Sunday, August 19, 2007

on cleaning my storeroom, a medal..

It is a military medal. It was not given for valour, wounded in action, or combat under fire. No, none of that. For the mundane reason of completing my National Service.

It sits there among my books, dusty and lonely, and sometimes I take it out for a shine and I thought that the plastic box that comes with it could be better.

reserve service medal
image by dsnake1


my friends told me
don't waste time
don't collect it.
but i did
in my best
saturday polyester,
received it
both hands
from a LTC,
the handshake
was warm, friendly.
my wife who came along
smiled, couldn't
the army lingo.
we had some food
lots of beer,
i looked around
for old buddies,
there were not many
and when we met
we couldn't talk dirty.
the wives, the girlfriends,
you know.

later in the taxi home
i took out
that piece of metal
holding it
looking at it
as the kilometres
flashed by,
thinking of my comrades.
i was right to come
i deserved it,
for the mud on my boots
for the carbon in the rifles
for the nights out in the rain

even if all those
are best forgotten,

for one simple truth
i love this country


Note: It was a long time ago, 1987, to be exact.

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Blogger polona said...

loving your country is reason enough, i think.
i like the poem.

20 August, 2007 03:35  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

still haven't cleaned much of the room. :)

20 August, 2007 23:27  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Love of the land we live on is a good reason. A medal for your poem!!

22 August, 2007 02:53  
Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I think it's a great medal -- well earned.

22 August, 2007 12:54  
Blogger whispers said...

This is my first visit -
Loved the way you express yourself.
Definately coming back again

22 August, 2007 17:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you. There are few occasions as it is where you are rewarded for service to your country. :) If they give, you should take and be proud.

- Liz

22 August, 2007 19:35  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you , sir! :)

"well earned", indeed! thank you. :)

hi whispers,
thanks for visiting! hope to see you again. :)

at that time we were not too keen about the army, haha. but i am glad i collected it. in a way, it was well earned. :)

22 August, 2007 20:28  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

The last two lines say it all...

That is reason enough..

23 August, 2007 00:51  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

Simple, very evocative,I like the idea of including wives and girlfriends in the poem, gives your patriotism a greater breadth and height, I understand the schools in Singapore are now using poetry by local poets in their curriculum, I can see yours in a volume being used. IF your poems are not yet published in a volume I want to urge you to do so. I just received a copy of Right Angles by Aaron Lee, and he is really Good. Aaron Lee is the son of my classmate in Batu Pahat and the last I met him was at a poetry prize giving ceremony in Kuala Lumpur where both of us received prizes, Aaron got a third prize and I a consolation..Shell-New Straits Times 2nd Poetry competition, ages ago.Have a good weekend, I wish you could let me know a little about yourself, I feel like I know you very well but not that well, KS

24 August, 2007 07:17  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you!

thanks for your comments.

i am not too sure about our schools reading the local poets in their curriculum, but i think our poets are as good as any in the world writing in the english language. (cyril wong, alfian saat , alvin pang, )

I can see yours in a volume being used. : hehe, i don't think i have reached that level yet, but i hope to be getting there :)

i will try to find a copy of Aaron Lee's work. As for knowing me better, try here
maybe one day i can meet you personally & we can have a really long chat. :)

24 August, 2007 23:42  

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