Friday, October 07, 2011

ROC '76

This poem is about a military exercise I was involved in, a long time ago.

I am posting this poem for Thursday Poets Rally Week 53.

photo by Athena
image from

ROC '76

In stony silence,
in fits of exhaustion,
we hunched & huddled
in the blood-red mud
& watched the 81s opened up
punishing the hills beyond the ridge.
Not for us the adage of glory and country
but faraway images of home,
a beer, a shower, & a woman to cuddle.

We hunched together
waiting, in a fine drizzle
that coiled around the blue hills,
the final manoeuvre of the battle,
as a haze of gun-smoke and diesel
washed over our tired bodies.
Somewhere to the east,
defiant GPMGs chattered.

As rivulets of rain
flowed down dented helmets
to sweat stained brows,
we struggled with a last smoke.
(have you tried lighting a wet cigarette ?)
We heaved ourselves up
laden with packs and
weapons and fatigue
and coaxed tired limbs
in mud-caked boots
to trudge a final kilometre to base.

revised 05/10/2011

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2011

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

being soldier is life full of sacrifices :) best wishes

07 October, 2011 13:55  
Anonymous poetryroad said...

As rivulets of rain
flowed down dented helmets
to sweat stained brows,
we struggled with a last smoke.

This stanza is my favorite but I enjoyed the entire poem and felt like I was with you there as there is currently rain pelting my windows.

Thanks for sharing and for fighting for our freedom.

07 October, 2011 18:14  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! that happened a long time ago. now i am an old, cranky ex soldier. :)


thank you for the thoughtful comments. i think the camaraderie servicemen shared is a little hard to explain. anyway, the incident i related was a training exercise. :)

07 October, 2011 22:49  
Blogger Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

best wishes.

08 October, 2011 02:45  
Anonymous Marbles in My Pocket said...

Excellent write. Exercise or not, you wrote this in such a way that we were right there with you. The vividness of your words is outstanding. Very well done!

08 October, 2011 03:20  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you so much! :)


Thanks! i am glad that you can connect with the poem. :)

08 October, 2011 07:32  
Blogger Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Vivid and well written poem.

08 October, 2011 20:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Jack. :)

08 October, 2011 21:08  
Anonymous cj Schlottman said...

This very visual piece is strong in concrete images and comes off the page as a painting in my head. Thanks for this one.


09 October, 2011 09:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great imagery!! wow. thank you for sharing this experience. a lot of people try not to think of these days and just want to move on.

my entry

09 October, 2011 09:45  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you! so it's like a painting in your head? much appreciated. :)


thanks for your insightful comment. :)

09 October, 2011 11:30  

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