In the spirit of honesty, I wrote this poem on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2018.

World War One: that great war, the war to end all wars. The Second World War: Never again. And then of course came Malaysia, Korea, Borneo, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, ISIL – call them crises, troubles, confrontations, emergencies…and these are just some of the ‘situations’ New Zealand been involved in.

And today there are roughly 40 wars currently underway, the unprovoked Russian/Putin invasion of Ukraine is the most prominently covered.

For all our genius inventions and advancements we still can’t settle disputes without sending generations of men and women to their deaths. And after thousands of years of practicing ‘the art of war’ we still don’t know how to help the survivors, the veterans when they come home.


A perfectly glorious day 

to remember the futility 

to remember the horrors of war 

To unpack the “why and what for?” 

Were you saving civility? 

Defending the honour of king and country? 

Simply because a blood-lined elite 

Couldn’t accept a no? 

Innocence lost 

Forever gone 

In a single bugle call 

You tried to survive 

The blood and the mud 

Watching those around you fall. 

Your bravery and heroic deeds 

Now coded in our national DNA 

All those moments of life taken away 

Your name is now forgotten 

But you are always remembered. 

For the Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Photo by Pixabay on

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