Commentary – Bayonet drill for recruits

Oh, how old soldiers remember past days with bayonet drill
The shrieking orders; “on guard, thrust, parry, feint”
“Go for the throat or stomach for an easy kill”
“Kick, gouge; bite; no Kingsbury rules, cos enemy ain’t Saints” 

On and on it went, where flashing glinting bayonets could be seen
Soldiers charging, screaming, breathless, dry mouths and tongues
Bayoneting dummies which don’t flinch, beg, bleed or scream
Muscles aching and painful panting beneath an ever fiery sun

A welcome whistle blast was the signal to finally rest
A sergeant bellowing “You must do better to pass the final test”
Then after “lights out”; in sleep, still came faint commands to kill
At home mothers dreamt of their youngster’s love of life and kind will

In Canberra, lights still burn far into the night
As busy dreamers try to find nice ways to fight
To appease the faint hearted at home and a UN abroad
Of killing foe with kindness, and not rifle, bayonet, or sword  

 George Mansford ©June 2021


  1. Mick Shave says

    War is such a dangerous business that the mistakes which come from kindness are the very worst.

    It would be futile – even wrong – to try and shut one’s eyes to what war really is from sheer distress at its brutality.