For Shaun

by | May 1, 2011 | Poetry | 0 comments

16 and old enough to hold a gun,
Just 16; old enough to have some fun.
only 16, but old enough to fight and to die.
I signed on for life full of adventure;
I didn’t bet on being left with the mental toture.

They pushed and they shove’d, they shouted, they screamed,
all the while moulding us kids into ‘their type of team’.
It’s taken me years to realise what they did – the dark dreams
that haunt me, the tears in the night, the feelings of rage,
even now I’m still in the fight.

Over and over I see Andy go, the flash and the bang, the crump and the thump,
the screaming, the shouting – the ringing in my ears.
The sound of the chopper; the Doc in a blue funk – Titch took over; as you do!
Andy died hours later, a man blown to bits, a decent man gone because of those sh#t’s.
They lied to his folks – as they always do; he went instantanously said Padre,
but I know different, I was there, I could see, I could hear, but there was nothing I could do………..

I spent days in a daze, how could the boss go? He was ‘the’ Boss ya know?
We all shuffled in to canteen and the CO said some words, we all murmured ‘when you walk through a storm’
and that was that, back on the ground – back to the fight;
and the child like fear that comes on a dark stormy night…

6 whole days sitting on a fence, 6 whole nights sitting on a fence, watching, waiting, scared to death.
I prayed that when the time came I’d do my job, not let my ‘team’ down because of a mistake – over and over,
We’d been through this a thousand times, disussing our options, deciding our fate.
If I got it wrong I’d be responsible for the death of a mate. The call came to leave, nothing to do,
The transport turned up – the dickhead driver stood on his cab and shouted ‘You whooo!’……………..

How many hours on the range have I wasted? How many targets have I wallpaper pasted? What use is it all now?
I have no gun, just memories of its Kick and the heat of the sun. Sweating buckets, charging back an forth,
checking my mags, counting my shots; or the last sound you here is ‘dead mans click’, or on this occassion its
a thump in the back or just a swift kick.
I can still hear it all, smell it all, taste it all, it still makes sick.

The shitty message on the senataf reads ‘to the glorious dead’ – oh yeah?? I don’t believe it – Who Said???
It wasn’t a soldier who wrote that; Because we know better. A brother lost is a brother gone!
We squaddies know what the game is about! We’ve been there and done that; at your behest –
usually for no good reason and without a (bullet proof) vest.

Every soldier knows in his heart in order to finish, you’ve gotta start!
Be it a fup, jump off or a line you take your chances, like your mates and thats just fine.
We’re were paid a pitance, life was so cheap.

My time has past now, and nothings been learned, young men are dying just like my mates did. The liers in charge of this
once great country still waste the lives of our youth. Breaking young hearts and minds and bodies on the anvil of war, the lucky
ones die! The broken, the blasted, the maimed and the scarred live amoung us as a permenant reminder – like a festering sore.
Twice a year our sacrifices are remembered, recognised and revered but for the rest of the time its like only ‘we’ squaddies care?

So is it any wonder we cower away like a beaten dog? Unable to function without institution, so we revert back to the grind of what we know
all about….Back amongst friends, back with the best…..


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