The Mushroom Club Masthead
Poems

 

FIRST TIME - SHOT UP
© 2012 Greg Tommasi

Our bodies are steaming from the heat of the sun,
As we move into the rubber, one by one.
'Charlie's' here and he's hard to find,
The sunlight and shadows, play on my mind.

Trees in every direction, row upon row,
Move very warily, taking it slow.
Eyes peering all round, body always alert,
The sores and the rashes, they no longer hurt.

It's a bastard, out front, where I feel all alone,
The tension inside, cuts right to the bone.
All my senses keep straining, for the slightest that's odd,
And my mind has no room, not even for God.

The shots break the tension, they crack all around,
Not even a thought, my face hits the ground.
I just squeeze the trigger, there's no thought of dying,
The bastard's in front, so that's where I'm firing.

Not even aiming, just reacting in fright,
I know nothing at all, except it's a fight.
Can't even see them, bad blue on my part,
But I scream out directions for my mates to start.

And a steady stream of machine gun fire,
Goes straight over my head, not one foot higher.
I don't know whether to shit or go blind,
I'm copping the lot, from in front and behind.

Then some clown behind me wants a report,
But I'm too bloody scared to voice a retort.
Mud jumps from the ground in quick little leaps,
And the tree behind me, sprays sap out in heaps.

Pure anger now, it overcomes fear,
These arsehole bullets are too bloody near.
There's a hell of a difference, somehow you see,
They're not just shooting, - they're shooting at me.

The gall of the bastards, they're having ago,
And it's lucky for me, when I shit, I'm not slow.
It stopped just as quick, the plantation's gone quiet,
Fear comes back in a rush, there's no way to hide it.

And in spite of our training, there's something amiss,
Cos all I can think of, I need a Piss.



Terry Tommasi
Terry Tommasi
9 Platoon, C company 1966-67



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