The Mushroom Club Masthead
Poems

 

ECHOES OF REMEMBRANCE
© 2012 Robert Kearney

"Come on Lads, hurry up
soon there'll be no sun".
Yes, lads we were, boys in fact,
not yet twenty-one.

Soon we'll leave Canungra
and go home to our folks,
and then it's off to Vietnam
with all the other blokes.

"Your lucky lads, to have a chance
to fight for this great land,
just like your dads before you,
you'll come home a man.

Heroes, every one of you,
we won't let you down,
medals, glory, RSL
and freedom of the town".

So away we went to do our duty
just like our dads before,
we did our best, but could not win
this politicians' war.

This was a war without a front
no lines to go behind,
this was a war without any rules
with the blind leading the blind.

Where was this cunning enemy
who lived beneath the ground?
In the jungle? In the Village?
No, close and all around.

A war of nerves, but, mate hang on
its only just a year,
weapons, claymores, choppers-
why won't the wharfie's send our gear?

Where's the wire? Where's the ammo?
And the mail's delayed again,
are these same Australians
we came here to defend?

We're short of men; work twice as hard
to live another day
in this leech-infested jungle
where we sleep on the wet red clay.

The invisible enemy with his trip-wires
plays a waiting game,
he knows our pattern, watches us,
his traps will kill and maim.

Riots in the street back home,
"Murderers" we're branded,
"They're killing kids and using napalm"
each of us feels stranded.

We fought so hard to win the battles
but found there was no glory;
in your lounge room on the box
you were told a different story.

We count each day a blessing
now close to leaving here;
some of us won't make it
how things change in just a year.



Robert Kearney
Robert Kearney
9 Platoon, C company 1966



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