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POEM: Still Bravely Singing, Fly

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Inspiration hit during an ANZAC service. The title is from In Flander's Fields by John McCrae.

Also at: my journal



There's no need for storm on the battlefield,
For thunder's in every round,
With rain of shells and mortar falls,
The fog of pain's resound,
And the fierceness of each storm of fear,
Of living dead against the ground.

Some no more than ten and six,
Not one over nine,
Men from behind a poster come,
To the front, line by line,
A fight for a cause that is not their own,
Where self and country entwine.

An uncle, a brother, a father, a son,
Away while every loved one cries,
To fall on lonely and distant plains,
Each buried where he lies,
A comrade, a soldier, standing together,
Until the last man dies.

The first day passes in anxious await,
The second in determined gall,
The fifth is spent in faux-quiet brace,
Like a calm before a fall,
For you'll call yourself a lucky man,
If your tenth day passes at all.

I never saw one who had no fear,
Yet still no cowards have I known,
Never there is a step travelled safe,
But also none stepped alone,
For friends and family and land and country,
With time always on loan.

In every life that is stolen away,
Ten are planted in its place,
Crimson petals from blood-red earth,
Orphans who say "dad" with grace,
Turned to the west, the final price,
We meet with a smile on our face.

For an uncle, a brother, a father, a son,
Away while our loved ones cry,
To fall on lonely and distant plains,
Each buried where we lie,
We fought, we gave, they remember,
And we shall never die.
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