combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 05 Number 01 Winter ©Jan 2007

S.O.S. — Canada
dedicated to our Canadian Armed Forces in Action

      "SOS! Mayday! Free world countries! No time to spare!
      Overwhelmed! Can't hold on! We know you must care!
      Silence? Please reply! ... Why such silence? So unfair!"

      Troops trained, Afghanistan bound, all armed with hope,
      Objectives explained, orders resound, enlisted will cope.

      Onward brave warriors, devotion deserves much praise!
      United in firm resolve, democracy's flag, you shall raise,
      Reinforcing Afghans against Terrorists in strategic ways.

      "Calling! Afghanistan here! ! Respond! Why do you wait?
      Ailing souls huddled in fear! Beyond hope! Sealed fate!
      Nameless dead lying near! Scores lost, buried by sand!
      Abominable anguish! Canada restore amity to our land!
      Death creates languish! Reassure us to make a stand;
      Injustice, oppression reigns! Forced to fight! Or, retreat!
      Attack by guerillas maintains. Need help or face defeat!
      Nations! Your task remains! React! Or, 9-11 will repeat!"

      Aching hearts resist exchanging long last farewells now,
      Reaching out, caressing arms, parting promises vowed,
      Menacing doubts, smarting smiles, faithful fading faces,
      Ensuing hot-cold tears, jaws clenched, eager embraces,
      Dreams shattered, stinging sorrow, transient time races.

      Fierce suicide bombers, road-side assassins, from hell!
      Our stolid soldiers seek out theTalaban, hidden so well;
      Rallied NATO militia unify to construct and fight as one;
      Causalities arise, some, supreme price paid, duty done;
      Exhausted, many mournful receive their beloved losses,
      Strengthened by the holy spirit must carry their crosses.
      In living memorials, Amazing Grace' sad bagpipes play,
      Noble valorous sacrifice our armed forces chose to pay.

      Angelic heroes at rest in white-red maple leaf flag draped,
      Coined symbols, Canadian military history being shaped;
      To all our loving soldiers, we owe a debt we cannot repay;
      Icons of true spirit etched in the annals of our time to stay;
      Oath of allegiance sworn, vigilant to uphold world peace,
      Now, forever more, we render you homage without cease.

by Richard D. Briggs
... who is a retired English teacher and headmaster, having also worked in dyeing and printing, pulp and paper research, automotive parts and steel mill stock control, and electronics. His publication credits include poetry: "Life Begins at Death's Door" (2003), "The World Shall Rise As One" (2004), "Rejuvenation" (2005), "On a Cold October Day" (2005), "Manitou Fields" (2005); and a novel entitled Hooked on Fish Tales (1985).

Table of

C O M B A T, the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones