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

Noticed

As his new day 

Was inhaled past

His vomit rotted

Teeth.

 

His breath stunk

His skin was

pallid

He hadn’t washed

His eyes 

Were like

Dark

Stained glass

Portholes 

As he peered 

Out his blurry

Life at the

World.

Through the

Dregs in 

A thousand 

Glasses.

 

3rd Engineer

Nicky.

From Tauranga 

New Zealand

My friend

Old friend

I covered for you 

when you couldn’t

Arrive on the 

World

I laughed at your

Drunken antics

I carried you

Home

Up the gangway

 

I put you to bed

With a bottle

In your bunk

For the shaky

Hours.

Hid your lighter

So we wouldn’t

Burn to death

I held you

When you cried

As reality 

Appeared

Lost women

Lost dignity

Lost health

Lost life

 

When you died

Liverless

I cried

For myself

For every rotten

Bottle

I’d shared

With you. 

Every time I’d sat 

Across a bar

and heard you say

“Tomorrow

I’m gonna stop”.

Comrade.For my friend Nicky. GentlemanWildman

◄ Memento Mori

The end. ►

Comments

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raypool

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.

Ray

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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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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 28th Jan 2019 22:38

There is the sense of love, loss and guilt in this Phil. Ball crushingly authentic.

It's a no prisoners honest piece of writing, the kind which deserves to be taken notice of.

Personally I also can read this as a warning, how many of us as younger men in institutions/organisations have seen those we respect and admire wreck themselves through duty only to find ourselves following a similar path as we get older.

I feel the meaning of this deep down into my bones.

David.

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