We’ve been there, where the sea is black, and nights are fearsome long,
And high above a border line that knows not Freedom’s song,
We stood the watch, that you might dream of football – and your fun;
And, in so doing, kept the faith as a dad does, for his son.
My boots walked firmly, step for step, beside a sundered yard
Where halfway down, the flowers failed, replaced by sullen guards,
Whose weapons were at the ready – whose orders clearly said:
“Our Wall protects the workers; all others: shoot them dead.”
I’ve dwelt among host-foreigners, the noble and the base,
Whose leaders claimed Utopia, but forgot the Human Race
For power or for money, for pleasure, or for might,
For ego or insanity – for a stand-by chartered flight.
Some of us were twidgets – early geeks and many wires
Others probed the foeman’s brains and stole his covert fires
That would have brought us harm and woe, had ‘guhor’ never been,
Whose users, wild but thoughtful, were the sharpest ever seen.
We had our Tower of Babel – so many spoke in tongues!
A multitude were engineers, who hummed electron songs,
Some knew the right locations of the large ship and the small,
For when we got to working, none escaped us, none at all!
It was out there, on the border, where a zephyr is not found –
In No-Man’s Land – the ocean – on the froze (or boiling) ground,
The reason that we stood the watch is simple, when you think:
Our eyes and ears were needed, and they kept us from the brink.
It started with a spark gap. It ended with a sigh,
Of packets and encryption as the secret numbers fly.
Today the watch is sternly stood in binary and Hex –
With ‘dih-dah dead, it’s anybody’s guess of what comes next!
TAMORI* stood a lively watch; today, let others take
Our posits and then work them hard – and see what they can make;
In sea and sky, from pole to pole, what’s made can be undone,
In work or play, we all can say: we had an honest run!
Captain Steven Myers
1610 - retired
*TAMORI refers to CTT (Cryptologic Technician Technical), CTA (Administrative), CTM (Maintenance), CTO (Operator - Comms), CTR (Collection) and CTI (Interpretive)