The traveller

Name: Poem
Date: 1960's
Unit: Unknown
Location: Vietnam

Now when a man his life begins
His dreams of all the wondrous things
Of travel to the faraway
And ways and means to get more pay
He little knows the fates in store
When he walks through that awesome door
It says in letters sharp and clear
"National Service Call-up here"
For now that gruelling trial begins
He oozes sweat, his body thins
And comes the day his training ends
He stands erect, a man 'mong men
The dreams he had of faraway
Of travel to the lands of play
Are suddenly brought close to hand
Your posting sir, to Vietnam
That wondrous place where life's aglow
Of pedicabs and buffalo
The plaintive sweet refrain of horns
The paddy fields and trees of thorns
He comes naive to Nui Dat
With all the hills he wished were flat
He trudges through the dust and grime
And curses rain that makes it shine
The drenching rain so black and sleet
That soaks the ground beneath his feet
The dream he had of faraway
Reverse now, the other way.

Last updated: 4 June 2019

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2019), The traveller, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 29 September 2021,
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