Don’t Tell ’em I Was Nice

© Mick Martin

(Long John Best – through another’s eyes.)


My breathing’s getting harder and I know my time is near.
Some things a distant memory, but there’s some, I see them clear,
like when we left old England, mum and sisters all in tow,
with hopes and dreams a plenty, land of hope we did not know.

I worked and trained and pondered. Would a war take me away?
And if they sent me packing there was little I could say…
Malaysia, hot and sweaty, not a place I’d choose to live,
I thought I’d see a medic, I was leaking like a sieve.

Then home a married soldier, trained in engineering feats.
Ah well, it kept me thinking and it kept me off the streets.
My wife a loyal helper, helped me working, things were tough.
She woulda, shoulda, coulda but she never said, “Enough”!

They say I was a mentor, helped and made some folks feel great,
I doubt it,  that was normal in my lofty acting state.
I’d mates like Milton Taylor, countless more, I missed them all.
I wonder, will I see them, when I enter through that wall.

You know I had my favoured, those who made my life complete.
So many, countless hundreds, made my happy heart skip beats.
Two shiela’s in the mulga, seems they made it under ground,
And Greg a faithful poet, we would see him northward bound.

My girls, I love you dearly, Sam and Kylie made me proud,
And Glenny, it was you who helped me say things clear and loud.
And if I somehow manage for another go at life,
I think I’d likely copy all the fun and all the strife.

So now it’s time to wander, in the cosmos, who knows where?
I’ll send a smokie postcard if they let me send one there.
Don’t say I was an angel, all things sweet and all things spice,
and never, never, never say that Long John Best was …“nice”.

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