Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sovereign's Parade

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I passed out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in April 1987; the Sovereign's Parade was reviewed by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales. The Parade was also watched on by the King Hussein of Jordan and members of the Greek Royal Family as well as Parents and loved ones of the cadets who were being commissioned that day.

Amidst all the pomp and circumstance there was one moment of levity which passed unseen by the spectators. The only evidence being jiggling bayonets which glinted in the sunlight as the Cadets holding their rifles tried to stifle giggles.

The words uttered that day remain in my mind just as fresh as the day they were made, because I believe if the question had been asked of me, I might have been still standing there trying to think of an answer. I hope you enjoy the poem;

Sovereign's Parade

We were immaculate,
dressed in our best Blues.
with bulled up boots
and shiny belts
and creases in our trews.

We’d marched around
in quick time, and we’d
done a lap in slow
and now we were positioned
for her to say hello.

The Companies were positioned
with the Women’s on the left,
they were viewed before us
which caused what happened next.

She took the time
to stop and chat
as the ranks she did review;
the General and entourage,
where hovering just in view.

She stopped just next to me
To have a chat with Bill.
At first I was disappointed
For I had time to kill.

“Do you get much time
to play with the girls?”
Her plum voice did enquire
I quickly bit my cheek
and started to perspire.

How was Bill to answer that?
I knew he thought the same!
for there was a very pregnant pause
……….before she asked
again….

By then I could taste blood,
my cheek I’d bitten through
as I fought to keep composure;
and then she asked anew.

But the third time it was different.
The question changed a little,
“Do you play with the Girls much?”
I could see the General bristle.

The General, and the entourage
where cringing in pain
as they prayed for an answer
before she asked again.

Then a spark of inspiration
leapt into Bill’s brain
and he confidently reported;
“As much as I can Mam;
as much as I can!”

As we sniggered silently
She move on down the line
and her entourage
- smiling now
followed close behind

The Academy Sergeant Major
lent in to have a word;
“F’ing good answer that, Sir,
F’ing good answer!”
And everyone who’d heard it silently concurred.

John Carré Buchanan
10 June 2012

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. İzdihër, Thank you for your kind comment, I'm glad you liked the poem.

      Delete
  2. Keep writing poems. They are simple and so lovely .
    Your new follower:).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. İzdihër, Thank you for your encouragement. Being told that my work is lovely means a lot to me.

      Delete
  3. Like the jiggling bayonets glinting in the sun in the intro, have to say did a quick check that I understood the word jiggling correctly - a peculiar word! Thought this was amusing, nice story, can feel your pain ref the cheek :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan, Thanks for the kind comment, I'm surprised you were not familiar with "jiggling", funny how some words seem to be common place to some people and not to others, must be my dodgy upbringing;-)

      Delete

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