Jungle Night (1945)
The man with the green cigarette strolls down the path
Waving it in the air in conversation.
The man with the tiny anvil strikes it softly like a bell—
The man with the dark blue coat goes quietly by.
There goes the man with the green cigarette again.
They are not really there. You know quite well
They are not there.
Then one of them whistles softly
You finger the trigger of your Bren.
Half fearing, half-desiring the sudden hell
Pressure will loose.
The man with the green cigarette strolls by again
Waving it in the air.
Down comes the dew,
The man with the tiny silver anvil
Strikes twice; strikes twice
Softly passes the man with the cloak of blue.
‘Jungle Night’ appeared
in Poems of the Second World War, edited by Victor Selwyn, Erik
de Mauny, Ian Fletcher, and Norman Morris (London: Dent, 1985).