The garden is no more grown than was when left,
the Sea Spray of Portsmouth the Grime of Waterloo
Cling fresh beneath the reawakening memories of you.
Between the leaving and their return the world shifted
their brains rattled by battery and bomb,
Something replaced the life in them and something now is gone.
The surrender of innocence on English Summer evenings
was stolen by the rape of youth and a fleeting fuck of liberation,
Is a bottle of flat brown beer enough to drown their bitter indignation?
They must now retreat from the front they made themselves
to cower silently in their peaceful rage,
Returning to sweet freedoms won, inside a gilded cage.
© Wolfgar 2020
3 thoughts on “Demob unhappy (An alternative VE Day)”
Demob happy is a term once used for euphoric servicemen leaving the forces, soon brought crashing to earth by the reality of civvy streets mundanity.
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It is difficult, if not impossible for civilian population to truly understand what it is to be a soldier, moreso, what it is to be a soldier and at years of duress. The ‘civilian’ can relate with numerous works, countless directorships of Audey Murphy to Robert De Niro…………………but in really understanding those afflicted with service, is to acknowledge a hidden emptiness despite the comradeship and banter. Soldiers, were once civilian, and know those understandings. But, to be upon service, is to get in a car of life ‘connected’ together before the tracks start you off on the roller coaster. There you are, starting out with many others, but then, as the cars all connected start off, not far into the journey your car is disconnected from those where civilians are seated. You then find yourself detoured from their journey as the tracks shift you away from the routine rudimentary journey the ‘regular’ roller coaster takes. And you find yourself heading skywards, seeing the roller coaster disappear and get smaller behind you. Then you are there reaching beyond the sky and heading past the moon. Asteroids begin to zoom by and you duck to survive the close proximity, meteors too, hit your car and you are holding on for grim death. you are then at speed and see others meandering in your tracks you wave too as you sit there one minute excited, the next outright petrified. The journey takes you beyond Alpha Centauri and out to Norma, back through Capricorn and onto The Pleaides. You’re suffering the cold of space, sometimes food is not there as you hunger. There is no presentation of love in your car, just a kinmanship with others as you are there upon The Universe unsure whether you will return home and just what is, home? You see and feel others in your proximity and witness they, looking just like you being hit with Asteroid or Meteor, and some the car ventures off the tracks only for you to see them fall into an abyss while tears streak your face for, they look, just, like you. You find yourself quickly aged, and old, and jangly and creaking and there in the distance you catch sight of a blue planet you once thought of as home. The car begins to slow as you enter the sky, and you see the roller coaster before you. Your car then rejoins the other cars and you’re back there as you notice some cars are now missing occupants. As you disembark, you can see the civilian population marveling at the journey. Some say it was boring, some are a little scared, some say it was worth it and they wouldn’t change the experience one bit as they get off the roller coaster. And there you sit, for a moment, sensing the cars with occupants missing. To many a civilian, it is an experience to have been on such a roller coaster, but you, as ex soldier, leave the car within a hidden depth of emptiness. And you know as much as you state what you have been through, they will never understand, as written words, cinemascope, purvey ideas but never, an emptiness that each soldier quietly keeps hidden. Their experience as they leave the roller coaster, be an empirical one, yours, is the phenomena and paranormal that society is conditioned to quickly dismiss, and there, your solemnity for your remaining years, has you away from the car, away from the roller coaster, in silence, only to run your solemn journey over and over again, wondering if perhaps, you could have done better, to stop the asteroids, the meteors, hitting the cars of those that looked, just, like, you.
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It is an effective analogy Mike, indeed a marvelous almost psychadelic journey at times. The feeling I am left with is one of general lonliness. You know as a soldier yourself how dependent on the type of unit you serve with, life after service can be quite different and difficult. During my active service I spent most of my time in small sections of (only men) all ages and ranks within the service..I think that type of service leads to a self dependency which doesn’t always transfere well to civvy street. I do most things alone out here…most of my time is spent on my own, as I think your is too. Look after yourself pal as best you can.