Sunday, July 14, 2019

ENG205.3001--"I Heard It on the Wireless," by J. L'Angelle--UNIV OF NEVADA, RENO, 2019

James L'Angelle
Univ of Nevada, Reno
Prof. C. Bell
14 July 2019

I Heard It on the Wireless, by James L'Angelle (c) 2019

Sunrise at the oasis where there was a bivouac,
The General had been drinking and the discipline was slack;
The troops out on the guardposts were all sound asleep,
The Officer in Charge snored loudly from a jeep.
Suddenly a Private came running from a tent,
Tightly in his hand a report to the regiment;
"The enemy's a coming about to aggress!"
"It's true," he said, "I heard it on the wireless!"

The General was informed and soon inspected
The report, then replied, "As I suspected."
"Captain," addressing an officer in his command,
"We're digging in and going to have to make a stand."
He then rattled off a long list of orders
On setting up defenses and bringing up the mortars;
Then they went to chow at the Officers Mess
As code kept streaming on the wireless.

A helicopter up above that was hit by flak
Soon crashed and burned out on the hot tarmac;
They tried to save the pilot and tried to save the crew
But there really wasn't much they could do.
The pilot with a mortal wound and in his last breath
Was dragged from the flames within minutes from his death;
A sad scene it was and no words could express,
The casualty report went out on the wireless.

The enemy had orders to take no prisoners
When it made its assault on the perimeters;
In the bunkers and the trenches of the fortified outpost
Every soldier had a rifle and a face white as a ghost.
The battle soon erupted in noise and blood and sound
As screams of death and horror were heard for miles around;
The General stood up bravely and showed no signs of stress,
Beyond the rage of battle could be heard the wireless.

A satchel charge put the commo shack out of commission,
The troops out on the front were short on ammunition;
Suddenly on the horizon appeared a row of tanks,
In a fusillade bombardment the enemy broke ranks.
To the rescue had come the famous Foreign Legion
Known for showing courage all throughout the region;
The wounded in action were allowed to convalesce,
The casualty report went out on the wireless.

The General in his tent poured himself a glass of gin
To celebrate a victory he thought he'd never win;
Five hundred miles away at division headquarters
The Army Chief of Staff was surrounded by reporters.
"What happened at the outpost?" a voice shouted out real loud
To the highly decorated officer who stood out in the crowd.
"We have met the enemy and fought him with great success,"
"It's true," he said, "I heard it on the wireless!"