Poem -

Nostalgia, a fatal pain

Nostalgia, a fatal pain

Life was good before the nostalgia came.
This fatal pain.

16th August 1808,
we came to Obidos in column,
cloaked in Wellesley's glory and fame.

Old Beaky was strict so we must behave
but they gave us what they had to drink.
We kissed many random girls,
as we paraded down the lanes.

So proud.
So certain of the outcome
of the conflict planned for the very next day.
I have to say we partied hard
for we were the vanguards flame.

The morning came.

We marched with mortal thought to Roleia
and there we found the French.

Should of been a walkover.
We were the 29th.

Mad Colonel Lake charged up the gulley.
He wanted Delaborde for himself.
Killed himself and almost all my mates.

I survived to carry the shame.

The day the nostalgia came.

They found me when collecting corpses,
I was trapped under the remains of John.
When the medic held me shivering he told me

You are suffering from nostalgia.

To explain away my pain.

Nostalgia never goes away.

I followed the Beak through to Waterloo.
I saw the whole thing through.
I returned to a gentle England
that could never be the same.

The estate felt cold and tawdry.
I kept looking for someone to blame.

Acquaintances and servants distanced,
the dead the only friends I can name.

I can only talk about the fire,
that evil European game.

Doctors say it is nostalgia for the war.
Real pain.

From before I felt this shame.

(Nostalgia. Originally the word was coined in 1668 by a medical scholar called Johannes Hofner who thought he could cure the homesickness that debilitated the mercenary soldiers on whom his nations defence depended. By the Napoleonic wars it had become a military cover-all description for what we would now call PTSD. Only terminology changes.)


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Loving the narrative here Nigel and your choice of words really places the reader at the scene. Β  Β 
β€˜The estate felt cold and tawdry.
I kept looking for someone to blame.
Acquaintances and servants distanced,
the dead the only friends I can name.’

Excellent job my friend! Β  Lodigiana x

Nigel Cresswell

Lady L one of the things that gets to me is that all of the people I know who have suffered from their experiences serving our nation (or any other) guilt is the biggest thing. We are now creating a generation of PlayStation "warriors" who fly their missions from suburban safety and go home every night without a second thought. War needs guilt, humanity does.Β 

Tony Taylor

Dear Poet Friend ~ Sir NIGEL
Not ONLY are you a gentleman and a scholar... but...... you take the time to keep history alive through your poetic submissions.....I.....For One..... am more than proud to say I know you socially......but poetically.......you're definitely within the master class of thinkers!!.......PINNED......LOVE your stuff brother!!.... Peace n Stuff!!......T xo πŸ‘βœ΄πŸ§βœ΄πŸ§βœ΄β€

Nigel Cresswell

Thanks so much Tony. History and poetry, my two loves.Β