Warrior Poet – For Love of Country

In memory of beloved comrades who thought they had come home

                                 For Love of Country

Once youth slept with innocence and free of sin  
In another land, in another time, far from battle din
Until evil stirred and bugles roused a call to arms   
A nation awakened, cheered the marching columns as they went by Fond farewells from loved ones praying and already asking why

God of Mars welcomed them with beds of hate, doubts and fear
Weary, torn and bloody pillows of mud, dust, pain and tears 
A soldier’s only light at night were bursting, hovering, hissing flares
Swinging litters of dead and wounded lifted to a noisy sky 
Now and then, a surge of hope as images of home drifted by

Time passed, Thor yawned, and white doves flew
Rifles traded for ploughs, lathes, desks and other tools too
Some thought they were home but in time it was not to be
Lost in a mire of terrible dreams and crippled from wounds of war Restless, abandoned, empty pockets and much more  

So many alone, lost and limping in a fast-moving mute street
Broken Canberra promises and minefields of changing rules to beat
Their loved ones confused and victims of a soon forgotten war 
Broken spirit, loneliness, on a park bench neath a flickering street light
Dreams of cheering crowds as the column once more marched to fight

Many veterans decide enough is enough when they heard a faint bugle call
To join a camp of happy spirits with its cry of “all for one and one for all”
Down Under, a new generation has just returned from yet another war
So many greeted by obstacles and limping down the same one-way street
They too will find that Park to sleep and dream of old mates soon to meet

George Mansford ©May 2019


  1. Peter Kelly says

    Story of all our lives since 1972 , thanks for nothing Whitlam , Hawke, Keating, et. al.