Professional Reader

I wanted to write something for Anzac Day.  For those lives on either side taken too early, in pain or in an instant, soldier or civilian.  Fighting for wars  past and present seen as just or unjust, but I have no right to.  I am not from a serving family or lost anyone, or know what its like to fight thank God.

I wanted to express the warmth I feel when I see a young bloke offer a beer to an old soldier in the pub on ANZAC day.  To see him pat the old fella on the back and a knowing smile of gratitude  is exchanged before the young bloke heads off to enjoy the freedom of his day. But I’m not an Aussie.

I wanted to say how glad I am of my English roots and how, on Rememberance Sunday there is a sense of gravity and remembrance for those fallen which makes us all stop and realise that things aren’t so bad after all.  But I haven’t been home for years.

My own words seem to fall short so I’ve committed a little sin and shared someone else’s work.  I hope you don’t mind, and I hope you enjoy this touching poem.

Some Help Here, Please!

By Warrant Officer Theodore Knell

Parachute Regiment

Hello God it’s me again.

I know I only call when I’m really in the shit

but at least you know you’re needed

and I’m not faking it.

I’ve heard men call your name

when they’re about to jump;

they promise to never drink again,

to go to church every Sunday

if you’ll only let them survive the fall

and live to see just one more day.

But with me you know it’s different

I only call when it’s something really big,

well God today is one of those days.

I know you’re busy elsewhere

with other

more deserving lives to save

but you must have heard that bloody great bang

and seen the white plumes of our phos  grenades

To say we’re outnumbered would be a bit  of a joke

the fire fight’s in full swing now

the air full of buzzing bullets

and thick with acrid smoke

I have two dead

and of the four that are left

two of us are carrying fresh wounds

so as you can see

we’re in well over our heads

I’ve spoken to Zero

he says they’re on their way

but it could be some time

so it would be really good to get a  second opinion

as to whether I’ll live to fight another day

anyway God,

needs must

things to do and lives to take

thanks very much for listening

but I suspect the next time we talk

it could well be

face to face