Winifred Weir, ‘Gallipoli’


Dead quiet  we head towards the beach
jump out of the tows  dragged down
by our kits  pinned down by bursting shells
men dropping in the water  on the sand
Jackie shot in the head  his brain spilled out

How we made it up that rough scrubby cliffside
I could never say

In the thick of it
gritted-in now crammed together    fleas ’n lice
the smack of bullets  blood gurgling in a mate’s throat

I’m 25 today  a right crook birthday
this poor bastard propped up beside me
’n swarms of flies mobbing my mouth ’n eyes  my pannikin

Their snipers are crack on  hide themselves in bushes
pick us off from anywhere  three nights I haven’t slept

And when it grows dark you hear the wounded

I take myself home to the bush  to my time
working the pit   those days at Aberdare
and Vince  his saunter  his laugh
dancing in shellfire  dropping like a stone

Their shrapnel plays hell
stretcher bearers are out there now
gathering remnants


We go over first in the morning

from  Walking on Ashes   by Winifred Weir

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