for Anzac day 2018 & in memory of my
grandfather who fought in the First World War


some went
as if by
to meet with
death on its
bayonet point
of hurtled metal,
some prayed at
first that it would
be ended soon
in stately rooms and
royal terms, praying
lastly that it might
simply end whatever
that would mean
while they still
found a god they
had belief enough
to pray to.
some abandonned
all memory except
the job at hand
that cost them the
night in nightmare.
they all could not
but imagine those
at home wondering
at the rage and
anguish they sent back
to them in the skies of dawn
and billowing down in
fired cloud at sunset,
who would not know what
darkness these thoughts
of home, these winds
and clouds in glow were
won from
where the ships
had left them, where
the marching in circles
had taken them, to a town
miles from where it
should be, its women
dressed in fog and
gauze, its men marked
out with fence posts
one for each one
they tried to write
home and broke
the fine tip of
word and sense
in forcing themselves
along the trenchlines
of their letters, to say
something worth
saying of the front
they wrote from,
those at home
bereft at the
mighty chords
of sunset,
something in it
yet really nothing
of the rags of
sleep those
in distant battle
tried to bind
their wounds

  april 23, 2018

Copyright ©2018 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

The music is from Arvo Pärt’s’Magnificat’ in the 1989 recording by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Paul Hillier 

2 thoughts on “sent”

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