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Friday, 21 September 2012

"Meditations Of A Soldier"

The following Poem contains violence and language that may be offensive to some. 
Please read/listen at your discretion.



You can see it coming,
A mile off,
On their hot,
Eager, unthinking, faces.
Always somewhere inappropriate.
Like a dinner-party.

"You were a soldier,"
"Did you ……?"
"Have you ever …..?"
Whispered… "Killed anybody?"
You want to reach out,
Across the table,
And bitch-slap 'em,
Back to reality.

How would you react,
If I were to reach,
Under the table,
And start to pile,
Upon our Hostess's
White table-cloth,
Body-parts?

Dead friends
And enemies,
And innocents.
Blood and faeces,
Splashing in your face,
Like this red wine
I symbolically flick
At you.

Do you really expect
An answer?
Do you think,
That we who went,
Were more fool than you?

Perhaps we were,
For going!
But don't assume
We still are.
We ALL offered
Service and Sacrifice,
Loyalty,
To Governments
Who proved unworthy
Of it.
Until the only loyalty
We felt was to
Each other,
Or to the dead.

What civilians do not realise
Is that the dead cannot hurt you.
It is always the living,
Who cause us problems.
All the dead can do
Is wake the live horror
In our minds
Of what man does to brother!
And what we have lost!


We learned to remember,
The friends and the fun,
The service and the hardship,
The lives that were saved!
Do you ever ask of them?
But we also learned,
To leave the killing
And the dying,
At the back-doors
Of our minds.


Lest it wake you,
And our hostess,
And fellow guests,
From their sleep,
As it still wakes us.
Occasionally.
Especially after
Your silly, thoughtless,
Idiot, questions!

So learn my friend,
That simplest of lessons,
One of the first,
That we as soldiers learned,
And keep your silly mouth
SHUT!

We have buried our dead,
And unless your name is
Jesus H. Christ,
It ain't your job
To resurrect 'em.
So ~ don't ~ f***ing ~
ASK!


Res JFB 11th March 2008



Previously published in 
ETC
A Review of General Semantics
et cetera
January 2010