Mick Shave


In the gloom of each day when it’s dyingStanding to is the normal routine.A time which I use for reflectingOn what we have done or we’ve seen. It’s the time, when my view blends with darkness;And as daytime gives way to the night,I review the way that we’re working.Are we doing this wrong or right? […]

When tracer snarls about your earsBecause the bastard knows your there.When so much noise explodes the fearsAnd drills take over what you do;Run, crawl to cover, get your breath.There he is, he’s in your sight,Take satisfaction from his deathLet loose that round to end the fight. Mick Shave

I once overheard some colleagues bemoaning the introduction of a new rifle, not because of its small caliber but because of its cumbersome appearance: I was once a soldier smart,Learned to stamp my feet, the artOf calling out ‘The Time’, the thrillOf perfect, synchronising drill. We did it in the Sunshine glareOn what was called […]

The well aimed shot, the instinctive kill,Return the same intrinsic thrill.To see it twitch then lie quite still,Was once the measure of our skill.So, being alive and because we can,Let’s raise our glass to the fighting manOf The Royal Australian Regiment. (all stand and with raucous voice)Tip your glass e’n when your old and roar […]

One morning safe in barracks while sitting on the loo,Our Colonel, who’d put duty first, was wondering what to do.Now, he’d sounded out the adjutant and the R.S. M.He’d asked that pair what did they think would occupy the men.They had answered ‘drill, sir. Men love parade ground stuff’.But the Colonel, after consultation, thought they’d […]

Beside that track in jungle green(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.).Sweat-soaked, dirty, thus unseen(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.).These young men who crouch so stillAre poised to pounce, to make their kill,In doing so they’ll do your will; if youBare the bayonet, beat the drum. Platoon or Company, Section strong(Bare the bayonet, beat the drum.),Led […]

Last night I spoke with Caesar’s ghost.We’d quaffed a glass or two of wine.But then the bastard made a boast,How his blokes would be beating mine. Now, a General I have never been,I’m saying that reluctantly;And could not argue what he’d seen.Thus had to think most carefully. Therefore I spoke of contact drills,Of duty weeks […]

By Sun filled day and frosty night, O’er rugged hills and desert sand, We learned to work as teams, to fight In jungles of another land. From every city, state and town, All the lovely countryside, Impelled by Grim War’s cold, bleak frown, Gathered we at fair Woodside. And some of us were volunteers, But […]

I thought “I’ll march this Anzac Day,” To Sydney thus I’ll make my way. But then, to set my medals straight, I pause a moment at my gate To ponder ‘neath the starry sky On where I’m going to and why. To there, the Square on George Street. The place where all we blokes do […]

A  poem written by Mick Shave at  Keswick Barracks in Adelaide on 14th November 2017  at 9 RAR’s reunion and commemoration of  its 50th Anniversary. Old soldiers never die, They just keep on marching by, In revue or by the right, Their legions prove a wondrous sight When viewed in memory. But looking on with […]