Sunday, March 20, 2011

trying out a poem on you

This is a poem i have been playing with for anzac day - for my north american friends, Anzac day is the day we commemorate the New Zealand and Australian troops who died in the wars we have participated in - Anzac biscuits were chewy oaty peices of goodness made for their longevity in World War 1.

The first part of the poem (before the letter) is supposed to be crossed out but i can't make that work here so please see lines through it all...

The Anzac biscuits.

The day they arrived was the day the cracks in my feet began to weep.
The smell of rot broke through the smell of the mud
And the munitions,
And the blood.

Holding the package in my hand
was like unwrapping a treasure from ancient Egypt.
They were from a time and place so far from me.
A time hard to believe in.

I wanted to be careful,
To savour the moment,
To listen to the whispers of your hands
that had held this paper.
Tied this string.
Written the address.
The hands I long to be touched by,
Soothed by,
Magically healed of all this horror
and desperation
and misery by.

But I was hungry
So very very hungry.
With the eyes of all the blokes on me,
shouting silently “Get a bloody move on.”
I tore it open.

And they were gone.
Those golden, chewy pieces of home.
In a shower of crumbs and desperation,
They were gone.

And now I realise, they smelt like paddocks of fresians,
Like pipis on a beach fire,
Like fantail flicking in the tea tree,
Like fresh warm cream on porridge,
Like the inside of the Four Square,
Like coming in at 5 and smelling dinner on the table as I walk up the path, past the freesias and the roses.

But they are gone.
Like so many of us from God’s own country in this Godforsaken place,


Don’t send them.

My Bunk
Dear Glor,

All quiet at the moment so I can write you a quick note.

Oh love the biscuits were beaut. The boys and I loved them. Glad to see your cooking is still up to scratch. We will be so fit when we come back that you will be baking lots next rugby season.

Give the kids a kiss from me and tell the girls to stop growing so fast.

Lots of love


  1. I could feel and taste, see and hear every word. Amazing. You're a word Artist.

  2. Wow. This brought tears to my eyes. I ditto what Mollie said above.


  3. falling flat on the floor...........
    loved this.......

  4. thank you my lovelies - i have sent it into a poetry competition run by Auckland Museum to celebrate Anzac day - if it is chosen you get to read it out (no friggin way my voice just would get too teary and wobbly) or negotiate to have someone read it out for me....i will let you know if it gets chosen

  5. I'm positive it'll get chosen, faerian :)