Afghan Soil

I changed your nappies once.

How can it be that you have grown for war?

This silly game I too wish to play.

Now 18 it is of no consequence.

You have already lived a life that knows war,

Perhaps a dozen times over.

What is one more?

So let your bullets sing a tune only the guilty can hear.

In hope that one day the innocent may dance among the silence.

When you come back you will be unchanged as a constant hero.

But I will thank every non-existent God none the less.

Wooden guns that fire live drills.

No colours of bottle tops stuck with ribbon.

My heart sinks at the thought of your helicopter rising.

Just my playmate disembarking.

A sad playground with Afghan soil.

Remember when you’d count to ten,

Find me, to be pinned down and beaten by a girl!

Those silly games we played.

These silly games we play.

We won’t win the war. No one has every truly won any war.

But you will win your battle.

So for now I shall take my turn to close my eyes and count.

(For Pte D.M)


The Romance of War.

Cupid Complains to his mother (Venus) after being stung.

Cupid Complains to his mother (Venus) after being stung.

Bullets burst with a passion calling deep tones as they run and spin through a tunnelled hallway, leaving smatters of carbon on the warm lips of the barrel. The rifle is cupids bow, seducing enemies and leaving them bitter when targets are missed. What would mother Venus think? While her son cupid was wounded Venus mused that ‘mortal injury is nothing compared to the pains of love’. Soldiers in the field move in almost complete silence, communicating in body language, an arm in the air signalling ‘single file’, crossed arms ‘obstruction’…war is as passionate and unpredictable as love, leaving soldiers as stoic romantics, where they say very little yet understand deeply. War is inconsistent, creative, fatal, determined, sad, happy, invigorating and exhausting…it is everything life fundamentally is only more vivid and without distraction. The comprehension of warfare is no more perplexing than the comprehension of love. It is not wrong. War exists because we all have the capacity to endure hate, but unfortunately not everyone has the courage and strength to soldier for love. War only brings ruin to ones house, while love can bring ruin to ones entire world. Only when humanity becomes mentally stronger and more emotionally resourceful will they have the ability to endure the injuries of love that are much deeper and longer lasting. Their valour will be worth it, as for each would be the bestowal of more than mere ribbon or medals but grand decorations of wisdom.

Any veteran of love can see the pettiness in war.