Armistice Day, Australian poet, Australian traditional poetry, Bush Poetry, poem, poetry, World War 1, world wars
Two farm boys leave their families – their farms;
For each thinks it is right to take up arms.
Two boys, so much alike yet now at odds;
They’ve worked the cattle – sown the tumbled sods,
And harvested the golden fields of grain.
They’ve cursed the floods, and prayed to God for rain.
But now across a blasted shell-ploughed field
They face each other, and one’s fate is sealed.
Had they been neighbours they’d have been best friends,
But such is war – and so the story ends:
Just for a moment one raises his head;
The other aims and fires and shoots him dead.
War is such a tragedy and you’ve pointed to one of the ironies. It was even worse in the United States in the Civil War when men were even closer, but went to different sides, fought against one another, and killed each other.
Dennis N. O'Brien said:
Yes, that was, in many ways, a futile war, but not all wars are futile – if you are attacked you have to fight back – or at least, someone has to.
Eric Alagan said:
Your poem reminded me of the First World War – but is apt for any conflict I suppose.
Self defence is a right. Even the one in the wrong thinks he is right or led to think he is right.
Problem is, each has his own definition of right.
Therein lies the setup for conflict.