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Poetry from within
   

The Soldiers Friend


Gathered in a training room, May of fifty-one,

Attempting to grasp the workings of the light machine gun.

The instructor looked exasperated at our lack of ken,

As he sighed, and tried one more time, to impart the workings of the Bren.



There are, he said, five main groups making up the gun,

Now pay attention carefully as through the groups I run.

First there is the barrel, then there is the butt,

Then comes the body - don't forget the locking nut.

Now to remove the piston, you move it fully to the rear,

Twist off the bi-pod, place it carefully over here.



Everybody got it, the instructor asks, with a fiendish grin,

But we were all still struggling - with a body locking pin.

Once you've learned this lot, and got it off by heart,

We will quickly go over another 365 listed working parts.

Magazine holds thirty two - you load only twenty eight,

This here is the gas block - to regulate, rotate.



Leaf backsight for accuracy - graded to a thousand yards,

This here is the trigger - this the trigger guard.

Now we'll strip the trigger - pay attention here,

This item is called the bent - this here, is the seer.

Spring retaining plunger - must be pressed of course,

Some say the gun kicks like a mule, not so, more like a horse.



Your weapon is your best friend, so treat it with respect,

You will learn to handle it with ease, sooner than you expect.

I look down at the monster, stripped and at my feet,

And shudder at the prospect, that an enemy I'd meet,

What with body locking pins, and spring retaining nuts,

I'm of the firm opinion, that I hate its bloody guts.




Len Payne