Bermondsey to Basra Battlefronts, a poem by Nobby66 at

Bermondsey to Basra Battlefronts

Bermondsey to Basra Battlefronts

written by: Nobby66




Dole doldrums, Asbo estate yobbo’s attack
stagnated study, mates dying on crack,
no jobs for the Bermondsey boys…Hackney College heroines on heroin.
Signed the khaki dotted line, fatigued in worn out fatigues,
sore lung buster yomps, swallowed streams, belly-down trails…
sinus’ stained, putrid bog and shovel patrol aromas linger.
Shots targeted, schooled blade skills honed to end life.
Bunk blanket ruler measured, corners squared,
shitter scrubbed, pillow lumps puffed,
boots spat polished, buffed blood and bone,
number one hair, pristine kit perfectly lockered.
Regimented buttons, buckles…Brasso bright…
Woodentop beret tight.
R.S.M. provides ‘Bags of Swank.’ Pass out salute, resolute…
to relatives in suits and booted, behind prided smiles,
mindful of warfare worries…
Helmand posting,
replace snipered squaddie.



Decorated warrior emerges, six layered, thicker skinned,
still barking up ten years of Jihad desert dust.
New Hero of the Waterloo Railway Arch Company…
Sticky, sickly cold, battle-hot frozen nightly in…
sweat soaked Dante-esque dreamscapes.
Cramp-crouched, seated sentry, on border of cardboard bivouac-bunker base.
Vacant blue-eyed vagrant focused on gaze-line rushing feet…
Coffee shopped, clip-clopping, Tubetown army,
shiny-brogued, moisturised commuters, doused in Chanel and Boss,
on I-phones to no-one, pat shrapnel-less pockets,
lumpy coins spoil designer lines.
Look right through him, look right through…
Gunner’s sunken spirit, body tremors…a blemish on the sunny side of the street.
Gnarled trigger finger cracks sharply, scarred digits gently lay out
blood won, gleaming medallions from patron Royal,
cushioned on tatty, holed, miniature Union Jack…
up for sale, seen better days…like the owner.
Adrenalin gushes, lurch for cover,
Sally Army’s soup van backfires. One blink blasted to Sangin’s square,
comrades close, to win, to dare,
passing pooch takes time to stare.
Nudged back by King’s Cross seeking, prosthetic hand, Ex-G.I..touring by…
Paper Queen pressed deftly into his palm by ‘Naam’ vet who recalls, Nixon and napalm.
Blink back once more to blackened Basra…
Market place barrel bomb,
scouting mission hell…took good pals to the Last Post Chapel.
First Class flagged return to Brize Norton…
mates forever etched in gore,
no glory.
In his undetonated mind he carries
…a roadside bomb.

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