War

The Prince awoke, as if from sleep 
To find the world was gone 
With nothing there beneath his feet 
And nout to keep him warm 
 
CJ 1996 

‘Nam

Bulging biceps, glistening sweat
Battle ready, primed and set
Thick dark jungle, thick wet heat
Senses keening, no retreat
Sleepy village, blinkered eyes
Manicured lawns, family ties
Village secrets, be a man
Never mention Vietnam
Chilling silence, bated breath
Hackles rippling, awaiting death
Bowels of Hades open wide
Apocalyptic horses ride
Sleepy village, blinkered eyes
Manicured lawns, family ties
Village secrets, you’re no man
If you mention Vietnam
Strangled cry, innocence lost
Disconnected, unmeasured cost
Thick dark jungle, thick wet heat
Unfinished business, ignominious retreat
Sleepy village, blinkered eyes
Manicured lawns, family ties
Village secrets, be a man
There’s no such thing as Vietnam
1997

ANZAC Day

 Oh ANZAC day you've missed the point 
of what you must remember 
A hundred years and still you talk 
of glory and adventure. 
Of ultimate sacrifices made 
in song and prayer and flowers 
But the sacrifice of which you talk 
Was made by men in ivory towers 
It's true I joined for imagined days 
of glory and adventure 
But lost in long and bloody years 
was hope of any future 
I killed some Turk and then some Hun 
I thought they would be monsters 
But when I saw them face to face 
Like me they were just soldiers 
I heard my friend shout out my name 
I saw my body fallen 
I watched them dig and fill my grave 
with soil that was foreign 
I watched my mother feint in fear 
A cable filled with dread 
Four sons were serving overseas 
now one of them is dead 
You made a legend out of me 
a true-blue Aussie hero and 
You cannot even remember 
that some of us were from New Zealand 
You trample on the Turkish shore 
where we came and killed as invaders 
Yet it never does occur to you 
That the Turkish loss was greater
So who made up this fairy tale 
and why does it endure 
The new men in their ivory tower 
to keep their power and ensure 
That whenever it increases their tenure 
the young will head the call 
and dream of glory and adventure 
until the day they fall.
Oh ANZAC Day you've missed the point
Listen and remember
A hundred years and still we choke
On glory and adventure
War will never end a war
It only feeds the next
We wanted it to be the last
But it became the bloody first.

CJ 15 May, 2017.

On ANZAC Day

They don’t pick me up on ANZAC Day
To head their grand parade
And if I march it’s at the rear
Where the crowd is tired and slow to cheer
On ANZAC Day I’m mentioned not
On ANZAC Day, at best, I’m forgot
Of Simpson and his donkey
You’ll hear the story told
Of desert sand and trenches
And those who grow not old
They’ll speak of those who followed
Our Nations baptism of blood
Another time, another place
And still more bloody mud
Sometimes they’ll mention in aside 
That others served who are not recognised 
But I have never heard my story told 
On ANZAC Day 
Well I am an ANZAC warrior too
Battle tested, found True Blue
But they don’t pick me up on ANZAC Day
To head their grand parade
And if I march it’s at the rear
Where the crowd is tired and slow to cheer
On ANZAC Day I’m mentioned not
An ANZAC Day, at best, I’m forgot

8/5/99