Requiem for the U.N.

73 years—countless billions of dollars—
And here we are today…

Behold the statesmen smartly dressed
Assembled from the East and West
United in your global cause
To feed the poor and end all wars.

Yet still we wonder why we see
The daily carnage on TV
The bloodied flesh, the burning skin
The poisoned children’s screaming kin

Whilst all can see you know no lack
Upon the toothless tiger’s back
Where platitudes are pitched and tossed
As children burn and lives are lost.

You had the means, you had the call
Diplomacy ignored it all
United Nations—carve your name
On tablets of eternal shame!



Eroticus Gratifica

Love is in the morning dewdrop that enfolds his moist embrace
‘Round the newly dawning rosebud as she turns her pastel face
To the glories of the sunshine yearning deftly to arise
As the night-time’s fading shadows flee the splendour of the skies.

In the gleaming mellow sauna of the slowly rising mist
Comes the haunting culmination of the moment they had kissed
Then his velvet charms en-trance her as they linger and abide
Like fairy seeds of dandelion upon a fairground ride.

As the rosebud gently opens and the dewdrop falls away
With his dying remnants fading in the newborn warmth of day
Glowing echoes bloom and shimmer with a beauty rich and rare
And a radiance that, but for love, could not have lingered there.

Somewhere deep within the darkness, in the confines of the night
Love had cast its jewelled sequins in the silver moon’s soft light.
There is power in the healing whose caress all life sustains
He may vanish with the sunlight, but his legacy remains.

He came not with cries of passion, nor with promises of power
But with grace in love abiding through the silence of the hour.
In her dreams and smiles and sorrows still his spirit shall remain
As it was from the beginning … and will surely be again.



Late for Supper

A Tribute to Parents of Soldiers Who Never Returned

They were standing on a cliff top, it was bleak and grey and cold
And their boy had been a soldier, barely twenty-six years old
Now they stared in desolation ‘cross the great Pacific void
At the distant northern shadows beyond which he’d been deployed.

He had died a bloody hero as so many soldiers do
Now for sure there’d be a medal and a carved inscription too
And his country would express its thanks upon a concrete wall
But, standing on that cliff, they wished he’d never died at all.

Now he’d not be late for supper or fix up his noisy car
He’d not be laughing with his mates down at the local bar
His bed would not be slept in nor his clothes left on the floor
They were parents of a soldier and they’d lost their son to war.

And the wind felt cold and hostile as it swirled around them there
Full of emptiness and aching with the pain of dark despair
And its song was all-consuming as it chilled them to the core
They were parents of a soldier—and they’d lost their son to war.

Then they turned back from the ocean and they headed for their car
A part of them forever both a hero and a star
They thought of all those yet to come and all those gone before
Who were and will be Mums and Dads whose children went to war.

Still the winds of war keep coming and the bullets find their mark
And every loss leaves one more loving family in the dark
They say it’s all for freedom, so the young can have their day
But for parents of the fallen there’s no higher price to pay.

All poems © Rod Walford



Rod Walford is an Englishman living in Auckland, New Zealand and has been writing poetry for some 25 years. He is a semi-retired diesel fuel injection engineer. He has self-published several books of rhyming poetry including “Timeless,” “Real Poetry for Real Women (written by a man),” and “One Hour before the Dawn.” Access his website here:

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6 Responses

  1. Alan

    Your first poem packs a punch. (I like the fact that your rhymes don’t depend on inversions.) However, what can we expect from an organization like the United Nations? I don’t know much about that body, but if most people want war, then war is what we will have until some other force overcomes people’s desire for war. What Jesus stated is still (unfortunately) relevant today:

    “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12, NASB)

    As for your third poem, I think there are many reasons that young people go to war, including poverty, the need to have a purpose and join with a larger group, the need to feel patriotic, the need to take revenge on real or imagined enemies, and the need to prove their mettle. But I don’t think that, in the end, the young “have their day” or benefit from war. Many die, but even more live with PTSD and other problems.

    Your lines are very smooth, but I think you can improve this one at “or fix up,” which kind of changes the rhythm:

    “Now he’d not be late for supper or fix up his noisy car”

    You might try something like this:

    Now he’d not be late for supper to repair his noisy car

    • Rod

      Hi Alan – thank you for your comments. Sadly for the human race both Jesus and yourself are quite correct as Matthew records. Both the first and third poems are more about consequences than method ( or lack of it).
      The line you mention is a nod to New Zealand vernacular – as vs1 indicates, the particular bereaved parents are in the South Pacific area where they are far more likely to use the expression “fix up” than “repair”. I didn’t think it upset the flow that much. Kind regards – Rod

      • Alan

        We also use “fix” in the US: “I’m going to fix (prepare) dinner.” “I’ve got to fix (repair) my car.” But, to my knowledge, we don’t usually use, “fix up.” The reason I mentioned the line is because “-er or fix up” seems to me to have two weak stresses followed by two strong stresses, but that’s just how I hear it. It’s not a big problem. I’ll bookmark your website so I can peruse it later.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    In the first poem I appreciated your take on the toothless U.N. disorganization, but I found the other two rather sappy and lacking pith.

    • Rod

      Thank you C.B. for your candid opinion. One out of three ain’t bad I guess. I’ll try to do better next time. 🙂

    • Rod

      Did you actually pick up on what the 2nd poem is actually about C.B.?
      Just interested – the clue is in the title 🙂


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