Category Archives: WW1

Grey Skies and Broken Branches Released!

Well, it has been a hard slog, but I am pleased to announce that my new ebook is now available on Amazon!

Big whoop, party time, jazz hands and all that.

Yes, it’s true. My poetry ebook, “Grey Skies and Broken Branches: A Collection of World War One Style Poetry” is now available to buy on Amazon as a Kindle Edition.

But… that is not the best bit of news. Those of you who have been following my attempt to create this collection will already be aware that I have written this collection of poetry to coincide with this years Remembrance Day. So, for this week, I am offering this collection for free… nada… nothing.

So please, download this free collection of World War One Poetry. Tell all your followers and friends to download it and have a read. It is completely FREE so have a gander and spread the word.

This offer expires on Friday!

Grey Skies and Broken Branches

Thank you to everyone for their support during the writing of this ebook, you are all complete angels!

On to the next project!


The Queues

Neat and ordered.

Straight and quiet.

Excitement and adventure,

Glory and patriotism,

Friends and colleagues

Queue to join the war.

Neat and ordered,

Straight and quiet.

Fear and trepidation,

Alert and shivering,

Mates and brothers

Queue to join the battle.

Neat and ordered,

Straight and quiet,

Dread and shock

Pain and distress

Soldiers and civilians

Queue to see the medic

Neat and ordered

Straight and quiet

White and indistinct

Wasted and long gone.

Men and officers

Queue to queue no more.

Poetry Book Update: Nearly Half Way There

It has been a little while since I last updated how the Poetry Book was going for two main reasons:

First, I’m afraid work has rather overtaken my life in recent weeks (boo). As much as I would love to sit and have a good few days writing away to get it completed, it just hasn’t really been an option. Which leads me to…

Secondly, there really hasn’t been that much to report lately, particularly on the illustrations front. I started trying to draw an illustration for “Generally Speaking” a few weeks ago but found that I couldn’t find a suitable three hour gap that I could use to really do it justice.

However, progress has been made and I’m confidently working towards my Armistice Day deadline. I’m nearly half way there and, even if no one else wants to read my poetry, I’m glad that I’m writing it. I now find myself in the position of being able to write a poem about whatever seems to be on my mind, something I would never have dreamed of a few months ago. And it has helped my songwriting work as well. I am now more efficient than I have ever been.

It just goes to show, you should never fear the things you cannot do. For they may be the things that change your life…

Poems Written – 9/20

Illustrations Drawn – 3/20

Completed Poems with Illustrations – 0/20

Days Remaining – 56 Days


Fingers squelch in the watery mud, as he struggles to wrench,

Bodies scramble up over the top to emerge from the trench.

Fearful screams are heard all around, sergeants order to fire.

Muscles tear and skin ripped apart as it snags on the wire.

Bullets wiz past and strike on the ground,

Artillery shells explode all around,

He coughs and he wheezes beginning to choke,

On air that is soon to be nothing but smoke.

Dodging shrapnel shards,

Only ten more yards,

Soon to flee from hell,

No more shot and shell.

Run hard.

Don’t Stop!

Soldiers stare from their taciturn ranks, as the prisoner stands tall,

Screaming loud that the general’s were wrong, he’d done nothing at all,

Firing squads stand ready to shoot, sergeants order to fire.

Waiting for Heaven

Crouched beneath the arches cold, the warehouse of the dead and old,

We stare about, watching, waiting, terrified and hesitating,

As sergeants point towards the line, we can’t deny that it’s our time,

To march back up the dirty track, and take our seats for this attack.

Look out boys, we’re coming back!


A shiver courses down my spine, as slowly we approach the line,

The shells are roaring overhead, like angels coming for the dead,

My head retreats beneath the ground, the mud and blood will now surround,

My burial, this dirty track, where I shall wait for this attack.

Look out boys, I’m coming back!


I wonder if St. Peter’s gates, is good enough for all my traits,

I did my duty, bore the shield, and lived my youth in Flanders Field.

I gave so much and in this case, I earned far more than Heaven’s grace.

For now, upon this dirty track, I wait to start the next attack.

Look out boys, I’m coming back!


Dear Mother,

A quick note.


I feel quite well, but for the rats,

That nibble loudly on our hats,

And gloves you packed so carefully,

Though strength I have none mentally

To see another comrade fall

As though his bones were nought at all

And die in pain upon the ground,

With tell-tale sign of rifle round.

The shells bombard us through the day,

And in our hole we sit and pray,

That none shall land upon our spot,

Resulting from some lucky shot.

But mother dear, I now must stop,

We’re due to climb up o’er the top,

And if I should survive the fray,

I’ll write you back some other day.


Lots of love,

Private James Todd