Saturday, December 13, 2008

Terence You Leatherheaded Ape

When my mates went to bed early on a Saturday night, I was left with no choice but to sit down and read a book an internet friend Bob McKerrow had just given me, "Afghanistan - Mountains of our Minds". It is a book of photos and poetry, written and taken in the warzone of Afghanistan where Bob worked for the Red Cross.

My initial favourite is a poem written by Bob for his friend, war correspondent Terence White, injured by mortars. Appropriately titled "Terence You Leatherheaded Ape", there is a hint of Baxter there in the healthy disrespect for bodily functions and actions mingling with a sense of the absurd. Quite a different tone from many of the poems which are chronicles of despair.

Heres a few lines twisting early in the poem; kiwi mateship expressed

Then I got home to the bad news

That you got wounded in the gut

Watching a rocket launcher

Firing near the front


The launcher exploded

Killing two and wounding two

And one was you

Terence you leather headed ape

You can read more about Terence White, here, in a great interview by Matt Nippert of the Listener.

Thanks Bob.


Bob McKerrow said...

Wow Jamie, that was a cracker night last evening. Finally got Robb and Tara home about 2 am,. long after the coals of the BBQ had died.


Jamie said...

Hey Bob,

Good on you, you must be feeling better! Thanks heaps for inviting me, really enjoyed meeting some amazing people even if only too briefly.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jamie,
Tara and I heading down in the morning, hope to take you up on the kind offer. My mobile is:

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Jamie

Good to have you join us last night.

Have a great day with Robb and Tara tomorrow.