Published in The
Herald Sun, Australia, 2011
Anzac Day at the
France. Kokoda. A cold dawn.
among the young who joined up
a bit of excitement. Poor exchange for
hard-baked earth, the mud they found,
jungleís spiteful stings. A world gone mad.
who played by Aussie Rules
back mad, blind, without their legs
hands if they came back at all.
was born to the sound of Nazi planes
bombs, in darkness now forgotten
a joy of cheering. For today I marched
with the Magpie Army
to this oval field of play, vast and green,
mark loss; to remember. Malthouseís last
My first. First Magpie game.
this year it is Easter. The bugle,
the Last Post sounds before Reveille,
the Shrine, now at the G.
then the soldiers leave. Iím
1, right by the cheer squad,
of voice like breakers on the shore -
here they come, bolts of energy
twist and duck and leap, stab-kick
stretch to send the Sherrin soaring
above our heads. Magpies and Bombers
and white and red, now marking,
colliding head to head and hip to hip,
side by side, and now confronting,
thudding like steers across a prairie
of bush and tree; only the eight posts
target, and the high ranks of spectators
scream to the tune of Dolly Grey, Piesí
etched in sore throats, a tribal cry
tribal fire to make men race, to stretch,
power a winning kick, a winning run.
now itís my voice screaming, YES!
NO and Go Harry! Wow Leon!
my life is marked; I caught the bug.
Anzac game, but like a Final. Just the day
march, remember, and, above all, to play.
in The Herald Sun, Australia
video of Hilary at the G
(listen in to
"An Ordinary Storm")
ppf shop on-line...
Poem Card -
(& in Christmas set)
"The Outshift Places"
(republished 2010), Oversteps Books;
Guildford Poets Press;
University of Otago, Dunedin;
"Harpoon the Breeze",
"Going Places - Poems and Tales",
"The Horse Might Sing",
Time Hold Its Breath",
"A Single Instinct",
Pennings Partnership Press;
to the Fact - Staying with Dying",
Jessica Kingsley Publishers;
"The Sleeping Warrior",