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IT'S A LONG WAY BACK

It's a long way back my Australian friend
from the blue-gum trees and the outback plains,
from the hot clean sand to the monsoon rains,
from Sydney-side town and the neon lit streets
to the laterite mud and jungle rotted feet.

It's a long way my bronzed Aussie mate
to Luscombe Field and the Nui Dat gate,
Marouba Junction often in your dreams
of a lover's touch and sheets white-clean
just down the track a dying friend screams.

And all the boys from Melbourne Town
charging hard through green and brown
in the bamboo stands where blood flows down
and cordite's stink and the gut-fear grab
as your mate is wrapped in a green body bag.

It's a long way from the Parramatta pub
to the bunkers' mouths and the dreadful flood
and the still smoking hole by the big tree bole
where your mate his life down laid
in a far-off land and a lonely jungle glade.

It's a long way back my Wagga Wagga mate
to your once bright dreams and youthful hopes
to the Dat Do fields and the Horseshoe slopes
to the flare-lit nights and the tracers' bite
in searing sun day and ambush nights.

A long long way my Mildura man
to Long Green mines and China Sea sands
and if in your sleep you should cry and scream
do not be ashamed of your jungle crazy dreams
of mangrove swamps and razor sharp streams.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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