Fish-eggs And Grapes

My mind’s witnessing warring hell

It’s time to ring the bell

There is a time

When enough, is more than enough

When the price, far outweighs the costs

Counting the countless heads, is a needless sum

Moguls perched high upon ivory towers

Swinging full circle in their leather chairs

Crystal glasses full of classic red-wine

From grapes, picked by the walking dead

Fine china cups full of black caviar

From fish, caught by the floating dead

 

My mind’s witnessing bloody hell

It’s time to ring the bell

There is a time

When the suffering is enough

When the suffering is more than enough

How many heads do the Mogul’s need to roll

Human alley-pins falling into blackboard bins

Buried under centuries of desert lands

Empty hands holding onto sandy winds

The lost children, mankind’s biggest sin

Temporary tents and stretchers their living sty

And still, bullets and bombs whistle by

I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green)
Mum and dad and Danny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal
It was a long march from cadets
The sixth battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card
We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left
And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean
And there’s me in me slouch hat with me SLR and greens
God help me
I was only nineteen
From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat
I’d been in and out of choppers now for months
And we made our tents a home, V.B. and pinups on the lockers
And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub
And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep?
And night time’s just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me
I was only nineteen
A four week operation, when each step can mean your last one on two legs
It was a war within yourself
But you wouldn’t let your mates down ’til they had you dusted off
So you closed your eyes and thought about somethin’ else
And then someone yelled out contact, and the bloke behind me swore
We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar
And Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon
God help me
He was goin’ home in June
And I can still see Frankie, drinkin’ tinnies in the Grand Hotel
On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau
And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle
‘Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row
And the Anzac legends didn’t mention mud and blood and tears
And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn’t even feel
God help me
I was only nineteen
And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes
Can you tell me what it means?
God help me
I was only nineteen
 

Ivor Steven (c)  2018