Rosemary Purse-Robinson


Listen Up! Listen Up
– Parade and Provost – webbing will be
spotless white – infantry putties green
nowhere in this man’s army
is anything butttt


and I’ll have your guts
for garters if you let Me down
or Your Squad – We’re Team

Listen Up! Listen Up
Today – camouflage that tank
that truck – forget about the bloody


focus on survival – nothing at all
is just green, “clean” is now
, a dirty word his rangy body

stalks the ammo-dump
barking instructions
screaming frustration – the nets tangle
bronze olive and brown little toggles

plastic fabric feathering the
lancing mountain breeze
later on manoeuvres which
range into the night – colour-patched faces
come against each other in fright
– on the route march

metal – cups dixies daggers – klutzy
battle paraphernalia hangs clanking

from web-belts and laden packs while
testosterone-laden youth

hacks through forest undergrowth

in a dreary comic-tragic theatre
this theatre of war