Friendship. Loss.

His hands shook

His face contorted 

He fought with 

His stomach

Every morning

Palsy’d whiskey

Into his coffee

At breakfast

Thought no one


As his new day 

Was inhaled past

His vomit rotted



His breath stunk

His skin was


He hadn’t washed

His eyes 

Were like


Stained glass


As he peered 

Out his blurry

Life at the


Through the

Dregs in 

A thousand 



3rd Engineer


From Tauranga 

New Zealand

My friend

Old friend

I covered for you 

when you couldn’t

Arrive on the 


I laughed at your

Drunken antics

I carried you


Up the gangway


I put you to bed

With a bottle

In your bunk

For the shaky


Hid your lighter

So we wouldn’t

Burn to death

I held you

When you cried

As reality 


Lost women

Lost dignity

Lost health

Lost life


When you died


I cried

For myself

For every rotten


I’d shared

With you. 

Every time I’d sat 

Across a bar

and heard you say


I’m gonna stop”.

Comrade.For my friend Nicky. GentlemanWildman

◄ Memento Mori

The end. ►


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Tue 29th Jan 2019 11:08

Although I have been fortunate in my life to have been spared such horrors as you relate I can a see a beauty in the writing which transcends it , if that is at all possible. Poetry needs to be grounded in truth, and this shines out. The sad thing is that it runs contrary to the perception described in conscription adverts. I wonder if it would deter those who are planning to join up?

My two pennyworth Phil.


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Phil Kay

Mon 28th Jan 2019 23:41

Thanks David. Ive also passed through the demon days and nights, and found solace in anything at hand except maybe the barrel of a gun.
The shame of it was it has been many years before I realised the authenticity of this reality.
Its also a love story for those who believe we wallow in mystery to write meaningful words!
As ever my friend your words mean a world of worthy ness to me.

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