Veteran’s Day, and a short piece: “Gallipoli, 1915”

In the US it’s Veteran’s Day today, originating I believe on November 11, 1919….from the war that was supposed to end all wars, WWI.  It didn’t but people were hopeful back then.

Bill Penrose, a good friend and excellent writer, is up in Canada attending to his father-in-law who is 95 years old.  He’s doing fine, both of them,  and tells me today is Memorial Day in Canada. Old men are wearing their uniforms, or parts of them, and metals are prominent.  Bless them all.

Our only child, a son,  is in the Navy, now almost a year.  We haven’t seen him since early December, and hope he will be home for Christmas.  He’s been in Glasgow, Scotland, the last time we heard from him, and should be back in Norfolk soon.

Gallipoli was horrific enough, and I post this piece, what is called a ‘flasher’ of 200 words here in remembrance of all veterans…living and dead.

Lady Nyo

GALLIPOLI, 1915

“Are you joining up, mate?”

“Why? It’s the Brit’s war”.

“Cause Aussies are part of the empire, ‘one for all’…you know the drill”.

Both young men soon in the trenches, barely eight meters from the enemy.

“Hasim, leave off the plowing, we all go to fight the British.”

“My wheat will not be planted in time for the rains.”

“Forget the planting…leave the plowing to the women.  If you don’t go, the infidels will take your fields… Once more our country will be invaded.”

Both young men crawled into their trenches, pushing past bodies bobbing like apples in gore.

The slaughter was horrific.  New men replaced dying men. Then, within hours, they  too were dead.

The trenches filled with blood, guts, madness – a stinking circle of Hell serving all faiths, welcoming all comers.  Plenty of seating.

The Aussie mates and the Turkish farm boys didn’t last the night.  Their bodies, shoved aside by a seemingly endless supply, sank in the mud.

These were the “Founding myths” of nations, claimed with pride by politicians who never saw the muck up close or personally.

*********************************************************

Beautiful Gallipoli.

Turkish soil and streams nourished by the mixed fruit of the dead.

All Mothers, your children rest in the now gentle bosom of the land. They sleep as brothers. Your tears feed the oceans forever.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyright, 2007, 2010

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: