Flags, banners, bugles, horns, drums,-
Vibrations of percussions, thrums of strings,
Eyeblack, face-paint, war cries!
Howling deep into the night, smoke-
Up in the air from distant camp-fires.
The air is tense, nerves uneasy, brains ‘spazzing’.
One wrong foot, one wrong turn, one missed assignment.
Nerves of virgin fighters, restless rookies,-
Screaming out for calm amidst the tempest.-
Of anxiety, the uncertainty and fear of unknown-
Lands, uncharted waters.
Colours dividing us; creeds and oaths a faint adjoining thread.
We know this war, we know this fight all too well.
Veterans, victors and vanquished, marching-
Into the green sea battlefield once more.
Mock fights, war rooms, crows and reconnaissance.
Those of us who know this fight, smirk to tell its tale-
From our vantage points.
We once wined and dined, feasted and ‘gisted’-
With no stakes or spoils, no victors, no vanquished.
Not any more, oh not anymore.
In our tribes of teams, we plot our war plans.
In our tribes, the allure to this flag sport.