Bugeja (PB)

Lest We Forget: An Anzac Day tribute

Image: AAP

Editor PB introduces a poem by Kerry White as our Anzac Day tribute to those who gave their all for kin and country – Lest We Forget.

 

I had every intention of writing an editorial for Anzac Day.

It was going to be, much like most other editorials no doubt, a personal piece about this important day of remembrance and, more broadly on war, with a particular emphasis on how lately I have become imbued with a deeper sense of astonishment at what those women and men who offer themselves up for service must go through in the delivery of such.

Of the sights they see.

The acts they must perform.

And the indelible imprint that such can leave upon the returned.

At least those who do return.

Instead, I am posting a poem.

I received this piece from one of our writers, Kerry White, himself a Vietnam vet, and is a fitting tribute to today and what it means.

 

Ruin undismayed*

 

Tending gardens, ploughing paddocks,

Government clerks, bank tellers,

Some were even mending clocks,

Just normal blokes, most young fellas.

 

Many still wet behind the ears,

Losing footy their biggest worry,

Laughter the main cause of their tears,

Laconic, sauntering, no need to hurry.

 

Adventure beckoned just over there;

Call to arms, it’s for the King,

Chicken on your mate, wouldn’t dare,

Together in arms, they heard ‘em sing.

 

Across the sea, beyond the dream,

Prospect of war not in the mind,

Not to know, not all it seems,

No idea of the fate of all mankind.

 

Next thing you know, mate to mate,

Chilly dawn in the Dardanelles,

Shudder at mere thought of fate,

Bad dream waking, time for hell.

 

Bedlam, mayhem, all asunder,

As the boats head for the shore;

Whistling, yelling, sounds of thunder,

Summoning courage from their core.

 

No place for innocence, hills of terror,

From ship to shore a bloody shambles,

Stiff upper lip, strategic error,

He crawls, he runs, then he scrambles.

 

A nation’s innocents become heroes,

Boys become men, some men cried,

Through passes and valleys the echoes

Of men in anguish as they died.

 

No victory but for the human soul,

Some could struggle and survive,

Their story ne’er forgotten and retold,

The ANZAC spirit is forever alive.

 

Lest We Forget.

 

* “Life was very dear, but life was not worth living unless they could be true to their ideas of Australian manhood … when the end loomed clear in front of them, when the whole world seemed to crumble and the heaven to fall in, they faced its ruin undismayed.” – from Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18, Volume 1, The Story of Anzac by C. E. W. Bean, 9th edition, Angus and Robertson, 1939.
Bugeja (PB)

Paul Bugeja is a writer, editor, screenwriter and (sometimes) actor-director. His passions (read: obsessions) include sport, film, the arts and politics. With several books under his belt and a variety of other writing projects on the go, sitting as the Editor-in-Chief at the Big Smoke is his chance to bust out even further his geeky love of the written word and be part of an uber-cool new spot in the digpubsphere©

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