Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thinking about home.

Thinking about home
image by dsnake1

Sometimes, when we are far away from home, we do get homesick. This poem attempts to describe the loneliness I felt during a military exercise overseas.

i sat on the bunk bed and started thinking about home

After dinner I sat on the bunk bed and started thinking about home.
Not yet a week in a foreign land
and I missed my mother's soups,
the sooty air of our street,
the angry vehicles outside our flat fighting for space,
and the sparrows building nests on the eaves of our house.

This was a sorry excuse of an army camp,
wretched wooden huts
laid out in neat rows like gravestones
ringed by concertina, as pretty as Auschwitz,
Perhaps they had used these to store rice or horses.
We had mattresses so thin
they offered no comfort to aching bodies,
blankets so filthy I wondered at times
these were used to wrap corpses with.

The air in the bunk hung thick with indifference,
laced with stale cigarette smoke, sweaty fatigues,
cheap cologne, antiseptic soap.
The boys were treating this place like a motel,
just passing through, five weeks,
they had no time for niceties,
clean floors, flowers on tables,
just a place to sleep, drink, chat and gamble.

The boys were at it again, a hot game of blackjack,
maybe a dozen of them.
They are throwing money around like so much wastepaper;
greenbacks, Sing dollars, NT notes,
the mound of dreams multiplying, subtracting
at every turn of a card,
you think they were haggling over the price of fish
or meat or whores,
the conversation heavy with money and expletives.

I was thinking of my girl friend back home, her smile,
her curvy body, long legs, short skirts
when my buddy came over from the game and bummed me a cigarette.
His luck was going downhill
and like a good soldier he knows when to retreat.
Looking out of the window at the empty Taiwanese sky, he asked if
I was thinking of home, and I wondered how the hell he knew.

20. Nov 2005



Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Nice poem, Dsnake. Could not stop reading once I started.

01 December, 2005 23:01  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thanks, gilbert!

a lonely moment during a reservist training. had to write about it! :)

02 December, 2005 00:08  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

A good 1.

12 November, 2006 23:54  

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