Poetry - Tiger Battalion

In a world that has, at last, become widely aware of the longer term effects of trauma on many who have closely experienced the violence of war, there is need, also, to acknowledge those who have been exposed but have coped well, perhaps through having the benefit of many kinds of support, including much which is either arcane, in-house or just insightful reflection over many years. In this vein the author offers the following poem in tribute to those who continue to manage well. For the younger reader, read on — you will not always be young!

Ron Boxall

Sans Regrets - The Warriors' Sunset

Advancing age short memory dulls,
From our early thoughts it nothing culls,
We recall the days when we were young
And vented our views with carefree tongue!

Eager runners, then, in Life’s sweet race,
How much we loved a quickening pace,
When our world was fresh and all that’s good
Was ours to claim — and we knew we should!

Fearing naught we lived in blinkered haste,
Triumph and Disaster both we faced,
Making time for lovers, foes and mates —
Jumbled with bold tempting of the Fates!

Still hearing faint mutter of battlefield,
Hard-won values in cast iron sealed,
Spurning notions of poisoned chalices —
Come Eventide, our conscience balances!

While the world shall ever froth and fuss,
For the love of all those who love us,
Though well tossed on Life’s heaving oceans,
We quell our fraught and futile notions.

Spilling down the years come sight and sound,
Well-known faces and hard scenes rebound,
Now glad of shadows we shan’t forget —
Old-age’s wisdom lessens regret.

We reject all spectres that haunt us,
We’re deaf to all voices that taunt us,
With old comrades we keep connection —
A fount of well-balanced reflection.

Though friends among us when young did die,
We’ve stashed our years with life, and can sigh —
(Hear clear the splendid motto we fix) —
“Nos effondere relinquere felix!” *

*” We intend to depart happy!”


© Ron Boxall
2IC D Company Vietnam 1st tour
May 2015, revised July 2020

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