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Poetry Magnum Opus

Excerpts from the Diaries of L/Cpl O'Neill


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Three ships in the docks

and fifteen hours to unload them.


Drone of the bombers overhead again,

the whistling sounds, the explosions,


the shaking earth, the pyres of fire.

Jesus, one of these days they’ll hit you,


smack dab in the place you stand.

A necessary risk in my reserved occupation,


serving the needs of this battling nation.

All the soldier boys are far away


and their wives and girls get lonely.

We are the only boys in town.


We were the only fuckin boys in town

until the bleedin’ Yanks came in,


overpaid, oversexed … and over here.

Nylons, chewing gum, the PX stores,


cartons of bloody cigarettes, flagons

of whiskey, beer, and Coca Cola.


We were seriously outclassed.

So I joined the fuckin Army. Why not?


Just in time for Second Burma.

To hell with Monty, that prancing idiot:


my respect lies firm with General Slim,

the best of them all in that awful War.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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