Black Tuesday ©
by Hamish M Anstruther
Written during the time of terrorist activity in Aden when the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, Radfan Camp was attacked, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders especially suffered the most despicable atrocities, and the troubles were at their most dangerous.
This is one of a trilogy of Poems written by a serving soldier.
Grey fingers steal through the early dawn,
Grasping young buds, newly flowered,
Death stalks the land like spreading spawn,
Leaving stout hearts over-powered.
Mist clouds the eyes in the morning haze,
Soldiers fall in unguarded moments,
Restrained anger blinds colleagues gaze,
Seeking those mystery opponents.
Slaughtered by revolting tribal greed,
Young lives prematurely ended,
Rampant massacre! Obscure need!
Trusted proximity undefended.
False rumours unleash licentious fury,
In that treacherous hollow of death.
Mutilated bodies lie cold and dreary,
Grotesquely tortured in wrath.
Loved ones weeping, sadly forlorn,
Never to be held warmly again.
Rank nor creed spared this piercing thorn,
Inhumanity the scourge of men!
Pibrochs sounding in that silent glen,
Chanting a melancholy dirge.
What tribute be paid these gallant men?
Loyalty stimulated the urge.
Rest in peace, in proud heroes' grave!
Freedom mocked your diligent toil!
'Neath flourishing flag we'll proudly save
Your own sacred, Arabian soil.