Monday, July 11, 2011

there must be wars being fought out there

This poem was written and accepted for publication in an on-line poetry magazine, The Sidewalk's End, a few years back. It was about the experiences I had when I was in the army.

I am posting this for Poetry Potluck Week 43 at Jingle Poetry. Be warned, there are a couple of expletives in the poem. :)

photo by mzacha
image from

There must be wars being fought out there

After dinner, we sat on the verandah outside our bunks
smoking, soaking the breeze
watching the day going down over our camp.

The perimeter was just metres away
and through the chain-link fence, the rusted concertina
sometimes we see iguanas, monitors and wild dogs.

Today we saw the snipers on night exercise again
getting down from their unimogs
cradling their night gear & sniping rifles.

We waved at them, they sulked at us,
poor bastards, they are going to feed mosquitoes
and then they were gone, into the jungle, like ghosts.

My buddy leaned off the weathered planks
stretched his limbs like a yoga master
shouted fuck it! & lit another cigarette.

I wasn't sure what pissed him off
maybe the snipers, maybe the insects buzzing around us
or he was just thinking about his run-out date.

As if to offer moral support i said yeah fuck it
leaned back and took another cigarette from him
thinking it will be another humid night again.

The frogs and crickets are up and singing their songs
as the darkness descended over us
like a mailed fist.

I looked past the faint slice of moon
past the constellations, through the light years and
thought surely there must be wars being fought out there.


© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2011

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Blogger Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

nature does record our experiences,

stunning write,

12 July, 2011 00:43  
Anonymous Marbles in My Pocket said...

An excellent write. I could feel the humid air and sense the frustration. Very well done.

12 July, 2011 00:45  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Hi Morning,

Thanks for visiting. :)

the camp is indeed close to nature. it's just jungle all around. :)

Hi Charles,

yeah, this poem is about frustration too. thanks for your comments. :)

12 July, 2011 20:57  
Anonymous Fountains said...

Absolutely love the ending. Brilliant.

12 July, 2011 21:58  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Hi Fountains,

thanks! i was thinking about Star Wars.. :)

12 July, 2011 22:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are able to paint a picture with your words, allowing us to be right there....wonderfully done.

12 July, 2011 23:24  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Hi David,

thanks for the visit, and the comment. :)

13 July, 2011 00:00  
Anonymous Ravenblack said...

It's interesting that guys going into NS are kinda going into a sort of stasis -- a life in camp different from civilian life, not getting that degree, not doing much for their future careers by applying the things they've learned from school (I know some vocations in the army do though), relationships almost on a hold. After that the real fight begins.

13 July, 2011 15:02  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

when i was enlisted, i was initially quite bitter, but after i have served, i realised that NS is the only way to provide security for our country, whether we like it or not.

you are kind of right about the stasis, a lot of things can be put on hold during those 2 years, but i think things had greatly improved since my days.

thanks, Liz, for your very thoughtful comments. :)

13 July, 2011 22:03  

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