Present Arms


Present Arms



…………da da da da da da da da

Da da da da da da da da,

     You’re making like a train

With you and your friends,

Every first step slammed in

To take your mind off the pounding

In your chest, and the pain,

And it’s train tracks

All the way to barracks,

     Where the Men sleep

Before another day of fatigues,

And the training matters,

Really hits home when you’re

Alive in combat zones where

The men you quibble with,

Become the very best,

Become the comrades you never

Knew existed.


     It’s not an easy choice to become

An ambassador for your country,

When wearing uniforms is not

The will of many in civilian street

Where plenty snide behind your back

And it’s not for love of money or

To quicken another’s life,

Still, you do it as a contribution

And to escape the digging in of

Habitats of conformity,

And it’s sad in many ways that

The only way you’re alive could be

Your actual death,

But the inner city,

The inner cities present

Only the whimsical of who

You really are, who you could be

And the places that you wish to see

Are not ‘their’ understanding.


But it’s a sacrifice, where the heart

Touched by fields of refugees can

Never seem to heal,

Never find its peace when you

Return from quartered lands of conflict,

And some hate with vengeance the arrogance

You’ve become, and some can never understand

The violence of your ‘feral mind’

But living amongst the flies

The snakes the rats the insects

Can never be as artistic as

Urban sprawls of concrete with


     soon come when time to leave

you’ll beg to be back amongst the gun!


     You have escaped but the cost

Has been too dear,

You’ve sacrificed your heart

You’ve sacrificed your family,

You’ve lost the loved ones

You once screamed love

To return to,

And on leaving the position

Of a soldier, you’ve left many men

To die, die within yourself the memories

Of pride that you served in faith

Alongside the finest countrymen

Of honour, and it’s a one way ticket

To a chin now dropping south bound

As you sleep amongst the high rise

Kissing the concrete

Not knowing where or who you are,

     And as Ladysmith sings its song

You’re recognised as homeless in your eyes,

And ‘they’ will never understand

And say, he needs a pegging down.


You served your country

And gave your finest fruitful years

Of youth to the policies of your Queen,

You watched your comrades die

And carried one or two,

Still you find yourself – a tramp,

A trampled put upon man

They seem to love to stick the bayonet in

With glee for your – self-belief they

Couldn’t wait to take away,

Couldn’t wait to watch you fall

And this is the country you served,

These are those in whose honour

You gave away your life,

And as you walk the streets and beg

Your food and money

You wished you’d stayed the

The combat zone as casualty or victim,

For no honour be there now

Within a society of clowns who

Drug each other up for fun.


And if you had just that one round,

The Nine Milimetre to hasten

Velocity and sound,

It might just go straight to your head,

As you wish upon the concrete floor

The understanding of a man within his

Death throe,

Because they’ll never understand

The torture you endure,



Upon a soldiers mind

Is a glance upon the times

Gone by,

Where each a casualty - already

Were the best,

And in knowing you I know

You not to be a trampled put upon man,

For as a man I served with you

And glad for knowing you as friend,

And here’s my hand,

Here’s my arm and shoulder for

Your friendship, and here’s

The ticket to the train to freedom,

Where the countryside,

The cottage and the mountains,

Your family – your children,

Await your presence with their love,

And never ‘you’  look down upon the man

Who takes the kicking for his service,

Never scan your eyes upon those whose

Reactions you’ll never understand,

Turn your head away from the Gold you

Left to rot,

For you’ll never be his worth,

You’ll never be the Man inside I

Know himself to be,

Because your ignorance

Of really being human is your monster;-

Not soldier; nor - this trampled man,

Who will always, be a hero!



Michael J Waite 26th December 2011.  

Homeless Veterans

◄ Every Grain of Sand

The Abstract of Confusion ►


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