm that day. The drivers never had a chance to get out.
I’m starting a new series of poems, revisiting history and creating this poetry or ballads. Perhaps one day I’ll create another book out of them. I’ve also been to the beaches of Normandy personally and this event really stuck with me. The bunkers and craters are still all over the place.