November 2010


One of the pleasantest things in the world is going a journey: but I like to go myself. I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. I am then never less alone than when alone.

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How distant, the departure of young men
Down valleys, or watching
The green shore past the salt-white cordage
Rising and falling. (more…)

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It’s time to stop rambling ’cause there’s work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli (more…)

Tree stump glistens like its wet
Tree stump glistens but it’s red
Tree stump glistens where soldier bled
Early in the morning

Water shimmers in the heat
A heavy pack meant his defeat
No solid ground beneath his feet
Mud and doom was yawning

Branches stick up from the ground
Darkened twigs before a mound
A hand thrust up as soldier drowned
Just as day was dawning

Yellow stinking, sinking mud
Ground that’s covered with soldier’s blood
And at home as flowers bud
Another widow mourning

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen? (more…)

Remember me when I am dead
and simplify me when I’m dead.

As the processes of earth
strip off the colour and the skin
take the brown hair and blue eye

and leave me simpler than at birth
when hairless I came howling in
as the moon came in the cold sky. (more…)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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