Category Archives: anti-war

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Thinking of London


We are led by a killer!


Our temporary Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has taken off his mask.
 
He isn’t the sweet, cuddly person we all believed him to be when he took over from the incompetent madman Abbott.
 
At the Avalon Airshow he has been loudly talking about how his minions – I mean his service men – are going to KILL PEOPLE efficiently and with less risk to themselves.
 
Not preparing to defend ourselves against invaders but on foreign soil.
 
Big Guy! Good loving Christian. Attack and KILL the terrorists overseas, create more refugees and warehouse them on offshore islands until they DIE!
 
Malcolm Turnbull wants to KILL people both coming and going!
 
We are being led by a KILLER!
 
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Shakespeare on Refugees


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ANZAC Day


April 25th is the day Australia remembers the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in conflicts around the world.

This was the date in 1915 that the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign began in Turkey. Soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed, at dawn, on the beach to be met by withering fire from the Turkish defenders under the command of Kemal Ataturk. By the end of the year the Allied forces evacuated and the ANZACs were moved to France.

Lest We Forget.

My Great-Uncle; Edward Russell Bates (Pte, 28th Batt), born 1887, Auckland, New Zealand, KIA, Albert, France, 1st June, 1918, leaving a wife and child.

The Brother-in-Law of a Great Great Aunt; Thomas John Marr Todd (Lt. Colonel, 10th Light Horse, CMG, DSO & Bar) born 2 Mar 1873, Christchurch, NZ, Died of sickness, 23 Jan 1919, Cairo, Egypt, unmarried.

Thanks to Buff for finding the following. I admit to some tears when I read it. There is tragedy in loss in war which is compounded when there is no one left to remember.

The Anzac on the Wall

I wandered thru a country town ‘cos I had time to spare,
And went into an antique shop to see what was in there.
Old Bikes and pumps and kero lamps, but hidden by it all,
A photo of a soldier boy – an Anzac on the Wall.

‘The Anzac have a name?’ I asked. The old man answered ‘No,
The ones who could have told me, mate, have passed on long ago.
The old man kept on talking and, according to his tale,
The photo was unwanted junk bought from a clearance sale.

‘I asked around,’ the old man said, ‘but no one knows his face,
He’s been on that wall twenty years, deserves a better place.
For some one must have loved him so, it seems a shame somehow.’
I nodded in agreement and then said, ‘I’ll take him now.’

My nameless digger’s photo, well it was a sorry sight
A cracked glass pane and a broken frame – I had to make it right
To prise the photo from its frame I took care just in case,
‘Cause only sticky paper held the cardboard back in place.

I peeled away the faded screed and much to my surprise,
Two letters and a telegram appeared before my eyes
The first reveals my Anzac’s name, and regiment of course
John Mathew Francis Stuart – of Australia’s own Light Horse.

This letter written from the front, my interest now was keen
This note was dated August seventh 1917
‘Dear Mum, I’m at Khalasa Springs not far from the Red Sea
They say it’s in the Bible – looks like Billabong to me.

‘My Kathy wrote I’m in her prayers she’s still my bride to be
I just cant wait to see you both you’re all the world to me
And Mum you’ll soon meet Bluey, last month they shipped him out
I told him to call on you when he’s up and about.’

‘That Bluey is a larrikin, and we all thought it funny
He lobbed a Turkish hand grenade into the Co’s dunny.
I told you how he dragged me wounded in from no man’s land
He stopped the bleeding closed the wound with only his bare hand.’

‘Then he copped it at the front from some stray shrapnel blast
It was my turn to drag him in and I thought he wouldn’t last
He woke up in hospital, and nearly lost his mind
Cause out there on the battlefield he’d left one leg behind.’

‘He’s been in a bad way mum, he knows he’ll ride no more
Like me he loves a horse’s back he was a champ before.
So Please Mum can you take him in, he’s been like my brother
Raised in a Queensland orphanage he’ s never known a mother.’

But Struth, I miss Australia mum, and in my mind each day
I am a mountain cattleman on high plains far away
I’m mustering white-faced cattle, with no camel’s hump in sight
And I waltz my Matilda by a campfire every night

I wonder who rides Billy, I heard the pub burnt down
I’ll always love you and please say hooroo to all in town’.
The second letter I could see was in a lady’s hand
An answer to her soldier son there in a foreign land

Her copperplate was perfect, the pages neat and clean
It bore the date November 3rd 1917.
‘T’was hard enough to lose your Dad, without you at the war
I’d hoped you would be home by now – each day I miss you more’

‘Your Kathy calls around a lot since you have been away
To share with me her hopes and dreams about your wedding day
And Bluey has arrived – and what a godsend he has been
We talked and laughed for days about the things you’ve done and seen’

‘He really is a comfort, and works hard around the farm,
I read the same hope in his eyes that you wont come to harm.
McConnell’s kids rode Billy, but suddenly that changed
We had a violent lightning storm, and it was really strange.’

‘Last Wednesday just on midnight, not a single cloud in sight
It raged for several minutes, it gave us all a fright
It really spooked your Billy – and he screamed and bucked and reared
And then he rushed the slip rail fence, which by a foot he cleared’

‘They brought him back next afternoon, but something’s changed I fear
It’s like the day you brought him home, for no one can get near
Remember when you caught him with his black and flowing mane?
Now horse breakers fear the beast that only you can tame,’

‘That’s why we need you home son’ – then the flow of ink went dry-
This letter was unfinished, and I couldn’t work out why.
Until I started reading the letter number three
A yellow telegram delivered news of tragedy

Her son killed in action – oh – what pain that must have been
The same date as her letter – 3rd November ’17
This letter which was never sent, became then one of three
She sealed behind the photo’s face – the face she longed to see.

And John’s home town’s old timers – children when he went to war
Would say no greater cattleman had left the town before.
They knew his widowed mother well – and with respect did tell
How when she lost her only boy she lost her mind as well.

She could not face the awful truth, to strangers she would speak
‘My Johnny’s at the war you know, he’s coming home next week.’
They all remembered Bluey he stayed on to the end
A younger man with wooden leg became her closest friend

And he would go and find her when she wandered old and weak
And always softly say ‘yes dear – John will be home next week.’
Then when she died Bluey moved on, to Queensland some did say
I tried to find out where he went, but don’t know to this day

And Kathy never wed – a lonely spinster some found odd
She wouldn’t set foot in a church – she’d turned her back on God
John’s mother left no will I learned on my detective trail
This explains my photo’s journey, that clearance sale

So I continued digging cause I wanted to know more
I found John’s name with thousands in the records of the war
His last ride proved his courage – a ride you will acclaim
The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba of everlasting fame

That last day in October back in 1917
At 4pm our brave boys fell – that sad fact I did glean
That’s when John’s life was sacrificed, the record’s crystal clear
But 4pm in Beersheba is midnight over here…….

So as John’s gallant sprit rose to cross the great divide
Were lightning bolts back home a signal from the other side?
Is that why Billy bolted and went racing as in pain?
Because he’d never feel his master on his back again?

Was it coincidental? same time – same day – same date?
Some proof of numerology, or just a quirk of fate?
I think it’s more than that, you know, as I’ve heard wiser men,
Acknowledge there are many things that go beyond our ken

Where craggy peaks guard secrets neath dark skies torn asunder
Where hoofbeats are companions to the rolling waves of thunder
Where lightning cracks like 303’s and ricochets again
Where howling moaning gusts of wind sound just like dying men.

Some Mountain cattlemen have sworn on lonely alpine track
They’ve glimpsed a huge black stallion – Light Horseman on his back.
Yes sceptics say, it’s swirling clouds just forming apparitions
Oh no, my friend you cant dismiss all this as superstition

The desert of Beersheba – or windswept Aussie range
John Stuart rides forever there – Now I don’t find that strange.
Now some gaze at this photo, and they often question me
And I tell them a small white lie, and say he’s family.
‘You must be proud of him.’ they say – I tell them, one and all,
That’s why he takes the pride of place – my Anzac on the Wall.


‘The Anzac on the Wall’ was written as performance poetry by Jim Brown of Victoria. He won 1st place for ‘original performance’ of this poem at the 2005 Victorian Bush Poetry Championships.
While John Stuart was fictional, there was nothing fictional about the Light Horse Charge at Beersheba.

YOUR THOUGHT AND MINE


One of my favourite poets is Kahlil Gibran. Known best for his distillation of wisdom, “The Prophet”, he wrote a lot more which is not as widely read.

Like all good poets, there is a touch of prophecy in his writings.

Writing in the time of Mussolini and Franco and Hitler, in this piece I find prescient echoes of Bush and Blair, Howard and Putin, Abbott and Mugabe

And I know it doesn’t rhyme.

YOUR THOUGHT AND MINE

Your thought is a tree rooted deep in the soil of tradition and whose branches grow in the power of continuity. My thought is a cloud moving in the space. It turns into drops which, as they fall, form a brook that sings its way into the sea. Then it rises as vapour into the sky.

Your thought is a fortress that neither gale nor the lightning can shake. My thought is a tender leaf that sways in every direction and finds pleasure in its swaying.

Your thought is an ancient dogma that cannot change you nor can you change it. My thought is new, and it tests me and I test it morn and eve.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought allows you to believe in the unequal contest of the strong against the weak, and in the tricking of the simple by the subtle ones. My thought creates in me the desire to till the earth with my hoe, and harvest the crops with my sickle, and build my home with stones and mortar, and weave my raiment with woollen and linen threads.

Your thought urges you to marry wealth and notability. Mine commends self-reliance.

Your thought advocates fame and show. Mine counsels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of eternity.

Your thought instils in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence.

Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels, and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thought speaks softly in my ears, “Be clean in body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head.”

Your thought makes you aspire to titles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble service.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought is social science, a religious and political dictionary. Mine is simple axiom.

Your thought speaks of the beautiful woman, the ugly, the virtuous, the prostitute, the intelligent, and the stupid. Mine sees in every woman a mother, a sister, or a daughter of every man.

The subjects of your thought are thieves, criminals, and assassins. Mine declares that thieves are the creatures of monopoly, criminals are the offspring of tyrants, and assassins are akin to the slain.

Your thought describes laws, courts, judges, punishments. Mine explains that when man makes a law, he either violates it or obeys it. If there is a basic law, we are all one before it. He who disdains the mean is himself mean. He who vaunts his scorn of the sinful vaunts his disdain of all humanity.

Your thought concerns the skilled, the artist, the intellectual, the philosopher, the priest. Mine speaks of the loving and the affectionate, the sincere, the honest, the forthright, the kindly, and the martyr.

Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being.

In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.

You have your thought and I have mine.

According to your thought, the greatness of nations lies in their politics, their parties, their conferences, their alliances and treaties. But mine proclaims that the importance of nations lies in work – work in the field, work in the vineyards, work with the loom, work in the tannery, work in the quarry, work in the timberyard, work in the office and in the press.

Your thought holds that the glory of the nations is in their heroes. It sings the praises of Rameses, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon. But mine claims that the real heroes are Confucius, Lao-Tse, Socrates, Plato, Abi Taleb, El Gazali, Jalal Ed-din-el Roumy, Copernicus, and Pasteur.

Your thought sees power in armies, cannons, battleships, submarines, aeroplanes, and poison gas. But mine asserts that power lies in reason, resolution, and truth. No matter how long the tyrant endures, he will be the loser at the end.

Your thought differentiates between pragmatist and idealist, between the part and the whole, between the mystic and materialist. Mine realizes that life is one and its weights, measures and tables do not coincide with your weights, measures and tables. He whom you suppose an idealist may be a practical man.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought is interested in ruins and museums, mummies and petrified objects. But mine hovers in the ever-renewed haze and clouds.

Your thought is enthroned on skulls. Since you take pride in it, you glorify it too. My thought wanders in the obscure and distant valleys.

Your thought trumpets while you dance. Mine prefers the anguish of death to your music and dancing.

Your thought is the thought of gossip and false pleasure. Mine is the thought of him who is lost in his own country, of the alien in his own nation, of the solitary among his kinfolk and friends.

You have your thought and I have mine.

A Parable


And it came to pass that Jenny wondered why there were two sets of footprints at the beginning and only one set at the end of the walk.
And Jesus saith unto Jenny, My Father knew there would be great challenges for His followers from outside the Faith.
So he created sects and divisions within His Church so they could practice and perfect war upon each other before they met those others.
And so they did, Jenny.
So much so that that My Christian followers, the People of Peace and My Salvation became the best warriors on My Planet, Earth And now none can now withstand them.
For this is the lesson of the footprints..
I, and my Followers, always fire first and never miss!
Farewell, Jenny

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The Peacelike Mongoose


Some decades ago there was a writer named James Thurber.
He wrote many very wise words.
I think he foresaw the 21st Century.

IN cobra country a mongoose was borne one day who didn’t want to fight cobras or anything else. The word spread from mongoose to mongoose that there was a mongoose who didn’t want to fight cobras. If he didn’t want to fight anything else, it was his own business, but it was the duty of every mongoose to kill cobras or be killed by cobras.

‘Why?’ asked the peacelike mongoose, and the word went around that the strange new  mongoose was not only pro-cobra and anti-mongoose but intellectually curious and against the ideals and traditions of mongoosism.

‘He is crazy,’ cried the young mongoose’s father.

‘He is sick,’ said his mother.

‘He is a coward,’ shouted his brothers.

‘He is a mongoosexual,’  whispered his sisters.

Strangers who had never laid eyes on the peacelike mongoose remembered that they had  seen him crawling on his stomach, or trying  on Cobra hoods, or plotting the violent overthrow of Mongoosia.

‘I am trying to use is reason and intelligence,’ said the strange new mongoose.

‘Reason is six-sevenths of treason,’ said one of his neighbours.

‘Intelligence is what the enemy uses,” said another.

Finally, the rumour spread that the mongoose had venom in his sting, like a cobra, and he was tried, convicted by a show of paws, and condemned to banishment.

MORAL;
Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay,
if the enemy doesn’t get you your own folks may