Going Bonkers in Honkers

Barry’s latest poem takes as its subject LoveRapt’s post dated 15th October, 2003 where he shares with onevalers one of his army moments in Hong Kong.

It’s true there’s nothing new in poetry style – just variations on a theme. Barry’s latest contribution is a little different from his previous work. But he hopes you like it just the same.

‘Rapty has done his bit for God, Queen and Country serving in the army both at home and overseas. His anecdotal tales are often very, very funny. The following is no different.

In this rendition mention is made of the ‘Raz Man’ aka Regimental Sergeant Major and his pay stick. According to ‘Rapty, a pay stick is similar to a blackboard pointer. Or like a wooden walking stick with a brass head and base. It is double barrelled, similar to a shotgun, with a brass clasp that can be released separating the two affixed lengths. The R.S.M. swivels the arched sticks clockwise and anticlockwise alternately in order to measure out the pace and length of the stride you should be taking when marching.

Real names have been changed to avoid ‘Rapty ending up with a black eye :laughing:


Going Bonkers in Honkers

Me and Fred an army buddy of mine
Were doing a stint in Kowloon at the time,
Our roster was the dreaded midnight run,
But to tell the truth those night shifts were no fun.

No Sir, no fun at all…

Boredom was a common state my friend
And was enough to send us clear around the bend,
The nights were long and often stinking hot,
Just two more reasons sending us to pot.

You could end up picking wallflowers off the wallpaper…

The Quarter Master’s khakis were too thick
But our tailored made dacrons did the trick,
A quality cotton fabric we called ‘Whites’
To keep us cool throughout the days and nights.

A kind of personal touch to the Queen’s uniform…

We’d tread those wards at a gentle pace,
Another reason to send us of our face,
The lights were low, the night air rarefied,
That dulled our minds and made us bleary eyed.

Even the midnight silence was eerie…

With nothing much to do they asked my mate
To call and check a patient sectioned eight,
A soldier who was due for his release
And whose mind had strayed a little from the crease.

The crease of his khakis, that is…

That patient was to stay for one more day
Secured in a psychiatric bay,
Next morning he would see the doc again
Hoping to be free from all his pain.

And square bashing with that ‘orrible Sergeant Major…

The minutes and the hours ticked slowly by
With a full moon rising slowly in the sky,
Then Fred decided he would hit the air
And wandered off without a single care.

I once dreamt Fred was nuts, and I was wide awake at the time…

Next thing I saw him by the goldfish pond
Then on its central strip did walk along,
And to the Raz Man’s pay stick did attach
A needle and thread the fish to catch.

You know what? Fred was crazy about being crazy…

He thought that this was just another prank
But to tell the truth he was acting like a plank,
Then when we heard the news it made us jump
Our sectioned eight had fallen with a thump.

Affected by things that go splash in the night…

Later, when the doc called by again,
He wondered if our patient was insane,
Or maybe he’d been transfixed by the moon
And the heat of the night in Kowloon.

Oh dear, going bonkers in ‘Honkers…

‘I tell you doc, I saw it in the night!
A vision dressed in white and large as life
Was walking on the fish pond tippy toe
With an aura all around it bright as snow’

‘Nurse, the tablets please’..

‘It was walking up and down with outstretched fist
And I thought that I was going round the twist,
But when I waved it nodded back to me,
It was the strangest sight that I did ever see’.

‘Tell me son, would you like to stay with us for a few more days?’..

‘Excuse me doc, there is one other thing,
And don’t be thinking I’m a ding-a-ling,
That vision used the oddest fishing wand
To lure, then catch the goldfish from that pond.

Was our patient really a few noodles short of a stir fry?..

‘A relapse?’ thought the doc ‘How can this be?
He’ll have to stay another day or three’,
But knowing what we heard just wasn’t true
I told my mate he knew what he must do.

‘What!’ exclaimed Fred ‘You must think I’m crazy’..

Two days later after pleas were made
Fred confessed his midnight escapade,
Improvised, of course, with lower tone
So finally our patient could go home.

Fred, put out the milk bottles and wind up the cuckoo clock…

Barry Edge
Western Australia
November 23, 2003


Please share this on: