Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A poem

Was actually going to write a much longer post about ANZAC day and what it means - to me, anyway - but it's been wet and overcast for the past few days, and the little generator is having canniptions - so battery power is quite low.

.. and yes, I did make it to the local dawn service at 6am last Sunday .. a very small gathering, the rain actually briefly ceased for it as well .. will try to write more about it later. My father never came back to give me much instruction as to how I should behave in these situations.

In the meantime, will publish this poem- author unknown .. but was sent to me by Vest, at Daily gaggle

There is always a longish discussion about "wars" and "armies", and "what ANZAC day means".
Won't go into detail .. but from my point of view .. the disaster at Gallipoli was when Australian and NZ militaries which, until then, were happy to let incompetent "BRITISH" commanders run the show .. began to argue for, and won the right to command their own armies.

Says much

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the RSL,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife..
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know,

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days..

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:

(author unknown)

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'Australia', 'New Zealand', 'Canada', 'The United States' or any other country for an amount "up to and including my life".

That is Honour, and there are way too many people in this WORLD who no longer understand it.

(edited by an Australian)
Postscript 30 april 2010 - was having a chat with a Vet from the Vietnam conflict about all this .. he tells me that we haven't learnt much, yet. Just transferred 'allegiances' to incompetent AMERICAN commanders .. heh.


R.H. said...

Not a bad poem, but "or a Sailor" in the last line is awkward.
It might be pertinent, but pertinence is nothing to do with poetry.

Davo said...

Robert .. if you click on the link to Vestie .. yer, some of these things get re-edited on the way though; que.

Davo said...

Nup have never heard
nor felt
the zip and zing
terror of an AK47
mowing the grass
one inch from my left shoulder.
Me, am suburban
just mowing grass with a
commercial Honda.

The worst thing that can happen
is be splattered
by dog shit.

Davo said...

and yes .. have reinserted the concept of "you" into "honor".

R.H. said...

"honor" "jerk" -American English.

Davo said...

they've even taken the 'you' out of color. Who ARE these people?

R.H. said...


Davo said...

"Upstarts" ?? mm, am trying to think in terms of the Brits circa 1770(something). Yep, wasn't worth the battle. Let 'em go, see what happens.

The jury is still out, but the colony in central north amerigo are taking a longish time to sort themselves out.

GreenSmile said...

That is pretty much how I see the fate and state of the common enlisted folks.

Ironically, that makes me appear to straddle the fence on question of when and if our nation should go to war...but that is only an appearance. That poem, and mine, are both about responses to a declaration [or worse, the act without the honesty to call it such] of war, not to the hot air that goes into the declaring.

funny that I have settled in an old enclave of hippies but half of the residents turn out to be burnt out Viet Nam war vets.