GOT a poem you would like to share with Army&You’s readers? Send it, preferably along with a photograph, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it in Well-versed. Paul Crowther was in the Army from 1977 to 1985, saw active duty in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands and also served in Cyprus, Germany and Kenya. After leaving the military, he lived with undiagnosed PTSD which had a significant negative impact on him and those around him, until he sought help in 2015. As part of dealing with his issues, Paul took to writing poetry…
Last night, in the darkness of my room, shots were fired.
I heard their crack as they passed above my head,
and mortars blast and shells shock
as I slumbered in my bed.
And as I sweat and twisted and crawled in search of cover,
I heard the screaming of the wounded
and the last breaths of the dying.
And as the battle raged around me,
I screamed and sat up crying.
No peace for us, those that fought the battles
for those of us that know the loss.
No rest for us, no silence of the quiet guns.
Each day we feel the fear,
and mourn the loss of someone’s son.
Oh how I envy those who sleep untroubled,
at rest each night, at peace, with silence in their heads.
But we each night know that we will not sleep,
as we crawl with trepidation into our shell scraped
sandbag pillowed beds.