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​​​​​Through a Tiger's Eyes

Through a tiger's eyes ,

On each retinal screen,

Shades of grey surroundings,

Though the jungle's green.

Alternate bands of gold,

And black, no other hue;

'Brass' and 'Stripes' disguise,

What's real from view.

Most regal of our wildlife's,

Giant cats,

Endangered, lurking,

In fragile habitats.

And very soon, there will be,

Not even one,

As their numbers dwindle,

'Tis a setting sun.

At stake is survival,

For Truth's struggling fight,

Protected by prowling,

Rulers of the night.

Nine lives 'tis claimed,

Just another legend's lies;

Reality in focus,

Through a tiger's eyes.


Power reaps rewards, perhaps,

Though at what price?

Should we be careless,

Permit Truth's sacrifice.

To enter into darkness, 

Without its shining light,

Further blurs all images, grey,

Not black and white.

Unknown dangers linger,

Behind locked doors,

If slammed shut forever,

By self-serving laws.

Truth hides in misty corners,

Of the human mind;

Slaves shackeled to fear,

Should we stay blind.

Yet, fear is conquered,

If one only dares,

Allow Truth emerge,

From cowardly, darkened lairs.

And camouflaged or not,

You'll hear protest cries,

When such prey falls victim,

To a tiger's eyes.


As in Shakespeare's words,

True warriors are like,

That feline humble,

Till time's right to strike.

And so it was before,

With those 'tiger men',

Who raised their hands,

Another chance again.

As the Sun sinks low,

Our light and time runs out,

If facts stay hidden,

Reality placed in doubt.

Therefore our future,

Rests with us because,

We're once more patrolling,

Strange foreign shores.

In this ebony background,

Two searching jewels,

Penetrate falling darkness,

That's when he rules.

Like that phoenix from the ashes,

Truth's bound to rise,

Lighting the dark is the glow,

From a tiger's eyes.


With each 'Year of the Tiger',

More truth is revealed,

'Till then twisted, contorted,

Half-told or concealed.

Harboured-up in archives,

Dark deeds of the past,

Time limits expire,

As more facts are unmasked.

Many kept silent,

Secrets protected by law;

Ignorance of really,

What went on in that war.

Status quo the agenda,

Those in power conceived,

For decades, illusions,

Most people believed.

Politicians' deceptions,

Outright lies and the farce,

Of which groups bore the burden,

Such a biased contrast.

With open minds we'll win,

Share in that greatest prize,

As more Truth is exposed,

Through a tiger's eyes.


5RAR's Mascot - 'Quintus' -  with B Coy members K. Borger (F) and Author - Holsworthy 1995.

​     Histories in warfare have often been clouded by those writers with hidden agendas. Even the great chronicler Herodotus has been accused of pandering to the egos of the Athenians, since he relied in large part upon their hospitality as he toured that city-state giving his lectures during the Fifth Century BC. He also in many instances failed to obtain verification of events offered by just one eye-witness before declaring that event as fact.
     Bias is a difficult defect of writing, especially writing on warfare and particularly if the author has had direct involvement and/or carries any form of political, social, moral or religious or other institutional ‘baggage’. Truth may be inadvertently or deliberately hidden as a consequence. Furthermore, any writer and indeed reader must accept that war is not a ‘pretty thing’ and if lessons are ever to be learned from it then it must be told ... ‘warts and all’! We owe that to all the participants and to all the victims, both living and dead.
     The overall theme of this poem marries this subtext with that of the following:  On March 1st, 1965 a section of the First Battalion (1RAR) was re-grouped to form the nucleus of the Fifth Battalion (5RAR). The new commander, Lt. Colonel Oxley, borrowed from Shakespeare when he adopted ‘The Tiger’ as his unit's mascot. This secondary subtext to the poem can best be summed up in those immortal words uttered (via Shakespeare) by the English king (Henry V) as his forces prepared for battle against the French in the early Fifteenth Century. 

                    “But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger!”
                                                                                                                                 -  Shakespeare (Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1

                                       “History, when it is recorded from only one determining source,
                                                            is usually as unreliable as it is self-serving!”

                                                                                                                                                  - Bryce Courtenay, 2006. 

                                                             “The truth is very precious; use it sparingly!”
                                                                                                                                                                 - Mark Twain. 

                                 “To the living, one owes consideration; to the dead ... only the truth!”
                                                                                                                                                       - Voltaire in Lettres Sur Oedipe.

 Through  a  Tiger's  Eyes