Last week I went to the Poetry at Christmas Hills...a really enjoyable way to spend an evening after work. Great venue, really good vibe, and always some interesting poetry. And such variety.

Because this was just after Easter and the day before Anzac Day...the poetry included works with religious tones but also quite a few war poems.

I have never written about war. I know no one that has gone to war (that I'm aware of).

I remember when my son was at school they had to interview a grandparent and ask about the war....he talked to Dad. Don't recall a lot of what was said but do know that Dad was about 10 when it began and he remembers catching and eating a lot of rabbits. A child's perspective.

A friend of mine, J, was a very small child in London during the war. She remembers huge craters where buildings stood only the week before and her mother telling her not to stare at the man with the disfigured face because he 'just came back'.

But then I realised that I do have a 'war' memory. We lived in a small coastal town, and a lot of times when Dad went fishing with friends, they often brought their boats back to our place so they could be washed out. Cleaned etc.

Remember one such time. Hot day. Men, shirtless, were out the front hosing down the boat. Us kids were playing nearby when I noticed one man had this huge puckered scar on his chest. It was circular in shape, and snaked around to his back. I remember going inside and asking Mum what was the matter with him.

The war she said. War? What war? There was no war here? My child brain could not figure out what she was talking about.

It was the late sixties...I was about six at the time. Vietnam was not a place I had heard of.

An old fellow that comes into the library, often...one of those that loves a good old fashioned talk, regardless of the line of people behind him....talked about Anzac Day. Told how he went to war, not that one he said (so perhaps Vietnam, Korea?) ....how we are told not to forget.

He said he never could no matter how hard he tried.

I don't think I'm alone in not writing about war. Finding the words, any words...




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