Tuesday Poem

Mentioned in dispatches of the Dead
{for Bob Lasseter & Tony Prentice}

In the graves of Italy
you heard the wind say
“Today is not your day” –
but when he fell at Senio
and you left him where he lay
like all of Rome’s invaders

you heard the future pray
as if a wind blew the bad
news: mentioned in dispatches
of the dead. Today your sons
will bury you and where
the folded ensign lies you
will not care. Old age, sea

salt, those nuclear rays: we’ll never
know what got you in the end. Go and
greet your comrades where the same
wind sings: “Your precious days
Are run”. Join them where the bones
of men parade, Italian mud, New
Zealand clay. The circle of the earth

is knitting bone to bone as the black veils
cry: “E te hunga mate – moe mai, moe mai!”.

Tuesday Poem

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About paparoa

Writer and researcher.
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2 Responses to Tuesday Poem

  1. Helen Lowe says:

    I like this Jeffrey, the way it catches that ANZAC feeling, also something of impermanence, and the futility of war but not of the person’s life.

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