Colin F. Jones


The 1st Well

You were not asked to go to war,
You were told you must go,
That’s what you enlisted for,
To go off and fight a foe?
Were you longing to get killed?
You know! The ultimate sacrifice!
Keen to have your blood spilled,
To pay the only redeeming price?
Oh what a glorious way to die,
Buried beneath your countries flag,
No longer asking why,
Since you came home in a body bag.
You can’t even hear them cry,
Nor those who live to boast and brag.

The 2nd Well

Were you less afraid to die,
Than you were to disobey,
Or was there something more,
Perhaps a rise in pay?
Perhaps you thought you were so good,
That the enemy could not compete,
That only the foe shed their blood,
That only they are bone and meat.
I wonder why you thought that,
If in fact that is what you did,
You knew they would have you on the mat,
If you ran away and hid;
You would be called a coward then,
But you would get to live.

The 3rd Well

If you thought it was a lie,
The reason given for you to go,
Why did you the truth defy,
Go off to kill who weren’t your foe.
I guess if they thought different to you,
That was reason enough to kill
All those folks with families too;
Or maybe for just the personal thrill.
We all knew why we were there,
And these other types we saw,
But we were too afraid to care,
Because this after all was war…
But yes we were there…
And still we do not know what for.

The 4th Well

Some blokes were really bold,
Some blokes were also fools,
Both from the same old mould;
The rest of us were tools.
Or pawns as chessmen say,
Who know the value of the knight,
How to give the pawn away,
And teach the bishop how to fight,
For God and country and the queen,
Or the King if still he reigns,
Because there is only death between,
Liberty or chain;
Or the lost immaculate dream,
That trickles crimson down our drains.

The 5th Well

We professionals; well we went,
Ready for all we would meet,
From wherever we were sent,
Down any jungle path or street.
But we did not want to die,
We always thought ourselves the best,
And though we often asked why,
In sacrifice we failed to invest.
Only living soldiers fight,
Armies are strong if we’re not dead,
Though we know for political might,
We may end up the opposite instead,
For expendable we all were,
Though I never got it through my head.

The 6th Well

Nobody remembered my birthday,
That’s because nobody really cares;
They say that they do but are dishonest,
For honesty goes where nobody dares.
Well, my sister sent me a card; ‘twas lovely,
And my other sister as well; I have two,
My other one gave me a gift of clothing,
You see I have three sisters; yes its true.
In fact I have four of them all younger than me,
Whose birthdays I seldom recall,
For as a man I am not thoughtful like a woman,
Who are the only humans I like after all.
Well with the exception of one or to others,
Who in my mind I daily install.

The 7th Well

I once had a tongue in cheek sort of accent,
Or more correctly a plumb in my mouth,
That drew much detrimental attention,
It was a threat to my “north and south.”
I was the only bloke who spoke proper English,
In a land where the lingo was Strine
That took me many, many years to relinquish,
That now the Brits with other folk dine.
But I know a bloke who married an Itie!
The lucky bugger still speaks his own tongue,
But when in Rome he’s as confused as I was,
When I was not sure where I belonged.
Its funny how time passes and good folk,
Start singing a similar song.

The 8th Well

In my youth I went digging potatoes,
In the Dorrigo mountains for a quid,
It was even harder than picking peas,
Which is what us poor people did.
It was hard on our backs bending double,
Scrambling along row after row;
The days were too long that’s the trouble,
At the end of which we had little to show.
Picking beans was a wee bit easier,
Picking apples made no demands on your back,
But it all took great effort to appease,
And we discovered what our bodies did lack.
Well, some had to crawl on their knees,
Scrubbing floors in somebody’s shack.

The 9th Well

I once walked down a road without pavements,
And was hit and squashed by a truck,
Which was one of my better achievements,
Though in the manhole my thingy got stuck.
I was so fortunate that the cover was open,
When the lorry had its terrible way,
But the sewer was overflowing,
So the manhole cover was making me pay.
Well the pain; you understand was real,
I was like a “cock – in-a-hoop”, so to speak,
I could not bellow out what I could feel,
But I managed to utter a series of squeaks,
Which was enough for the rats to assist me,
Lest they nibbled on my problem for weeks

The 10th Well

~ 1 ~

After I dragged myself from the manhole,
You know, (the one where the rats had a ball),
Along a pavemented street I did stroll,
Without the slightest worry in the world at all.
But I espied in the vision of my aspiration,
A style made for crossing a fence,
Which had no noticeable upsetting components,
Which might lead to ill consequence.
So this shortcut I decided to follow,
And cross over the lush grass of the field,
But from the hill I noticed a hollow,
Where movements and sounds mingled concealed.
In the form of a sort of harsh gobble,
And a flapping of wings was instantly revealed.

~ 2 ~

In the hollow a thousand geese had gathered,
Behind this gander with his wings widespread,
Making horrible noises as perspiration lathered,
The skinny neck that led to my head.
Then the whole flock of them started flapping,
And making a hell-of-a-din,
That soon I was adjusting my area mapping,
Because I was not sure what trouble I was in.
Then they charged all thousand and ten,
And I charged with them in desperate retreat,
Be assured I was faster than them,
In fact I had trouble keeping up with my feet.
But I had made it right through the shortcut,
Which would not be favoured with any repeat.

The 11th Well

~ 1 ~

I remember many a stinging nettle,
Guarded the orchards we sought to invade,
But good reconnaissance allowed us to settle,
On where a suitable approach would be made.
In the daylight scrumping apples was too risky,
It was a better to do it after dark, at night,
The cold evening shadows made us frisky,
As we shook with cold and nervous delight.
Our scouts would always go in early,
After posting lookouts at every retreat,
The rest would wait at the start point,
Where there was no light from a lamp lit street,
Until the all clear was given by the scout group,
At an established point where we would meet.

~ 2 ~

Then we would gather and share the Intel,
Outlining where the most loaded trees grew,
That there were no obstacles as far as we could tell,
That could harm any of the invading crew.
The excitement was high and the fear,
As we began creeping through the shadows of night
The more affluent trees drawing near,
With their juicy treasures of mouth watering delight.
Then we were among them scaling their trunks,
Wriggling along branches and boughs,
Until they were swaying and reeling like drunks,
Steering horses pulling a plough.
And we filled up our shirts in a frenzy
For time always was against us somehow.

~ 3 ~

Then the dogs begin barking and growling,
And the lights of the houses are ablaze
The shadows begin dancing and scowling,
The mist from the light is a maze.
From the branches we are dropping and falling,
We are running fast through accusing trees,
With our shirts bulging with apples
That pop out and bounce off our knees.
We are soon scrambling through briar and nettle,
Through barbed wire and burrow we abscond
Tripping and falling and rising,
To speed off into the darkness beyond,
Where we gather to feast on the treasures,
In our den near old Crackershaws pond.