`A Piper Plays in Helmand`

They say a Piper plays in Helmand
For the Fallen cross the sea
His calming notes help the wounded
From the  mountains comes his strathspey
Not a soul has ever seen him
But the tribesmen do remind
That their forefathers first heard this strange sound
Back in 1839
So if you get lost in Helmand
Don’t worry unduly
You might just  hear the ghostly piper
On guard for British soldiers
From across the stormy sea


© Tony McNally

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The cold cuts me like a knife
Eyes sealed shut with frosty tears
Shaking with cold and fear
The misty Falklands mountains remind me of home
A place I know is real but seems a mere fantasy
In this hour of my transformation
My green military Pupa shedding its innocence
To become a man, a Warrior
But still the boy inside me looks for his Mother
She will never judge
Unlike my pears who will judge how I kill
Or be killed
Frozen mucus within nostrils
Will not sniff away
These are the hard yards
Young men must tread
To cross the Rubicon
Enter the church of the brotherhood
The lads, my mates
Those who would willing sacrifice themselves
For each of us
As the week sun flickers out
Inky blackness slows my breathing down
For fear my enemies will hear it
As my stag is finished
I crawl quietly back into my chrysalis
To dream of England.

 © Tony McNally