The Power of Dreams

The Power of Dreams

For soldiers at war, dreams are a powerful way to escape the reality of danger, death and misery which continually linger at their side.

There are dreams they share with each other and some they do not.

The odds are that their visions are of peaceful times at home and what they will do on return to their beloved land. Such thoughts, even if for a brief time, shut out the surrounding fear and madness.

Dreams are not restricted. They are captured by all ranks from the highest of command to the most junior soldier.

Such medicine is readily available in many circumstances including short rests on a muddy track while huddled in soaking rain or resting in a tent far distant from the rumbling guns, yet never on sentry duty or when danger is close by. Even the most precious dream can be shattered by a “Dear John” letter and its scattered torn pieces signal despair and moroseness. Such circumstances impact on all the team.

Dreams are free, be they of long or short duration. Such a tonic can provide sense of purpose, confidence, hope and remove thoughts of futility. They can be shared in whispered conversation or remain forever secret.

Many of their dreams they cherish, others are forgotten and for too many veterans, their dreams are lost, stolen or destroyed by broken promises which slowly but surely become nightmares.

So many of our hidden wounded still seek understanding and support.  They are out there among us even if you can’t see them

George Mansford February 2017


               Not All Dreams Come True  

Soldiers have been dreamers from way back

Be it on an angry sea, a dangerous sky or a muddy track 

It’s true that weary warriors seize every chance to dream

By night or day to steal a secret glance at more pleasant scenes

A sandy beach or camp fire with flickering shadows mid the coals

At the local pub or watching as a footy team kicks the winning goal 

For many, the thoughts of sweet gentle love in warm embrace

For the less romantic, winning on a long shot in the last race  

For a youngster seeking love, there are visions of a girl yet to meet

Shivering with cold, a wish for warmth between crisp clean sheets

Dry mouth and a parched throat slaked by Mum’s cold lemonade

With empty bellies, cravings for a home cooked meal freshly made

No more the terrible sounds of battle all around

Sweet silent peace under a shady tree with cool green grassy ground

Gone the snarl of hungry metal shards seeking flesh and pain    

Drowsy at a friendly fireplace and above, the soothing sound of rain

No more the unknown threats and doubts with each morn 

To be safe and sound, thankful to kind fate with each new dawn

Gone the sight of misery and blood and wondering what was it for

Oh, to seek deep restful sleep without the sounds of war

So many dreams of hope planted which in time would flower

Yet on return, for many, these past thoughts slowly turn sour

Sleepless nights, anger, imagined guilt, shredded flesh and broken bone

The long sightless stare, restless, seeking old comrades or wanting to be alone

Who would have thought of such ills when overseas far away?

These hidden casualties of war who pass by, each and every day

False promises from those in high places who yawn as they talk and talk

While old soldiers with hidden pain still chase dreams wherever they walk

George Mansford © February 2017     


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