Candles of Gold

15 Apr

I am your Brother

I am your Father

You are my Sister

You are my Mother

I am your Grandfather

I am the young boy

with trembling knees

Who prayed and waited

For the whistle of death

A pistol in hand you called me

Over the top into the pits of Hell

Yet amidst the screaming

Of war overhead

We sheltered together

We beat the drums of war

A shared cigarette

A shaking hand

There was no more

Again and again

I cried in Hell

Waiting for the whine

Of the final shell

A shared cigarette

With Bluey and Jack

And then there was no more

Gallipoli and Lone Pine

Shared cigarettes

And then there was no more

A red cross parcel

Jams and socks

Meat and biscuits

But more than that

Cigarettes we shared

Me Bluey and Jack

Time passes in a twinkling of an eye

In war

Gallipoli and Lone Pine

Shared cigarettes

And then there was no more

A red cross parcel

Jams and socks

Meat in tins

But more than that

Cigarettes were shared

Me Bluey and Jack

In the twinkling of an eye

We crossed times and space

Another war another place

Three boys crossed

Another space

And now alone amongst the mire

In trenches we weep

And still we share

A cigarette behind the wire

Red cross parcels

Full of gold

Cigarettes we shared

Hopes were raised

Storys told

Dreams of home

Loved ones in dreams

We hold

Loved ones hearts

Ingrained upon our Souls

Bluey me and Jack

We live in all wars

Gallipoli the Dardenelles


Korea Vietnam

We Aussies have been there

We Aussies with our smokes

Some never come back

Yes me and Bluey and old Jack

We still have our smoke

In the harshness of Afghanistan

The mountains of Iraq

Bluey me and Jack

We share our troubles

Look to the future

Never looked back

Ah but memories

In an old soldiers mind

Let me recall

Its good for an old soldiers mind

So they tell me in repat

We smoked behind the wire

Death but a bullet away

Cigarettes were gold

Socks were swapped for boots

Boots were swapped for food

For the dying

Food was swapped for gold


No more Bluey

No more Jack

Time again in a soldiers war

To his lips I proffer

A last cigarette

He breaths his last

I can do no more

I take the smoke

From a dead boys lips

I take two drags

Close his eyes

And close his lips

And now the years die

The past is gone

Doctors words

Give up the smokes

It will kill you in the end

The currency behind the wire

The security that kept

Young boys alive

Tell a boy huddled in the mud

Crawling bare feet in the mire

Tell the gaunt skeletons

Behind the wire

Give up smoking

For sure as the government tells you

Smoking can harm your health

Smoking can kill you

It will get you in the end

Idiocracy and beaurocracy

Why the Red Cross parcels

were filled with Gold

Why the cigarettes

Was it to appease the heart

For the boy destined to never return

And now on Anzac day

At dawns first light

Dawn service over

Candles burning bright

I see the sun emerging

Beside me are my mates

Bluey and Jacko

Between the three off us

We light the candle of survival

We share the smoke

We never finished

Behind the wire

Yes just a memory just a dream

Bluey and Jacko are real

They are your brother

Your father

Yes you are my sister

I am your grandfather

So to all you Government men

Of renown

Go up to a soldier

Whether in wheelchair

Or walking disabled

Look for a memory

In an old soldiers eyes

Look for the boy 

You sent to war

Look for that Prisoner of war

Look him in the eye

And quote the words 

Smoking can harm you

Smoking can kill

Bluey Jack and Me

There was no more

Mates from war torn years

Mates from wars of old

Yet we can still remember

When a cigarette had value

Worth more than any gold


Posted by on April 15, 2010 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

21 responses to “Candles of Gold

  1. kcg1974

    September 11, 2015 at 07:00

    Great messages here within the images of such visual lines, Ian. I once wrote a children’s book about Smoking due to the fact that I lost grandfathers to tobacco addiction and later my mother too. I can ‘see’ the soldiers of life, your brothers and others. Such comaraderie on the field and elsewhere. Some lost, but in the end, perhaps a lesson with hope for the future? A terrific, visual poem.


    • aussieian2011

      September 11, 2015 at 07:00

      Thanks Kim, I wrote that piece visualizing different times when smoking was part of life.
      Through the eyes of Soldiers, a cigarette had many benefits on the Battlefields.
      Kind regards Kim and thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Dreamwalker

    September 3, 2015 at 07:00

    This was another I missed way back then Ian.. an excellent poem.. And those cigarettes I am sure saw many through some harrowing times..


    • aussieian2011

      September 3, 2015 at 07:00

      I think cigarettes were the staple diet back in those days when food was scarce.
      Cigarettes even played a major role in the wars after years, all the old movies show smoking as part of the role.
      Think that’s why a lot of old timers still smoke,it’s a generational thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Dreamwalker

        September 3, 2015 at 07:00

        It was promoted as glamorous to smoke way back then, and not a hint of the dangers it was to bring.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. GP Cox

    September 2, 2015 at 07:00



    • aussieian2011

      September 2, 2015 at 07:00

      Thanks gp, tried to encompass the emotions in the trenches and on the battle fields.


      • GP Cox

        September 2, 2015 at 07:00

        I DO believe you accomplished your mission!


  4. aussieian2011

    September 2, 2015 at 07:00

    Reblogged this on Welcome To My World.


  5. chris

    April 18, 2010 at 07:00

    Thank you, Ian, for this poem…my family knows much about that…lots of stories…lots of memories…wishing yo all the best…please keep in touch, mt friend…have a good w/e, too. Love, c.


  6. Angel eyes

    April 17, 2010 at 07:00

    amazing words of a lifetime lived angel eyes


  7. Sue

    April 16, 2010 at 07:00

    IanWords that could only have come from a soldiers soul, well said my friend"Lest We Forget" what they have done for us, for we are Free because of themSue


  8. Prenin

    April 16, 2010 at 07:00

    Thank you for everything I have, paid for in the blood of the honoured dead.Thank you.Prenin.


  9. ♰ Angel girl ♰

    April 15, 2010 at 07:00

    It\’s not a happy poem my friend. Hope all is going well for you.Hugs


  10. ♬ŠŨŇ

    April 15, 2010 at 07:00

    Oh lovely words. You tell such a sad storry………………. One can only imagine the memories a soldier has, of his friends, of the things he seen, of the things he went through…………… Yes, quite right, they give you cigs but say they will kill. Did they not think war would kill……………. I personally don\’t know anyone who went to war but this post got me thinking. Take care X



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