English poetry

Poems in English

Out of The Annexe

It grew out of the Annexe and our Corps in a world at peace
While our army trained, magnificent in its heroic pretence,
For an implausible war. They were halcyon days
In the shelter, days that combine in easy recollections
Of a golden age sublime. We have a close kinship
Of affable memories coalesced in the smoke-hazed,
Easy ambience of an Annexe that was not exactly
What it seemed to be. A family room perhaps,
In a happy home with eccentric music and a well stocked bar
To complement the yarns, arcane and raw, of incorrigibles’ battles
Lost and won. And our glasses filled and refilled in voluminous conviviality
Saluting victor and vanquished without redress, and in greeting
Friends of old and friends about to be. Pool players plied their
Contemporaneous skills in combat rituals that drew no gore
Though armed with handy cues and bellicose tendencies.
Our Annexe was the haven to revitalise
In warmth of belonging and savour hospitality that lingers still
As fresh as when distilled a thousand happy nights or more.
We thrived in each other’s company then and now recall
Our Patron extraordinaire, the King of Hospitality,
Our gracious host who’d serve another drink without our asking
And who sadly can no more.
Embrace him with affection, raise a glass and toast his passing.
Farewell Frank. Thank you for the memories.

(In memory of Major Frank Butler, RNZSigs)

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Poem Out of The Annexe - Ivan Donn Carswell