David McLean Mathews

Rookie - 20 Points (Colac, Australia)

Anzac Day Poem by David McLean Mathews


The winds groan through virgin pine valleys
as we sit and puzzle over the death
and birth of two nations so remote
they might as well be brothers.

Anzac Cove appears a nice beach for a sunbake,
except for an overwhelming
senselessness which bakes skin
black in the spring sun.

Around Lone Pine lost relatives look
for some symbol of acceptance,
some answer to futility,
sweet tendered flowers honour fragrant heroes.

There is eerie silence,
an envelope of suppression,
to scratch the surface is to discover
a grotesque hand or a spent shell,
a faded letter or a faint hope -
but the thought is mere newsreel, hyperbole,
a cathartic seance driven by illusion and myth.

There are no resting bodies at Gallipoli,
they live unknowing
and are celebrated on April 25
with beer, two-up, words and tears.

(O'Connor Canberra,1995)

Submitted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Topic of this poem: war


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