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‘The Landing Poem’ by – Jim Smailes

March 14th, 2008 jen Posted in Australian Poems, Poetry Comments Off on ‘The Landing Poem’ by – Jim Smailes

In his book 'The Double Reds of Timor' Archie Campbell (Australian soldier WW2 in East Timor) describes how on 16th December 1941, the bugle sounded action stations. The 'Sparrow Force' (2/2nd Independent Company) rushed ashore with bayonets fixed wondering why they were invading East Timor. more..Archie Campbell's story.

We saddled up with loaded packs

and rowed towards the shore,

To make history at that landing

and be remembered evermore. We raced ashore with bayonets fixed

and charged the aerodrome,

While our thoughts went back to childhood days

and those we left at home,

And of how Australia's name was won

upon the land and sea,

Sure Dili 'drome must take its place

Beside Gallipoli!

There's not a man be he young or old

will wish me to repeat,

Just how we took the Dili drome

and Dili street by street;

I'd rather leave those tales untold,

for other tongues to tell,

And all I'll say when I write home is,

"Folks I'm safe and well."

We've upheld Australia's honour Mum,

and England shall be free,

Thank God we've got a Navy

and the Second AIC".

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Pinocchio Hymn to the Dead

March 4th, 2008 jen Posted in Australian Poems, Poetry 1 Comment »

The first 'Company' of the Australian army to enter Timor in WW2 were known as 'The Double Reds' and 'Sparrow Force'. When one of the members of 'Sparrow Force' - Archie Campbell, wrote his memoirs he titled the book 'The Double Reds of Timor'. This is a poem someone in the Sparrow force wrote and titled Pinocchio - Hymn To The Dead that was published in 'The Double Reds of Timor'.
Stand to your glasses steady, This world is a world of lies, Here's a toast to the dead already, And here's to the next man to die.
Pinocchio was the nickname of one of the Double Reds who was the first to die, on the 20th February 1942. Pinocchio is the title of an English moral tale about truth telling, whose chief character carries the same name. Pinnochio has a long nose that grows every time he tells a lie.
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Silence

February 8th, 2008 jen Posted in Australian Poems, Lee Kirk, Poetry 4 Comments »

Lee sent me this poem 'Silence' by Nola Gregory by email today. I asked her where she got it. Then I noticed an email from our mutual friend Ergilio Vicente asking me to go to his Zorpia site where he had posted a photo of himself and this poem. I think he relates to it very strongly. I am hoping a Timorese friend will translate this into Tetun for us? Perhaps Gil will. I will ask him. Jen Read the rest of this entry »
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Bones – written by Jen Hughes April, 2000

November 22nd, 2007 jen Posted in Australian Poems, Poetry 1 Comment »

I wrote this poem in 2000. I rang the East Timor Human Rights Centre to make an appointment. Ana Noronha told me that they were compiling a register of names of people who died and who were missing. She also told me that women in East Timor were picking up bones from the ground and secreting them in tais (the traditional cloth of East Timor), until they could conduct remembrance ceremonies with dignity. I was moved to write Bones (Ruin).
I have learned that though few of us are poets, when circumstances in life move us very deeply, the need to speak from the heart can become overwhelming and often it comes in poetic form. This was one of those moments for me. Read the rest of this entry »
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