Get Your Premium Membership

Be Careful What You Wish For

Poet's Notes
(Show)

Become a Premium Member and post notes and photos about your poem like sidney dugan.


Be careful what you wish for

Now here is the story of a restless young man
Who dreamed of fighting in South Vietnam.
He’d learned about war in the comics he’d read
And he knew in his heart that for this he’d been bred.
As soon as it came up, the lads eighteenth year
He went off to enlist for an army career.

He saw some old major and he sat for some tests
Then the  shrink and the doctor saw him with the rest
Of those gallant young fellows that wanted to fight
And give to their country the force of their might.
When all this was over it was late in the day
So feeling elated he for home made his way.

About two weeks later a letter arrived
And reading it’s message his spirits raised high.
For he’d been accepted a soldier he’d be
And the feel of the message did fill him with glee.
He had to front up in a couple of days
And then for Kapooka he’d be on his way.

Ten weeks in Kapooka it taught him a lot
He learned to make war and leave bodies to rot.
He was taugh how all commies just murdered and lied
And that he and his country had God on their side.
And that no sacrifice could be too great to make
And it’s an honour to die for a great country’s sake.

His training all over he joined a Platoon
He’d made Infanteer he’d be fighting soon.
It was off to corp training to learn even more
About all of the goodies that go with a war.
He kept seeing his image all tough, mean and strong
For he was a fighter and this was his song.

It was just eight months later that his posting came through
He was off to the jungles, his dream had come true.
Well his plane soon arrived at that sad Nui Dat
Where he first heard the guns as their missiles they spat.
He was fearful at first but he soon became calm
These guns were on his side they’d do him no harm

A month or two later he’s out on patrol
As tail end Charley He’s playing the role
They were deep in the scrub with peace all around
 Then the air came alive with this terrible sound.
He felt himself falling “Lord is this a dream”
He asked as he heard he his God awful scream.

He lay there not hurting but sensing the worst
As he felt all around where his stomach had burst.
Where once it was firm gaped a warn sticky hole
It seemed that again war had taken it’s toll.
It seemed like a nightmare, a terrible dream
As the medic assured him that it weren’t like it seemed.

He sensed the black silence and quickened with fear
For man stands alone when his end it be clear. 
Then something within him gave way to great peace
As his wisdom did whisper that all things must cease.
Then the great mother came, took him gently away
From that place of man’s anger where a body did lay.

1976.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




Post Comments
Please Login to post a comment
Date: 2/11/2019 7:40:00 PM
WOW! What a story! So real, so natural and so well done. Deep and meaningful, the type of poem that sticks in your head. You describe in good detail feelings in this. Would have to think it was actually you in this poem. Impossible though.
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/12/2019 2:48:00 AM
Hi Debora this poor guy was my good friend when we served in Vietnam. I was one of the lucky ones. He died at nineteen years old. I detest wars and all the idiots that start them. Thank you, my friend for your kind comment....Peter
Date: 2/11/2019 4:43:00 PM
Thinking of that Aussie hit song, 'he was only 19' Peter, and like that song, this poem brings so much to the fore.in fact its not just the war, i feel but the way it is today, so many lies, Hollywood, and the only the infamous are heroes.
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:54:00 PM
I know what you mean Harry. So many innocent human beings dying because of lies. All the wars including the Vietnam war were fought for nothing, just to please those evil bastards who call themselves our leaders. I can see much evil coming our way in the near future as we either become dead or slaves. Seems to me this world is filling up with evil. Thanks, mate for your comment. That poor soldier was a friend of mine and had just come to Australia and joined up as soon as he got here....All the best, my friend....Peter
Date: 2/11/2019 2:48:00 PM
Wow, powerful engaging write, magnificent work Peter, thank you for sharing it. xomo
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:24:00 PM
Thank you so much Maureen. posting this poem touched a few memories in me abut the horror of war. I appreciate your kind comments, my friend....peter
Date: 2/11/2019 1:32:00 PM
this is amazingly powerful, peter! brilliantly written and rhymed, though it tells a sad story (which i'm sure happened to too many young men)...
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:27:00 PM
Thank you so much Ilene. This guy had only ben in Australia for three months before he joined the army, he was dead within a year, so sad. I appreciate your kind comments, my friend...peter
Date: 2/11/2019 11:32:00 AM
effective write...the title reminded me of the old saying 'you'll shoot your eye out'
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:29:00 PM
Thank you so much SB for your comments. I appreciate, my friend....Peter
Date: 2/11/2019 3:34:00 AM
The adverts to join the military are full of false images. Many after seeing the horrors, see it in a new light. Brilliant piece Peter. Tom.
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:32:00 PM
Thank you so much Tom. This guy was a good friend of mine. It turned me against war for the rest of my life. He had only been in Australia for three months. I appreciate your kind comments...Peter
Date: 2/11/2019 3:25:00 AM
I loved reading this poem which you seem to have written quite some time ago. Many shy from reading old but wonderful poems.
Login to Reply
dugan Avatar
sidney dugan
Date: 2/11/2019 4:40:00 PM
Thanks Victor for your kind comments. I only post poems that have some meaning. Whether people read them or not is up to them. They might get more out of these poems than they do on a whole lot of the meaningless dribble of some of the poems on this site. I appreciate your reading this poem for me and for answering with such sincerity. Have a great day, my friend...Peter