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******* waste of time,
Go here, do this,
******* waste of time,
Yell here, yell at that,
Never enough for the ******* Army.
Michael Mar 13
Rest in Country

We'd just lobbed into Vungers from the Dat on R & C,
Innocently strolling was **** Knight and me,
Across the Flags to the Some-Such Bar wherein the girls drank 'tea'.

And I can still see Max beside me striding to the Some-Such Bar,
With the baby-sans about him going just that bit too far,
With their practiced tugs and pleadings going just that bit too far.

And of course among the baby-sans the cowboys moved in too,
Which didn't worry me too much my cash was in my shoe,
But Max was Max and in those days, not like me and you.

‘Watch your wallet, mate,’ says I, ‘in case it comes to harm.’
‘No fear of that’ says mighty Max with patriotic charm,
Then he tucked a cowboy baby-san beneath one brawny arm.

Well! 'You silly ****** put him down’ but Max went like a rocket;
'I'm off to find the White Mice 'cos this *******'s picked me pocket.’
And I groaned aloud because I knew that me and him would cop it.

Sure enough, there gathered round an angry, shouting throng,
In Asia you don't maltreat kids, no matter right or wrong;
Believe you me our lives that day depended on that throng.

And I got hit with an iron bar (the hat protected my head),
Whilst Max had a pistol ****** into his belly and really should be dead,
And across the Flags M.P's I saw, turned white in craven dread.

Australians too, those coppers but no good to Max and me;
The gutless ******* turned about just so they might not see
The riot raging fiercely now about my mate and me.

I'd say forty upright citizens we met that Vung Tau day.
Policemen, soldiers, rascals, all with us two in affray;
Those Aussie ******, save our lives? They'd turned themselves away.

Thank Christ the mob stayed leaderless, our riot's end surprise;
And the cowardly action of those two? 'twas blessing in disguise,
For a Yankee Jeep barged through the mob and drawled 'in here, you guys'.

It barged back out then drove full speed to the end of R&C
Where the Major spoke severely to **** Knight and me.
While quietly back at the Some-Such Bar the girls sat drinking tea.

This is doggerel, of course, but it is also a description of what happened to me and a digger from my section.
Michael Mar 12
The Royal Military College
and a definition of Leadership

When I was posted to Duntroon
As C.S.M of 'weeds and seeds',
Its grounds I'd walk each afternoon,
Reflecting on my task, it's needs.

Diverse, the soldiers working here;
Musicians, cooks, the stewards and, it's *****
That from my office window to the square,
Listening to the distant band rehearse, I'm so aware

Of differences. My 'Weeds and Seeds' has lot's of them:
The C.Q.M.S., has just one foot, the other taken by a mine.
The sergeant clerk one leg, one eye and D.C.M.
Drivers without licences; all these are mine.

As well - a different lot, there is Ground Maintenance. This, a platoon
Of Infantry, sick and lame, and drivers banned from driving.
And these, the dispossessed, so take my time that soon
The day has insufficient hours and I'm obsessed, and striving

To resolve what seems to me to be a sorry mess
Left by my predecessor and his Signals boss.
All this compounded by a soldier girl, a pretty stewardess,
Attracting cadets like children round the candy floss.

Doing extra training in the Company Orderly room, that girl.
Stripping back the Lino covered floor and laying polish.
And like the Lino was her weekend stripped of any social whirl
By my reluctance to charge her or to admonish.

This extra training, it was how I thought to exercise my will
On soldiers, disparate, without cohesiveness from within;
Without a unit. And besides, whoever would I find to give close order drill
If all I did was march the guilty ******* in?

Thus it was this day, a balmy, sunny, Sunday afternoon;
The sort of day on which the very soul rejoices;
That after having supped my beer in Sergeants' Mess, Duntroon,
And walking past my office going home, do I hear muffled, unexpected voices.

'Hello, hello. What is all this? What is going on in there'?
Mumbling, giggling, that's the sound I hear of busy industry?
Intrigued, I look to see my victim perched high on wooden chair
Placed on a table, while on their knees her busy, working coterie,

Cadets, bums up, heads down, nosing round the Orderly Room,
Bucket, mop, and squeegee poised behind the flourished, sweeper's broom.
'Oh look at me' I hear them cry - that universal lovers' call.
But their target, when she smiles, she smiles at them one and all.

While to my floor they give their all, a super, waxen, polished gleam.
Because of promises implied and sweetness smiling, seated there.
Of leadership still they've much to learn, t'would seem.
And what better teacher than the pretty girl perched on that chair.
Michael Mar 10
This is a story from the Army Apprentices School, Arborfield, which was not far from Wokingham in Berkshire. I started my soldiering there on 15 January, 1959. It was a memorable first day because on the way there, through a window of the London to Wokingham train I saw a real, live cow and that evening, in the cookhouse, I had a pint *** smashed over my head. Anyway, this poem relates to the passage of information and the dangers of misinformation, and in a way is relative to my first day.

(While waiting for a train)

A bombardier and corporal were arguing the toss
About a job they had to do, about who should be boss.
The corporal said 'it should be me. You know the way we train.
My being in the Infantry means that I have the brain
To make sure job gets properly done, and doing it is really fun.
That being said - this job, you know, we really ought to flick it.
Would you believe they have us down to run a fire-piquet?

Replied his mate, the bombardier, 'even if it's cavalier,
I'm the one that fires off gun so I should get to have the fun.
And working the Apprentice School appears to me to be quite cool.
These AT's., they know their stuff, and work they'd never think to cuff.
Why, one even told my daughter, ‘on fire you never use hot water.'
Perplexed, his mate then asked 'why not, use h2o when it is hot?'
'Stands to reason' said his mate (they stood at Railway Station),
'Hot water on a burning fire just ups the conflagration'.

The two both spent that weekend off at home and in the yard.
Concluding individually the task was just too hard.
And so, selectively, they chose (so soon as they got back)
To do the work at Arborfield a smartly dressed lance-jack.
A Fusileer with bright cockade, four GEC's and bright
(though he said he'd had to give up two for getting in a fight).
He drilled the boys of Arborfield exactly as he orter
Whilst urging them to 'never, ever, ever use hot water'.
Rowan Jupiter Dec 2018
a box
packed lovingly
from a mother
to a son
far away
in another land
he doesn't know

the contents wholesome,
inspected still
once, twice, a thousand times

before it even ships

a box
packed lovingly
from a mother
hoping it will reach her son
far away
in another land
she doesn't know
Amoy Mar 8
In the ***** fields the red plant glows
Shining bright row by rows
Highlighting our opiates blight
Soldier by soldier I save tonight
Ease their pain do it right
For they may stray towards the light
the starry nights let me remember
the shooting stars make me think
the bright moons do not let me forget
the flying fireflies want me to ignore
I cannot help but remember

I wish to have dreams
but wake up to nightmares
the darkness sends a shiver up my neck
the eerieness is like a demon lurking, waiting to invade
the quiet curtains of night scare me
the chirping crickets remind me

the sun has started to rise
but the light does not affect my eyes
because I have seen too much
I will not forget
This poem reflects a post serving soldier who is still affected by her/his past experiences.
Michael Mar 2
One morning safe in barracks while sitting on the loo,
Our Colonel, who'd put duty first, was wondering what to do.
Now, he'd sounded out the adjutant and the R.S. M.
He'd asked that pair what did they think would occupy the men.
They had answered 'drill, sir. Men love parade ground stuff'.
But the Colonel, after consultation, thought they'd had enough.
Their morale it should be lifted, satisfaction thus enjoyed.
'We must not have the men abused, but gainfully employed'.

Thus, next morning doing block jobs, the diggers were astonished
When told by sergeant of platoon that toilets must be polished.
''Tis for honour and the Company's pride' he'd said to busy soldier
'And pleased it is you'll be my boy before you're too much older.
That instead of stamping feet on square or theory of the gun,
Or concealment from an enemy, or stalking (which is fun),
You will spend your time with elbow grease each morning here with me,
Polishing taps and porcelain and cleaning lavatory'.

So that every week when CO. comes to look at WC.,
Accompanied by the Major and all the powers that be,
And they poke round toilet ledges, check louvred slats for dust,
These expert, fighting officers smelling drains because they must
Ensure their Colonels wish, and we to quench our Major's thirst,
So that of Battalion's toilets it's his that comes in first.
And young, fit, soldier volunteers, now feeling ****** annoyed,
Are to be denied all training to be gainfully employed.

But enough of silly moralising, holier than thee.
Who finally beat up all the rest for champion company?
Well, that was Sergeant Kusba, who were a devious swine.
He'd doctored water closets so they smelled like table wine.
Well, 'twer lemon essence really, after which one could not flush.
And a secret guard on toilet bowls to ward off morning rush.
Which was borne by me and Sergeant Glen 'til trickery did we smell,
After which we cornered Kusba in the Mess and gave him ****.

So we as well began to use the lemon essence trick.
We all professed to satisfy but thought our Colonel thick,
As he stood at water closet breathing deeply, satisfied,
The diggers standing by their beds all laughed until they cried.
And the CSM., cognisant, fed up as much as we,
Served the Colonel and his minions a scrumptious morning tea.
Whilst they stood relaxed and at their ease upon our polished floor,
Between ***** trough on one side, on the other, closet door.
Michael Feb 24
On 15 January, 1959 I enlisted into the British Army as a boy soldier. The weather was bitterly cold and I do not think that I have ever felt so lonely. To my knowledge, Cheshire never existed but he is real; a summation of memories from that time.

Cheshire on Parade (one)

When I were recruit in the Army
And standing there on parade,
Sergeant, he thought I was barmy,
For on collar I'd marmalade.

This happened on morning inspection,
That we'd had before work, which was drill.
And I'd just got back from my breakfast
Where of marmalade I'd had my fill.

Now sergeant seeing marmalade,
Stood back and rubbed at his eyes.
'How did that get on your collar', he said,
And his voice reflected surprise.

'It happened at breakfast this morning' I said.
'Twere my turn to fetch in the brew.
And cookhouse were crowded as usual,
At table were usual crew.

We'd finished our eggs and our bacon,
A fine, sumptuous meal had we made.
And I'd thought to mop up grease from my plate
With some bread spread with marmalade'.

Now sergeant at this point turned purple.
His eyes disappeared out of sight.
My squad it started to giggle.
Which I didn't think was right.

I went to go on with story,
Explain about marmalade.
How it might have got onto my collar
And upset the sergeant's parade.

But to listen he suddenly seemed of no mind.
There were specks of his spit in the air.
The foam round his mouth made him seem most unkind
And he swore which I thought were unfair.

Then, 'Cheshire', he said (that were my name),
'I think you have had your fun'.
He whispered 'now go to the guard room'.
Then screamed 'at the double go, run'.

So, I doubled away from sergeant's parade
knowing not, even now, what I'd done.
But I'm sure that he who flicked marmalade
On my collar did so in fun.
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