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Anzac Day 2018

25 April 2018
With thanks to the Australian War Memorial.

Poem: KOKODA

Twisted jungle, mud and rain, the mozzies and the Japs!

And only our ‘unhappy few’ to save our land – perhaps.

What chance had they to stop this horde? Who else was there to care?

The Ninth would come from desert sands, but just ‘our few’ were there.

Down along that dreadful ‘Track’, the unseen enemy came

In thousands, full of hate, well-trained: the Aussies stopped them, just the same.

Torn from out their peaceful land and shoved right into hell –

What could they do? What should they do? And who was there to tell?

Retreat? It wasn’t in their blood – Australians don’t give in

Tho’ clothes were hanging off them, their bodies all worn thin.

Nothing but the green wet hell! Save Moresby by the sea

Or else they’ll get our Great South Land – no more shall we be free.

No more to shout for Carlton, or cheer on old Balmain,

To sail the Brisbane river or relax in the Domain,

To catch a wave at Bondi, stand on Blue Mountain height!

“Come on boys, no matter what – we have to win this fight.”

So fight they did, up Shaggy Ridge and back along the track

Until the ‘little yellow men’ had the water at their back.

The 303, the trusty Bren, the Aussie Owen Gun,

No troops in war’s long history would ever dare to shun

The boys who saved Australia. What a job those men have done!

How sad it is to look around – now most of them have gone-

So many left to die in mud, from malaria or wounds –

But they’re not gone, they’re just ‘out there’ on God’s parading grounds

Where they ‘line up’ with the ‘angels’ who saw them through the fight –

And heal their wounds, and give them peace, no horrid dreams at night,

For their nightmares are all over, they’re all in endless day

And missing those few mates who have been asked to stay –

To stay and tell their story, if only all would listen

And do what our bold soldiers did – Oh would our country glisten

In the light they shone before us, the day that’s never over

Even when they’ve joined their Aussie mates –  the heroes of Kokoda.

By Fr John O’Neill, Parish Priest of St John Vianney Parish, Doonside. 

The Kokoda Track. Image: Wikimedia Commons

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