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Combat Boots for Remembrance

November 11, 2010

By Arnold Jansen op de Haar

We remember those who have died in all wars with the last few lines from combat boots:



the reunions
the cloak of brotherhood
the comradely lies
I cast them far from me


we is a word
meant for monarchs
and those who bear their trains


it isn’t war
but the lack of war


is this my darkness
my light
my knowing who the other is
who I


I wore them   yes   combat boots
you didn’t know   you said
what do you know
forget the rhyme and reason
of your suspicious thoughts
think when you see combat boots
of me   of me alone


©Arnold Jansen op de Haar, translation: Paul Vincent


The poem combat boots is published as part of the collection Yugoslav Requiem .


Arnold Jansen op de Haar was the commanding officer of the Dutch UN unit that secured Tuzla Airbase in Bosnia for incoming UN aid in 1994, and left the Grenadier Guards in 1995 to become a full time writer.