ANZAC DAY 2021 – Day 25

Two years in a row, April 25th:
the crowds in our small country
could not gather. One year due
to terrorism (the Christchurch
massacre:) and in Twenty Twenty,
no gatherings due to Covid- 19.

But this year, again the crowds
come out to honour
all service men and women
who have been there
for our country in war.
World War 1, World War 11,
Vietnam, Korea, Malaya,
and Afghanistan. Old wounds
are opened for ‘The Land Wars,’
once called The Maori Wars.

Red poppies are worn.
And in another beautiful
autumn April, New Zealand
along side Australia reflects
on those who serve and those
we lost. ‘We will remember them.”

Benita H. Kape (c) 26.4.2021

Notes: Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is to write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion. This past January, lots of people who usually don’t encounter poetry got a dose when Amanda Gorman read a poem at President Biden’s inauguration. And then she followed it up with a poem at the Superbowl (not traditionally an event associated with verse!) The poem you write can be for an occasion in the past or the future, one important to you and your family (a wedding, a birth) or for an occasion in the public eye (the Olympics, perhaps?).

Postcard my beloved Uncle Paul, my godfather sent from Passchendaele to my father in New Zealand and who was only eleven years at the time in 1916. – Dear Brother Benno

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ANZAC DAY – An elegy extra for April 25.4.2018

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As I publish this it is early on the morning of ANZAC and in an hour or so hundred upon thousands of people in NewZealand and Australia, as far as the peninsular in Gallipoli and later in London they will gather to remember with sadness the men and women of all the overseas wars our personnel have served in. We will remember them.

My Uncle Paul, my godfather, served and suffered but came home to us the loving man he had always been. God Bless you, my beloved  Uncle. Benno in the poem is my father.

 

Dear Brother Benno

to:  Uncle Paul

 

My father, eleven years of age at the time, Paul

was twenty-three. A postcard from France, 1916.

 

Received mail from home some time ago.

Enquires of Benno new teacher, better

than the old                                And, I say

Benno have you grown any more since I saw

you last, or are you still as small as ever. Give

my best love to Mother and Father. I remain

your loving brother.

 

A curly letter  M – addressed to Mr Benno,

squeezed beneath which he wrote. I also received

a letter from Linda. Can you tell them that.

Again no question mark appears, though all

available space is used, taking care to show only

the face he most dearly wishes his family to see.

 

Turn the postcard over and on it embroidered

 

‘Greetings from the trenches’

 

Conservation work is needed here with flimsy

fabric and cardboard lifting. But in this small

card you confirmed us in the family of ANZAC.

You remain for me a hero, the kindest of men

and of the suffering you never spoke. I often held

the hands that from the outbreak of yet another war

never ceased to shake. For how long then could you

continue at your trade of carpentry? An old man

before your time. And, when yet another war began

in 1939 Benno, by then, soldiering in the Homeguard,

because he too past a prime for warring as Paul had done

in World War One: four long years Egypt, France, Gallipoli.

 

Benita H. Kape © 27.10.2013

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