Poetry, by and about the
Diggers in all their wars.
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up all your bags and kit,
Puckapunyal's' up to shit,
Stew for breakfast,
Stew for tea,
No more bloody stew for me,
to the tune of Bye Bye Blackbird..c.1942
No more hiking over bloody mountains,
We'll be drinking nice cold beer from fountains.
No more blanco, no more brass,
You can stick them up your arse,
A popular WW1 ditty
- Many times on a foreign shore
- There came an Aussie and then
- They came in groups and then
- And there they died, I’ve
seen their graves.
- They saw their duty, they
heard the call
- Many would go and many would
- Renowned for being a carefree
- They left their footprints in
a far-off land.
- Far from their families and
gold of the wattle,
- No song of the bellbirds,
just noise of a battle.
- And those that came home
carry ghosts in their eyes,
- The world’s saddest music,
"The Last Post" brings sighs.
- But with the beat of a drum, old
diggers stand tall
- And talk to the children, too
young for the call.
- "Take care of our
country - don’t leave it to the few,
- Be vigilant always, we did it
- A new generation has now gone
- And our thoughts are with
them on that dusty shore.
- When bullets are flying and bombs
- We know you’ll have courage
and you’ll do us proud.
- When the conflict is over and
you’re home with your friends
- You’ll live in our hearts
long after it ends.
- Stand tall like the diggers
who’ve all gone before
- Who’ve all had the courage
to face up to war.
On a wall outside the Sari Club
Bali, after the terrorist bombing
Spirit of Oz
- You hurt us bombing Bali, we we can
take the pain
- But if you think you'll beat us
you can think a-bloody-gain
- We battled at Gallipoli and we
fought the bloody Hun,
- of all the arse-holes we've had
to face you're just another one
- You won't get your hands dirty, you
won't fire a gun,
- Whenever danger threatens you
just pack your bags and run
- You brainwash innocent children
to do your evil deeds
- careful not to let them know just
where it really leads
- You get them to believe all your
bigotry and lying
- Until they cannot see there's no
glory in their dying.
- Now, we'd like to pose a
question, answer if you can,
- Where does your holy book tell
you to kill your fellow man?
- Now listen hard and listen well,
we're giving you the word
- You're never going to beat us,
you spineless bloody turd
- You'd never face us personally,
you haven't got the guts
- You know that if you ever did,
we'd have your bloody nuts.
- Our spirit is unbroken, and our heads
are still unbowed
- We sure as hell aren't scared of
you and your gutless crowd
- So...get you act
together...you'll never win because
- What you're really up against is
The Spirit That Is Oz!
for a Veteran
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
Antoine de Saint Expury
The soldier is not a man of violence.
He carries arms and risks his life
for mistakes not of his making.
He has the merit of being unflinchingly
true to his word, to the end,
while knowing that he will be forgotten.
Green And Gold
Malaria By Rupert McCall
The day would soon arrive when I could
not ignore the rash
I was obviously ill so I called on Doctor Nash
This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate
I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight
'Doc, I wonder if you might explain
this allergy of mine
I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine
From there across my body it will suddenly extend -
My neck will feel a shiver and my hairs will stand on end
And then there is a symptom that a man
can only fear
A choking in the throat and a crying of a tear
Well, the doctor scratched his melon with a rather worried look
His furrowed brow suggested that the news to come was crook
'What is it Doc", I motioned
"have I got a rare disease?"
"I'm man enough to cop it so give it to me please"
I'm not to sure, he answered in a puzzled kind of way
You've got some kind of fever, but it's hard for me to say
When is it that you feel this most
I thought for a moment, then I gave him my position
I get it when I'm standing at an ANZAC Day parade
I get it when the anthem of our native land is played
And I get it when Meninga makes a Kiwi
And when Border grits his teeth to score a really gutsy ton
I got it back in '91 when Farr-Jones held the cup
And I got it when Japan was stormed by Better Loosen Up
I get it when the banjo takes me down
the Snowy River
And Matilda sends me waltzing with a billy boiling shiver
It hit me hard when Sydney was awarded with the games
And I get it when I see our farmers fighting for their names
It flattened me when Bertrand raised
the boxing kangaroo
And when Perkins smashed the record, well, the rashes were true blue
So, tell me Doc, I questioned Am I really gonna die?
He broke into a smile before he looked me in the eye
As he fumbled with his stethoscope and
pushed it out of reach
he wiped away a tear and gave this stirring speech
From the beaches here in Queensland, to the sweeping shores of Broome
On the harbour banks of Sydney with the Waratahs in bloom
From Uluru at sunset to the mighty
In the Adelaide cathedrals, at the roaring MCG
From the Great Australian Bight up to
the Gulf of Carpentaria
The Medical Profession call it "Green and Gold Malaria
But forget about the textbooks, son, the truth I shouldn't hide
The rash you've contracted here is 'good old Aussie pride'
I'm afraid that you were born with it and one thing is for sure -
You'll die with it, young man, for there isn't any cure.
I've traveled down
some lonely roads
tracks and straight
learned life’s noblest creed
Summed up in
one word MATE!
And thinking back
across the years
A thing I do a
lot of, of late
sticks between me ears
You've got to
have a MATE!
Me mind goes back
You would slip and
slither through the mud
and curse Your
hear a quiet word
your bundle MATE
all so long ago
If there’s a
life that follows this
And so to all that
ask us why
|What kind of man was this
Of brawn and baulk as solid as the earth
With his grip of steel and hoop iron girth
He and his team they proved their worth
Over and Over
Where did he come from, this driver?
Turned from the plough,
and summer days of gathering hay
Or was it a city brewer's dray?
To this his nation's debt to pay
Over and Over
What did he do this driver?
He came to fight the war
for king and country, so he said
And having said with nought to dread
Over and Over
Where is he now, this driver?
for both his team and he are long since gone
It's true, but now, since armies still march on
He passed the load to me, his son.
Grandpa, What Did You Do In
mowing the lawn and pulling some weeds, and slipped inside for a
I picked up the paper and turned on the news, not paying attention to
When my grandson came in with a look on his face and a question that hit
me full bore
An innocent question, no intention to hurt, “Grandpa, what did you do
in the war”?
My skin went
all creepy, I had sweat on my brow, my mind shot back fifty years
To bullets that thudded and whined all around, to terror, to nightmares,
I was crawling through mud, I was shooting at men, tried to kill them
before they killed me
Men who had wives and children at home, just like mine, just like my
you do in the war?” he had asked, a question not meant to cause pain
But it brought back the horrors I’d left far behind in a deep dark
recess of my brain
I remembered the bombs being dropped from the planes, the explosions,
the screams, and the loss
Of a friend - or an enemy - but a life just the same, replaced by a
small wooden cross.
attacked me of tramping through jungles, hot and stinking, with leeches
Of orders that seemed to make no sense at all - of distrust, of
suspicions, of lies
I lived once again all those terrible storms, the dysentery, fever, the
The blisters that lived with me month after month, all those blunders,
and costly mistakes.
could I tell the boy all about that, ’Twould be better if he didn’t
It’s a part of my life that I don’t talk about from a good half a
So I gulped, took a breath and tried to sound calm, and bid him to sit
at my side
Then opened my mouth to say a few words, but the tears welled up and I
to me with a look of concern, and I mumbled of feeling unwell
Then took hold of myself, blew hard on my nose, while I thought of some
tales I could tell
“What did I do in the war,” I began, then the stories began tumbling
And they flowed with such ease I felt better again, and got over my pain
and my doubt.
I told him
of how I had made many friends, how I’d trained and had gone overseas
Made a joke of how seasick I’d been on the way, almost dirtied myself
when I’d sneezed
I told of the joy of the letters from home, of the hand-knitted socks
and the cake
That I got for my birthday but three weeks too late ’cause it went
somewhere else by mistake.
about mateship and what it had meant to trust someone else with your
And of when I came home to my family again, to my kids, Mum and Dad, and
Of the crowd on the wharf, the bands, and the pomp, and the pride I felt
in the parade
But I’m not ashamed that I hood-winked the boy, a decision I’m glad
that I made.
He can grow
up without seeing fear in my eyes, or know of the terror I knew
For he’d not understand - and neither he should - all those memories
that hit me anew
But maybe some day when he’s older than now, I will tell him what war
did to me
But with luck he won’t ask me ever again, about wars that never should
The Final Inspection
Dedicated to all that served........
|The soldier stood and
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.
Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?
The soldier squared his shoulders
said, No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough;
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got to steep.
And I never passed a cry for help;
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had to much;
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly
For the judgment of his God.
Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets;
You've done your time in Hell.
A Soldier Died Today
by Larry Vaincourt
He was getting old and paunchy and
his hair was falling fast,
and he sat around the RSL telling stories of the past,
of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done
in his exploits with his cobbers; they were heroes everyone.
And tho' sometimes to his
neighbours, his tales became a joke,
all his Digger mates, they listened, for they knew where of he
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away...
and the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many,
just his children and his wife,
for he lived an ordinary and quietly uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
and the world won't note his passing, 'though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were
Papers tell their whole life stories from the time that they were
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to
the welfare of our land,
a guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician's stipend and the
style in which he lives,
are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offers up his all,
is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It is so easy to forget them, for
it was so long ago.
That the old " Bills " of our Country went to battle but
it wasn't the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger
with your enemies at hand,
would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier who has sworn to defend...
His home, His Kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and
his ranks are growing thin
but his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part,
is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot grant him
honour while he's here to hear the praise,
then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper it could say,
Our country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.