Home Forums General Forums Introduction Kokoda Battles Historical Poetry By Mike Mcarthur

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    Hi all I have almost finished my E-book of Kokoda Historical poems ( hopefully in the next month or so )

    this is one I have just completed/ altered would like to share with you. Interested in your thoughts and comments it is called

    My Kokoda Walk by M.G.McArthur

    I went and walked,

    the Kokoda Track.

    Flew into Kokoda,

    and then hiked back.

    Only a 25 min

    breathtaking flight.

    Then a 9 day trek,

    that altered my life.

    Trained as much,

    as life would allow,

    but in that plane,

    sweat covered my brow.

    Pensively I peered,

    at the scene below,

    fear engulfed,

    diluted all bravado.

    I knew here,

    I could not hide.

    Fears and doubts,


    My dickie knee,

    ankle and backaches,

    have I the fortitude,

    that it takes.

    Took a deep breath,

    and started out,

    smiling confidently,

    concealing all doubts.

    Soon discovered,

    I wasn’t alone,

    most trekkers had fears,

    of their own.

    Physically I adjusted,

    to the landscape,

    but was engulfed by an aura,

    I couldn’t escape.

    Each step the track,

    inspired me,

    Taught it’s not just,

    the physicality.

    Many places,

    on the track,

    grab your emotions

    and hurl you back.

    To battles where,

    enemy progress was denied,

    And sadly so many

    courageous men died.

    Often alone,

    I’d shed a tear,

    For heroic men,

    who’d fought here.

    I bowed my head,

    because I knew,

    I’ll always be indebted,

    to those few.

    At tracks end,

    I knew I’d changed.

    Consciousness forever,



    flooded my very core,

    for the brave men,

    who’d won that brawl.

    By a swirl of emotions,

    I was king hit.

    Relief for completing,

    the arduous trip.

    Overwhelmed with regret,

    more wasn’t known,

    of the vital struggle,

    And bravery shown.

    An empty feeling,

    of dismay,

    Aware so many,

    still ignorant today.

    Emotions felt,

    Telltale signs of the Track.

    Someone starts the trek,

    a better person comes back.

    I know all my life,

    I will never forget,

    my Kokoda experience,

    the hardships I met.

    Maybe I suffered,

    on that “Bloody Track”,

    but nothing compared,

    to those 60 years back.

    Highly outnumbered,

    and under strength,

    our brave diggers fought,

    each inch of its length.

    Against all odds,

    They stood firm,

    true Anzac spirit,

    we’d do well to learn.

    Now modern Aussies,

    show their respect,

    thousands each year,

    do the Kokoda Trek.

    In both directions,

    the Owen Stanley’s are trodden,

    so these heroics,

    won’t ever be forgotten.


    Awesome stuff Mike. Your last one sums up my trek perfectly. I haven't had time to read them all but your e-book would be a great idea.


    The man in black.


    G'day read an interesting story the other day that showed the reflections of a kokoda veteran, thought I would turn some of it into a poem. I called it

    A Kokoda Digger's Suffering by M.G.McArthur

    What was it like,

    on the Kokoda track,

    as the diggers faced

    the Japanese attack.


    six to one,

    faced the murderous,

    mountain guns.

    Deafening booms,

    one after the other

    Wait for the ground,

    To shake and shudder.

    and the flamin’ weather,

    heavy rain each day.

    Downpours threatened,

    to wash all away.

    Slippery, slimy, mud,

    that never dried.

    Sucked boots, wrenched feet,

    with every stride.

    Lived, slept and fought

    in that stinking muck,

    Caused festering ulcers

    From the smallest cut.

    Fungal infections,

    that ate flesh away,

    Sickening sights,

    haunt till dyeing day.

    Then mid-morning

    not to be outdone,

    Clouds vanished, burned,

    by the merciless sun.

    Beat down on fatigued,

    starving men,

    Baked them all,

    and weakened them.

    Lying in ambush,

    ready for battle,

    Not a drop left in,

    the water bottle.

    So bloody hot,

    wanted to scream

    now too far distant,

    the nearest stream.

    Silently in wait,

    trigger finger shaking,

    Listen hard,

    detect boots scraping.

    Low as a snake,

    In tall kunai grass,

    that scratched and prickled

    And cut like glass.

    Eyes strain,

    chest heaving,

    they’ve crept so close,

    hear laboured breathing.

    Then cracking sounds,

    as the enemy,

    fired their weapons

    through the trees.

    Followed by,

    a frenzied attack.

    Fight like hell,

    to beat them back.

    Dodge bullets,

    Drag out wounded mates.

    If abandoned,

    Death their certain fate.

    No quarter given,

    By either side,

    capture meant simply,

    You would die.

    Fight tooth and nail,

    In every brawl

    Then a prearranged,

    fighting withdrawal.

    And it wasn’t just

    the Japanese,

    natural predators,

    bought disease.

    Attacks every day

    At dusk and dawn,

    malaria injections

    By mosquito swarms.

    Caused many to,



    shiver and shake.


    such misery,

    pneumonia, diarrhoea

    And dysentery

    And that bloody track,

    didn’t care,

    mercy was shown,

    To no one there.

    When finally,

    safely back at home

    had nothing to say

    wanted to be left alone.

    Each Anzac day,

    mates would march

    But none keen to talk,

    about the past.

    Every year,

    it was the same,

    Subconscious monsters,

    were unchained.

    Stomach heaved,

    and churned

    Deep dark demons,

    were returned.

    Unleashing sinister,


    Reek havoc on,

    Ones sanity.

    Until at last,

    They came to find,

    The key to relock,

    Their troubled minds.

    It was a rule,

    not written down,

    don’t discuss the horrors,

    and most found,

    it much better,

    to speak of the larrikins

    and the lighter side,

    of that place they’d been.

    A joke, a beer,

    feel safer then,

    Hiding behind laughter

    with the other men.

    It took years before,

    they’d ever tell.

    Challenges faced,

    In that living hell.

    For so long

    They’d refrained.

    The horror endured

    impossible to explain.

    Had to be there,

    couldn’t understand,

    misery that attacks,

    the essence of a man.

    Thankfully now,

    We’ve all been told.

    Of the courage displayed

    by our Kokoda heroes.

    Not only suffering

    On that bloody track,

    But dealing with demons

    When they came back.

    hope you liked it, hope you let me know here if you did.

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