A Soldier

 

Places of pain, sorrow, blood and death by foot by sea and air they come to fight and die not for glory our sons. In tropic sweat on desert sand in rain and snow on any land by day and night in rain they’ll wait for enemy to come an uncertain fate.

 

In assault they stand a line so thin between life and death and none will win. Now and then one will ask a mate to stay, till death the task. Joining again to push their fate for family and friend but mostly mate. Fear in heart and steel at hand the battle rages hand to hand an uncertain fate.

 

Death will call to some, to few, to many and all when some will cry, some will pray at battles end the dead will lay. Torn at heart and soul flayed bare they mourn the loss but this they bear. In fear and shock bury their mates then move along to uncertain fate.

 

At home no peace will find them here alone again they stand in fear torn away from all held dear. Cast again to uncertain fate with mind so full of rage and hate for land and friend but not of mates who stood the line for an uncertain fate.

Craig Hannan 2007

No Wall Around My Heart

 

The sun cracks through the windows four days no sleep, body weary mind still racing. Can’t close my eyes horrible things taunt me; Things seen and done where have these thirty years gone.

Lost in anger, rage, self loathing and fear ripped from a soul happiness, love, humour, warmth and generosity cast aside, I don’t want to forget just peace of mind is that so much.

 

These demons strike when unprepared with family, friends, in shopping centres, car anywhere anytime they rip you apart struggling to regain control a battle lost. Violent reaction to a touch terror on the face you turn away in shame and fear. Not at what you have done but what you are becoming, compassionless, remorseless and devoid of emotion.

 

No peace, a mind at war. No tears cannot cry not possible who are you going to cry for, mates maybe. Dead, empty, no love, friends no closeness just there nothing more just there the words they speak like rain on a roof. Anger, rage, guilt, recrimination, sadness, self loathing, shame and fear.

 

Alone together she tells of her love and you feel nothing, empty words spill from your mouth but without meaning, feeling or passion; Lost forever it seems. There is no wall around my heart just nothing there for any to share. Anger, rage, guilt, recrimination, sadness self loathing, shame and fear.

 

Shutting down exhaustion taking control, sleep forced on you. They come to you speaking with no voice, no face mutilated and horrible, seeing them as they die watching the last dance of life taken one step at a time, your hands covered in blood. Friends smiles frozen into death, then the chase begins, running in your mind never getting away bullets hitting you smashing your body the pain real, intense, locked in cannot wake can hear all around me cannot move or speak still the nightmare with me.

 

Awake, how long two hours still shaking, sweating nausea to bathroom vomit over and over, sit and shake. Anything to help remove the images in your mind, anything, anything nothing works. Anger, rage, guilt, recrimination, sadness, self loathing, shame and fear, time to end it. No suicide not right, not honourable and my family, my only way of redeeming these thoughts. The sun rising again another PTSD dance has begun how long this time and so it goes.

Craig Hannan 2012.

Through Their Eyes

“What have you seen my son and what is that look in your eyes? ”

“Nothing;” Why do you ask this of me mother you turn away when I speak of it.

 

“What have you seen my lover and what is that look in your eyes?”

“Nothing;” Why do you ask this of me my lover you turn away when I speak of it.

 

“What have seen my brother and what is that look in your eyes?”

“Nothing;” Why do you ask this of me my brother you turn away when I speak of it.

 

“What have you seen my friend and what is that look in your eyes?”

“Nothing;” Why do you ask this of me my friend you turn away when I speak of it.

 

“I know what you have seen, I have been there too and I will listen to you my brother and share my experience.”

 

“Why are you so angry my son?“

”I am not;” Can you not see this pain is mine.

 

“Why are you so angry my lover?“

”I am not;” Can you not see this pain is mine.

 

“Why are you so angry my brother?”

“ I am not;” Can you not see this pain is mine.

 

“Why are you so angry my friend?”

“I am not;” Can you not see this pain is mine.

 

“I know this pain of conscience you are in I don’t know why either but I will listen and we shall share this pain.”

 

Only those that have seen with your eyes and know your heart can understand.

Craig Hannan 2012.

A mate, a Warrior an Infantryman Died Today.

 

I shared a beer with a man I barely knew we seemed to know, after a time he said “I see in your eyes you have been there.” I replied harshly, ” I have been nowhere”, he laughed a while and went quiet saying, “I have been there too.”

 

After another few he said ”RAR Vietnam,” I said “SASR nowhere,” he simply nodded and smiled, we talked of things we did in veiled terms and those around looked as if we were mad as we seemed to laugh at nothing and horrid things of which they understood none.

 

We cared none and continued to grow closer as this bond of nowhere became strong, soon we agreed  to do this again, parting ways a promise to meet each Friday night; Months of this passed, mates we became and stronger for this bond.

 

One Friday my friend he came no more another week passed and a stranger asked, “are you Ben’s mate,” I nodded not needing the answer to a question in my head.

 

The funeral was a quiet and solemn affair when my turn came to speak, I told of a man in his prime who stood and fought with courage and valour, told of his mates and their humour, the tears dried as they laughed at this man they hardly knew for years of life.

 

A soldier a warrior a mate I buried today and his family farewelled him not just with tears but a smile and a laugh for his daring, courage, mates and humour.

Craig Hannan 2012

Infantry

Thanks to Craig Hannan 8/9 RAR for this latest contribution.