REQUIEM in a SMALL TOWN

Reads: 291  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Viet Nam War poetry. Written for an Australian-speaking audience.

Submitted: November 19, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 19, 2007

A A A

A A A


REQUIEM in a SMALL TOWN[No. 5713739, 5/RAR]

 

City fringed patchwork of flock, forest, field and herd,

luxuriously arid land,

painted in eucalypt and gibber.

In stubbled fields begging rain –

soils compacted by tractors –

coffin ranked rows of drying hay bales laude and honour our

sons, husbands, brothers, friends.

 

Stubbled in ‘Nam,

lie they now on our

compacted hearts – begging remembrance.

Begging –

but our austral parks and ageing cenotaphs

subscribe to colonial virtues – Lest We Forget.

 

Lest We Forget –

Imperial lies and Anglophile stones

with no space allowed for our disowned dead.

 

Forget? –

Cuneiform holes, sandbagged, sour with their sweat.

Forget? –

Smouldering flesh begging body bags.

 

Lest We Forget –

those jackeroo statesmen who mustered, knackered

and consumed our generation in their pride.

Lest We Forget –

That in our protests we proclaimed them “Anathema” to us.

To us –

safe in the Dreamtime of our distant and callous rhetoric.

 

Coffin ranked lay they now

in our stubbled and compacted memories –

begging acceptance.

More than park or monument seek they

in this luxuriously arid land.

 

 

 

 

* * * *

 

© J. Gagiikwe 1968

 

[Lance Corporal Marenko “Tich” Thomas, No. 5713739, 5th Battalion/Royal Australian Regiment. KIA: July 8, 1966, age 21. Born in Yugoslavia, raised in Nannup Shire. Western Australia’s first Viet Nam War National Service KIA. Buried in Nannup Cemetery, local park named after him]


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply