I originally wrote this post way back in 2012 and it still resonates today, and each and every ANZAC day.
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 it’s 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 Remembrance 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
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
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
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