Journal For Poetry Challenge# 13/05/2012


Today’s poem is different again, last week I used a poem by one of our wordpress  bloggers  Maggie Mae it was different and inspired. This Sunday’s offering is immediate, of now, today.

It is set Afghanistan and is written by a soldier who was there. It tells his life story, his friendship and the sudden cruel end of that friendship by death.

How many times do you hear ” He was proud to be a soldier” or “he was brave and died for his country” …………. You do not hear, he cried himself to sleep, he wet himself in fear, he wanted his Mum as he died. You don’t, do you? No one really tells the truth. Oh! yes there are many  big and brave men and women out there  but they are out numbered by the normal and the weak.

War, now in 2012 is not any better, cleaner or more honourable than any other war we have been caught up. Many still ask why are we out there..good question.

Today 13/05/2012 it was announced that to members of British forces acting as mentors for the Afghan police died today, shot by the very men they were mentoring.  Whether they were insurgents in disguise or someone with a grudge it was pointless. More deaths …the news of the deaths never stops..



Tom was a young lad

From where I grew up

We went to the same school

Then both joined up
We became Commandos together

photo credits google

And never looked back
We met again in the desert
Had a laugh and a chat

I heard it over the radio
Surely it wasn’t him
I chose to deny
Until we got back in

After an hour back on base
Drapes asked for a private word
With a tear in his eye
It all seemed so absurd

I’ll remember Tom forever
And raise a glass in his name
A soldier to the death
We cry and cry again

Alex Cockers,


Alex Cockers was born in April 1985. He was a Royal Marines Commando from 2005-2009 and served on Operation Herrick five and seven in Helmand province for a total of fourteen months.

How he came to write his poems. He explains, “During my fourteen months in Afghanistan, I had many feelings and thoughts that I was unable to share with anyone.  Under the stars; in the desert, rhymes would manifest in my head.  I would write them down, construct them into poems and somehow I felt better for getting it off my chest.”

These are the other poems by Alex Cockers.  The Brutal Game, Last Stand,
Bad Dreams, Tom, Morals . . .  two for a pound  and  Mortal Combat. and they can be found  here  they are full of the truth.


I am sorry I just have to and another of his poems. It says what I am so frightened of. Young men return damaged not only physically  but deeply physiologically too. These lads have to fight for help for it is not easily given. Some take it out on their  families some just run away fear inside eats them visions of what they have seen eats them….. we must try and help them. They were there for us whether we believe it is a just war or not they were there for us! I have added the photos after a lot of thought I hope they do not upset you . I think they fit well.


Bad Dreams

When you send a lad away

photo credit google

To a foreign hot land
To fight in a war he doesn’t understand
When he comes back
He brings more than just a tan

He’s probably not ok
He’s probably not all right
He’s probably in a dark place
Whether it’s day or night

Governments and Media
With their pack of lies
Will never tell the truth
But try to convince you otherwise

photo credits

It feels like my eyes
Have been stretched wide open
Now and then
I have trouble coping

Images of memories
Imprinted on my mind
The boy they knew before
Is what they’ll never find

Alex Cockers,


As my friend ‘ginger ‘ would say ‘nough said!


Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

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