William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

CYPRIOTIC THOUGHTS IN VANCOUVER RAIN

John’s daily train, getting fit in rain,
each day he pumps the pedal
When he was young, in dust and sun
they gave John Leighton a medal
‘Twas from the UN, away back then,
John traveled like me down to Fama G
when I think about those UN dry days,
these thoughts come back to me:

The noble peace prize in December 88
was finally given a wee bit late
It was won by all who served the UN
annudder guerre caused by de Moslem
an at dat time dey were killing Greeks
of the Orthodox persuasion
again in 1974, Cyprus, became a hotter war
the island received another invasion

Each AIRBORNE guy who had to die
told us there was no peace
that deep within there was the sin
of war between Turks and Greeks
and we were there for thirty years
of death and wounds and shedding tears
In that cause for the UN, Canada lost o’er 30 men
Some say it was just a walk de cake
But some at night, still dream and shake

And some are treated not too kind
‘Cause they were wounded in their mind
Thank heaven it did not happen to me?
I ain’t de one wid de PTSD?
I’m just an old pensioner who still thinks
it helps ol’ soldiers to visit wid de shrinks
So I took the life review programme
An I think it made me a much saner man?
Daily I jus' carry on, de best way dat I can!

Author’s Note: Thanks to John-Ward Leighton for the Inspiration. John is an old retired soldier, artist and photographer and he also served on Cyprus in 1965. We also served together in Calgary, Germany, and Victoria. We lost track of each other for years, until I read some of his wonderful poetry and saw his world class photos on the internet. Dr Merv Westwood is still at UBC and Dr Tim Black is at UVic: they ran the LRP through the Legion and VAC back in ‘98. Tim still works with the Legion here in Victoria. Shrinks are good for the soul and can help!