When this ruddy war is over

During the First World War, one-tenth of the Australian male population enlisted. Everyone in this country knew someone who had gone to war. Many never returned.

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He’s gone
When the wars of our nation did beckon
The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling
Proud of the trust
That he placed in our nation
He’s gone
But eternity knows him
And it knows what we’ve done
And the rain fell like pearls
On the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay
Where the earth had been dry
And deep in the trench
He waited for hours
As he held to his rifle
And prayed not to die
But the silence of night
Was shattered by fire
As the guns and grenades
Blasted sharp through the air
One after another
His comrades were slaughtered
In the morgue of marines
Alone, standing there
He crouched ever lower
Ever lower, with fear
They can’t let me die
They can’t let me die here
I’ll cover myself
With the mud and the earth
I’ll cover myself
I know I’m not brave
The earth, the earth
The earth is my grave
The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He’s gone
We have learned nothing in the past 100 years. One day when women are in power, we may not send our beautiful youth to fight in senseless wars.

Imagine

67 years ago today American soldiers dropped ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki, having dropped ‘Little Boy’ from Enola Gay on the city of Hiroshima three days before. Approximately 250,000 people were killed by the two bombs. Truman said at the time,”the United States and its allies had spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history-and won.”  The Hibakusha, (literally explosion-affected people) now number over 600, 000, living and dead.

A few months after the bombs dropped, my dad was stationed in Japan and visited Hiroshima with other reporters, a cartoonist and photographers. My dad and his friends all contracted some form of cancer in the years since.

67 years later the world is still fighting for peace. Have we learnt nothing?


Anzac Day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them


9/11

There are so many words that can be said about today, but as I watch the footage from the memorial in New York I weep as I look at the faces of the 9 year olds who will never know their fathers.