In Which Colonel Cecil “Bongo” Eton-Haig (6th Battalion, Kings Own, Ret.) Reflects On The Turkish Unpleasantness

Well, the maps were quite ghastly, you know;
We’d assumed the Frogs would have a pleasure cruise,
All baguettes and brioche, up the straits.
We’d no idea the Turks had dug in as they did,
As the spooks and their charts revealed sheer cliffs,
Harmless as Dover–nor did we fare much better on dry land,
The topographical atlases we had in the field
Might have been compiled by Mercator himself.
The Turks fought quite well;
One gives them a measure of credit for that, one supposes;
Frankly, we’d have been better served
If we’d just waited for them to slaughter each other,
What with the ease they’d hacked each other to bits
Over some ancient family squabble or inconsequential tribal matter
(Can you imagine civilized peoples fighting to the death over such trivia?)
I suppose such cruelty and boorishness should have not been surprising.
They wouldn’t take prisoners, you know–just shot our boys willy-nilly,
With no regard whatsoever to honor or military convention,
Though it should have been no surprise
That the swarthy bastards would not play by the rules.


13 thoughts on “In Which Colonel Cecil “Bongo” Eton-Haig (6th Battalion, Kings Own, Ret.) Reflects On The Turkish Unpleasantness

  1. The voice should be anachronistic, but sadly seems rather current. I guess the word ‘civilization’ has always had an ironic ring to it.

  2. ah, as piquant as the first time around.

    I’ve always aspired to being a swarthy bastard myself, but alas, my sallow yellow skin just doesn’t quite make it. ~

  3. This is an excellent poem set in time of WW1. I recommend a DVD I think you will enjoy. with Benedict Cumberbatch called ” Parades End” The wartime dialogue and sentiments are similar. The empire has long gone but Trump is attempting a very second rate impersonation.

  4. There was that linebacker a few seasons ago accused of being too rough on quarterbacks. His response was something to the effect of what do you want me to do? Roll out a red carpet, set up two glasses of champagne and then slam the son of a bitch to the earthen floor?

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