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How strange the sounds of peace
smothering silence, overpowering,
feeling uncomfortable in the womb
the warm, safe feeling of
the aftermath;
exterior at rest
but inside great waterfalls
of turbulent emotion,
razor-sharp detritus
of memories -
zipping in and out
of the safe places
of the mind.

Brains trained not to sleep
slogging up the hard hills,
with survival instinct
insisting, always whispering,
listen for the footfall,
the sound out of place
and ambushed again,
by the dream.

Disembodied in darkness
black clad men zigzagging
through the rubber trees,
coming to kill you -
a full belt on your gun
and the bloody thing misfires;
jammed tight in the crucial moment
and elemental the nightmare scream
which rises from your bowels
and rips the guts out of
the silence of your street.

Just lying there saturated
in the astonishing sweat
of your inner exhaustion
waiting for the sun to rise
with the promise of sanity;
sitting quietly at breakfast
playing it all down,
everything will come right
in the end -
at least he's home
in one piece, more or less,
even if he does laugh
at the strangest things.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR


home | foreword | roll of honour | the poems | links