Betrayed by the hands.

Check the bolt

For action

Hands slip and slide

Mud and sweat

Sweat and mud

“Alright mate”

“Aye”

“Alright mate”

“Aye”

“We’ll be alright”

“Aye”

Said a thousand times 

a thousand times

“Alright mate”

“Aye”

Check the bayonet

Check the bolt

Fucking hands

Shake

And sweat

Fucking hands

Shake

“Alright mate”

Fuck fuck fuck fuck

“Alright mate”

Pissed me kecks.

Its ok

Haha couldn’t 

get to the bog

We’re stood in

One

Joke.

Check the bayonet

Fucking hands fucking hands

“Alright mate”

“Alright mate”

Fuck em it’ll be alright

“Did you see the first wave”

“No”

We’ll be alright

I love these men

Can’t say it

“Alright mate”

“Aye”

 

Whistle blows. 

 

 

 

 

🌷 (1)

◄ Orchard Park Housing experiment Hull 1960's

The Depths of Stillness. ►

Comments

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Phil Kay

Sun 3rd Jul 2016 11:49

Thank you so much.. EP... you have expressed it all... and its the greatest closest bond.. to be in danger and risk death with others.. and to survive.. but thats the bit that leaves men broken... not all survive...
Ian and Ray thank you so much. I'm glad you felt it.
David.. my friend... there is no greater praise then that of authenticity. And sadly I have to thank you for that.

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Wolfgar Miere

Sun 3rd Jul 2016 09:30

I am so pleased that this great poem has been chosen for POTW. It is no secret that Phil and I enjoy each others work, and have a friendship beyond our writing. That said whoever wrote this piece it would have screamed from the page at me. Phil captures the fumbling futility of war and the love that exists between comrades facing almost certain death. I think at times like that one realises how wonderful and terrible humanity can be, in duality. It is a heartfelt and angry piece, yet considered in its delivery.

I think Phil draws strength and great understanding from his life experience, but more than that his most recent tragic circumstances which he describes above, he has retained his wonderful and sometimes frightening anger yet manages to convey so much love in what he writes.

His beautiful boy David, would be very proud of his old man today, as am I.

https://www.facebook.com/Kia.Kaha.David

David.

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elPintor

Sat 2nd Jul 2016 18:21

A very palpable sense of tension, here..

Anyone who has any doubts about the nature of those who choose to serve should take a close look at a bunch of new recruits with their newly shaved heads and their faces--so young. They are forced to find strength and courage they could never understand until a moment it's necessary--in situations they could only imagine.

I was looking at David's comment and it brought to mind a conversation I had with my father when I was still a teenager. I knew even then that even if you couldn't agree with a specific war or military action, there is a great love involved in risking and maybe, ultimately, giving one's life for the men and women around you.

elP

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Stu Buck

Fri 1st Jul 2016 19:01

yeah very enjoyable. its vaguely farcical and reminds me a bit of the end of blackadder in its tragic take on events but shot through with a black humour.

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Ian Whiteley

Fri 1st Jul 2016 18:30

graphic and uncompromising Phil - really enjoyed (? not sure that's the right word) this - the repetition and banality of the actions and speech hides a bitter and uncompromising truth - well written
Ian

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raypool

Fri 1st Jul 2016 17:28

Fantastic Phil. You must have been there to write this - it feels that way at least. Even with the romance stripped away you've managed to humanize it. Great.

Ray

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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 1st Jul 2016 12:49

Brilliant Phil,

by this point only mates matter, fuck King and Country...I mean you never saw those bastards on the field.

Excellent stuff mate, those conversations have never changed...out going patrols in Helmand (though different) would have had the same banter.

No greater bond than that of Soldiers.

David.

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