Old Warriors


Old warriors no longer,

Want to fight in such wars,

Or don't 'search under beds',

Behind imagined closed doors.

And don't seek out false foe,

So as to kill or to maim;

Old warriors are now playing,

A new kind of game!


They once fought in jungles,

For all us, you and me;

They're now fighting old lies,

So our minds can run free.

Ingrained deep in their memories,

Are mates gone before,

Yet old warriors can't lie,

To themselves any more.


You young men in the shadows,

Who just live for the fight,

Come listen to all those,

Who may shed some new light.

Old warriors are now dying,

To show you the score,

Explain why we can't have,

Another heart-wrenching war.


Old warriors can still hear,

Those blood-curdling screams;

The Grim Reaper in full cry,

Such pain in vain so it seems.

'Twas when bodies were broken,

Values trampled and torn;

So old warriors now have,

Their new battle-lines drawn.


These 'old' men with a quest,

Are fighting a new cause;

Seek justice and truth,

Reduce the chance of new wars,

They recall all the suffering,

Burning homes and spilt blood;

Parents' bright lights snuffed out,

In the battlefield's mud.


Inscriptions on a scroll,

Engraved in gold on a wall;

Just names on a monument,

That reward's not much at all.

These battle-scarred warriors,

Have been there before,

So don't want this suffering,

Any more.....any more.....any more!

©

​​​     The theme of this poem is self-explanatory. Whether one agrees with it or not, it’s rare to hear ‘real’  veterans argue against it.

                  “No great dependence is to be placed on the eagerness of young soldiers
for action;

                    for the prospect of fighting ... is agreeable only to those who are strangers to it!”
                                                                                                 - Vegetius (Roman military writer, 4th century A.D.)

                                                   “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away!”
                                                                                                                              - General Douglas MacArthur, 1951.

                                           ♪♪ Old habits ... die hard ... Old soldiers ... just fade away! ♪♪
                                                                 - from Old Habits Die Hard sung by David Stewart and Mick Jagger.


      Anzac Day 2000 - Author, Tom Griffiths, Peter Cosgrove, Kevin Borger, John O'Callaghan.

Old  Warriors