Boy Soldier: Poetry (Paperback)

Boy Soldier: Poetry By Daniel Botwood Cover Image
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Dark, light or even shady grey, it is poetry written in the actual moment after the fact..."Growing up in South Africa, I was conscripted to do two years national service in the South African Defense Force, unfortunately for me the events unfolding at the time (1987/1988), had me participating in the biggest battles to have taken place on African soil since the second world war. I was in the field for eight months at a place called Cuito Cuanavale and in the hostile zone for just over a year. The fighting was conventional and resulted in pitched battles involving aircraft, artillery, tanks, armored vehicles and infantry. An estimated 25000 people were killed in fighting that ranged over a period of twelve months.It really was a proxy war between the USA and the USSR, and all things being considered I was incredibly lucky to get out unscathed, physically at least. The Soviets who were veterans of Afghanistan said that nothing that they experienced in Afghanistan could have prepared them for the hell that was in Angola. The crazy thing is that at this time the South African government were denying any involvement in this conflict so on being discharged we were told to keep our mouths shut about what we had witnessed. No one believed us anyway on coming home, not even my own family.I am fifty now and lucky enough to be living in France, the State recognizes the fact that I am dealing with a long-term illness, so they pay for some of my medical costs. I have a certificate of invalidity stating that under no circumstances should I be welding or working in noisy environments. I started trying some therapy but really the damage is done, it is a difficult road to be starting on at this stage". Sample Poem: Dead Man Soldier Lying (Angola 1988 Opp. Hooper)..... We found him lying dead, handsome lad / Still in his teens, no-one heard / His crying, no-one heard his screams / His eyes were still open, but he was not there // A bullet in his leg and two in his chest /No doubt he died whilst doing his best / Death it seems did not find him right away / He had some time to think and pray // There was a letter from his mum / Gripped in his dead hand / Where is he now and where did he go? / The answer to that only he will know // In a different space in another time / I wonder if all the answers to life's questions he did find? / Did he hear our victory yell? / Did he go to heaven or to hell? // The answer to that we will only see / When we meet the same fate as did he.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798682595198
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2020
Pages: 106
Language: English