Singleton Summer 1970

A poem written by Sgt. Ian Ogston as a recruit while at Singleton Recruit Training Centre

Drab rows of spartan huts
Sprawled in military order
Across the harsh, rounded Hunter hills.
The dry summer heat shimmered the wheat-brown grassland.
New soldiers marched.

Above,
In the clear and gentle blue sky,
Silver Mirages swooped in graceful arcs,
Delta wings flashing in the sun.

From down a hallway,
Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters ‘
Soared like pure silver to the heavens.

Vietnam was another place,
Another planet:
Little did the green and savage shadows
Of padi fields, bullets and bombs
Cast themselves into the minds
Of these innocent souls,
Flung together by chance and political folly.

And they were young –
So very young.

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