Monday, April 30, 2012

You Never Talked of The War


 On ANZAC Day
we’d drive to Auckland,
wearing red paper poppies,
you, your row of glowing medals,
me, with fresh Brasso remains
still under my finger nails.
We attended the service,
sang ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’
choked up for The Last Post
and left our poppies
next to the wreathes.
And afterwards, lunch,
then hide and seek
around the tables and chairs
with nameless children
seen just once a year
while you reminisced
with the 22nd Battalion boys
and the wives chatted.


But you never talked of the war,
not at home
not to us.


When I did my OE
I got a letter in reply
to my stories of Italy
asking, “What did you see at Casino?
You DID go to Casino?”
and I replied, “We haven’t
got enough money
to be gambling.”
The sharp response came,
“Not A casino, Casino!
You did go there?”
But we had simply driven past,
not stopped to reflect
on how you killed and
came close to death
yourself, and in fact how
something in you
had indeed died
in that battle.


You had never talked of war,
not at home
not to us.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

There Is No Doubt Now


March has gone, taking its equinox with it.
The garden has gone to seed.
The bees have offered up their harvest.
The chestnuts are gathered and stored.

There’s no doubt now

The dark days are upon me.
This year, no escape to northern lands
where the sun stays in the sky
for almost all the day,
and the heavens are never completely dark.

There’s no doubt now

The dark beast is out there,
waiting, hoping, I’ll forget for a moment
when the sun shines briefly,
pretending there’s still a day, or two, of summer.
Waiting, hoping that I’ll leave a door ajar
a window not quite clipped shut.

There is no doubt now.

I am afraid.
I have spent two years
gluing mySelf back together.
The cracks are visible, the joins ugly,
and some slivers are still missing,
lost to the darkness forever

There is no doubt now

I’m hanging on to every last bit of light,
but I am filled with fear
of the descending darkness
which permeates every crack in mySelf

There is no doubt now.

The only slim chance to win through
is to dance with the darkness.




This year I have been feeling the dark draw in on me ever since the equinox. I don't know if it's real or if it's fear of a possible return to that disintegration of my Self. I have ordered a 'happy light' - hope it gets here soon, and works the way it's meant to.