Military lives are often summed up by two maxims; "Rush to wait" and "Months of boredom punctuated by a few minutes of intense activity."
This poem explores the juxtaposition between boredom and activity and the effect it has on the individual.
I hope you like it.
Crouched in the shade of a tree
pulse rate; fifty three.
I watch a goat herd amble by
as the sun climbs in the sky
Hid behind the tree
pulse rate; a hundred and sixty three.
Listen to rounds spin by
as the Taliban let fly.
Crawl away in the muck
pulse rate; who give a flying f*#@
Dust flies on the hillock nearby
as our gun team lay down heavy reply.
Lain on the bank of the Wadi
Pulse rate; a hundred and forty.
As we suppress; the left flank move
Terry Terrorist to remove.
Sat on a box back at base
Pulse rate; eighty eight.
We’ve been debriefed and had some scoff
Now it’s time to knock off.
Crashed out on a saggy camp cot
Pulse rate: quite a lot.
Thoughts keep flying through my head
Today, I was lucky, I’m not dead.
John Carré Buchanan
29 August 2011