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Ramree

Denzil Vonlintzgy

It was February 1945,
and the Allies were on our tails.
Flanked by the marines,
we took to the muddy trails.

Forward shouted the Captain.
we had to reach the other end.
Our comrades awaited there,
we hiked every ditch and bend.

The island was a maze,
it had more water than land.
The darkness around, so thick,
I couldn’t see my very own hand.

Far in the distance,
we could hear the gunships blare.
The shells fell among us
the stench of blood filled the air.

I held the Arisaka tightly,
clenched onto the strap.
There came a hissing from all sides,
we had waded into a trap.

We were picked off one by one,
by a huge primeval beast.
The smell of blood had invited him and his kin,
all gathered for the feast!

The attacks were quick,
and sudden was the slaughter.
Every flash from a gunshot revealed,
the large scutes in the water.

I ran frantically towards the edge,
struggling through the mud.
The heart wrenching screams were muffled,
muffled with murky blood.

I couldn’t breathe due to the fear,
I lay on a grassy bed.
Then felt something near my arm,
it was the Captain’s decapitated head!


I found a mossy tree,
and climbed, right to the top.
But, the chopping, crushing and killing,
just wouldn’t stop.

The soldiers used their Nambus,
and shot them now and then.
Not even that could stop the creatures,
from completely devouring them.

The ones that were left,
were the ones upon a tree.
Stalked in patience, by killer eyes,
stuck, for eternity.

When all in the water were butchered,
the swamp took its toll.
Now came the bone chilling sound,
of the crocodile’s death roll.

Although we couldn’t see,
but, we recognized the tones.
They were the sounds of crickets and frogs,
and crocodiles, chewing on human bones.

At dawn when the sun rose,
and light filled the air.
We saw the bloody monsters
and carcasses everywhere.

There, came the vultures,
they dived in for the teft.
Slurped up floating guts in gluttony,
scoffed, what was left.

A British boat came by,
to see if the Japanese did strive.
Of the 1000 troops that entered the swamp,
only 20 came out alive.

The horrors we witnessed that night,
have gone down in the pages of History.
Named as, 'the island massacre',
the massacre in the swamps of Ramree.

So if you visit Burma,
stay away from the swamps, at least a mile.
For, if you are close enough, you are fated to meet,
the primeval, saltwater Crocodile.


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