20 September 2008

Don’t Talk To Me Of War (rev)

Don’t talk to me of War or stalk the ground our fabled soldiers died upon,
I’m sound of limb and strong of will, my mind as clear as when we learnt
those gory lessons founded by our forebears; I’m whole still, my sanity
intact, wife and sanguine life extant despite the wrack of loyal Service –
though I will avow some wrinkled stress in thirty years, more or less, and
pride as signal as the very best of graduates from OCS.

Oh the pomp and circumstance of that, the cringing revelations, the flat
drum beat of sibling cries alive with drear elation, steeped in deep
emotion plied and pried by driving tides of damned humiliation. In those
early hours we sat confused in closet ease to crew a hurly burly year,
taking cheer in kindred arms and comradeship, bonded in the object
cup of common deed, proud and young and strong and needing just the
Company to keep the faith.

In that year we ran a cracking chase, a course of tally ho and view halloo,
of pulses racing in a strain of sweat that smudged our painted faces,
entrained our natural graces, tempered us in diverse ways without ado
although we grew and learned to look out for each other, holding in our
hearts a strong belief that each and every one of us would reach
the fabled end.

And when the thief of Time denied those rites to some who sundered
in the night; a shameful passing without fête or argent cause or silent
class debate, we knew, and turned our eyes, it could have been our fate.
Who where we then? Fine striplings come to take their place in larger
schemes, subordinate, acquiescent, yet free of shocking dreams.

Who are we now? It takes a mighty leap to bridge the gap or shed
entanglements that wrap us to our past – and sleep the deep and
blameless sleep, survive the shrieking terrors of the night; for some
the task is nemesis, for some the quiet of peaceful death is rife, for
most it is a part of life. And yet we know that when we meet again
the years will disappear and time will be our friend.
© 2006, I.D. Carswell