Being April 25th 2015 the year Australia & New Zealand celebrate 100yrs since the landing of their troops on Gallopli and also all troops who have served their countries and paid the ultimate sacrifice, both in blood and with their lives, but have defended the cause of freedom and liberty.
I thought I would post here some poems that reflect this day. One of them I have had in my quote collection for a long time, written by Paul Lowe, who is known as the Digger Poet. And the others I have collected just today, One of them written by a friend of mine, Bruce West, and the other by Paul Hunter, written in 2014, which I call the Red Poppy.
The Heart of an Australian Soldier
I once was a soldier, young and strong
When I answered the call of the bugle’s song
And I sailed away from Australia’s shore
Then soon I tasted the fruits of war
While beside me, many a mate fell
As we fronted up to the gates of hell
And I wondered how long I’d be heaven blessed
Before I top, would be laid to rest
Yet all this time I longed to dwell
Back in the land I loved so well
Back in that country girt by sea
Back to Australia, proud and free
There was the home I longed to be
Yet should my time on earth be done
Then I’d take my turn with the Holy One
I’ll tell Saint Peter what he’d know
That a digger’s heart’s not white as snow
But at some fierce hour in his life’s short span
He may have acted as a man
Paul Lowe (Digger Poet)
I WATCHED THE MARCHING SOLDIERS
AS THEY MOVED ON DOWN THE STREET
I SAW THE SUN SHINE BRIGHTLY
FROM THE BOOTS UPON THEIR FEET
ONE CALLED OUT TO HIS BROTHER
WHO WAS WATCHING FROM THE STREET
ANOTHER KISSED HIS MOTHER
AS A TEAR ROLLED DOWN HER CHEEK.
I STOOD & WATCHED THE SOLDIERS
AS THEY MARCHED TO WHO KNOWS WHERE
THEIR UNIFORMS PRESSED NEATLY
BAND MUSIC FILLED THE AIR
A SOLDIER BROKE FORMATION
& STOOD BEFORE ME THERE
I GAVE A QUICK SALUTE
THEN HE TOSSED ME IN THE AIR.
I STILL REMEMBER SMILING
AS HE KISSED MY MOTHER DEAR
HIS MATES HAD ALL STOPPED MARCHING
AS THEY GAVE A MIGHTY CHEER.
I WATCHED THE TIRED SOLDIER
AS HE WALKED ALONG THE STREET
THERE WAS NO SHINE TO SEE
FROM THE WORN BOOTS ON HIS FEET
HIS UNIFORM WAS DIRTY
HIS SLOUCH HAT IN HIS HAND
MOST OF HIS MATES HAD FALLEN
NOW BURIED IN FOREIGN LANDS.
I WATCHED THE LONLEY SOLDIER
AS HE SLOWLY WALKED AWAY
I WANTED TO CALL OUT
BUT I KNEW NOT WHAT TO SAY.
I HEARD THE BUGAL PLAYING
AS THE SUN CAME UP TODAY
I WATCHED THE PEOPLE MARCHING
IN THE STREETS THIS ANZAC DAY
FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM
SO MANY YEARS AGO
LET THEM NOT BE FORGOTTEN
I MISS MY FATHER SO.
The Red Poppy
I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
I am more.
I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.
I’m paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.
I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.
Paul Hunter 2014