Anzac Day – an alternate view

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Ravages of war,
                                the tears of the fallen
                                     staining the soil.

Today in Australia it is Anzac Day – the day when those who served in World War 1 are honoured.  Ceremonies are held across the country in commemoration.  The main focus of attention is the terrible suffering experienced by Australian soldiers at Anzac Cove, Turkey.

I have been to Anzac Cove.   I have stood beneath the Lone Pine Tree and heard in my mind the haunted echoes of the anguished cries of the young men dying there on the beaches in 1915.  What many people here in Australia do not know is that the Aussie diggers at Anzac Cove did not actually defeat the Turks at Galliopli.   For years the two sides battled it out.  Both armies lived in appalling conditions and the casualties were high for both sides.   Eventually our troops were recalled when the government realised it was an unwinnable battle.   It took many months of petitioning the government before they accepted this was the case.  AnzacStory.htmhttp://www.anzacs.net/

I am a pacifist.   I have heard the stories of from WW1 and from many other wars.   I decided when I was in my teens that I do not condone war at all.  I have not come across any information since that has made me change my mind.

Strangely I learned a few years ago that my grandfather was also a pacifist.   More than that, he was a conscientious objector in WW1 and did not go to the war.    This fact was hidden from me by for many years.   ‘Grandpa was too young to fight in that war,’ my father said. There was also some improbable story about how my grandfather, a keen home gardener, had somehow kept the neighbourhood supplied in vegetables for the duration of the war.  It was only when my father neared the end of his life that he told his children what had actually happened.

The truth is my grandfather refused to fight.   He was a devout Christian with Socialist leanings.  Although it is now forgotten history, there was a huge anti-war movement in Australia during WW1.  At that time free thinkers wanted to establish Australia as an independent nation no longer ruled by Britain.  The war was seen as furthering the  cause of Empire.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/worldwarone/what-happened-to-conscientious-objectors-during-ww1/5553002

My father was so ashamed of grandpa’s action he lied about it for most of his adult life.   It is only now that Australia is even beginning to recognise that conscientious objection to war is a valid stance.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-23/noone-conscientious-objectors-deserve-our-recognition/6415166

As the world teeters on the brink of another catastrophic global war I am inspired by the position my grandfather took.    There are alternatives to war.  Peacemaking, peace-building, mediation and non-violent conflict resolution are all alternatives that work.

Articles on non violent alternatives to war can be found on –

 http://hastingsnonviolence.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/alternatives-to-war.html  

http://www.vernalproject.org/papers/understanding/NonviolentAlternatives.html

http://www.alternet.org/world/alternatives-military-strikes-syria

I used a flat bed scanner to create the image on this post,  I then added the text in photoshop – image prompt –https://lensandpensbysally.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-portrait-of-orchids/

poetry prompt – https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/25/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-31-peace-tear/

Percolating Poetry

I wrote this post a few months ago on Art and Life.   I think it’s worth bringing up to date and  reblogging here for it’s still pertinent – perhaps even more so now.

Is it that I’m percolating my reactions to current events,

global and personal,

outer and inner,

or is that I’m waiting for the dust to settle

on political changes here, there and everywhere

or on the inner spiritual upheaval/regeneration I have been experiencing?

Either way, percolating or letting the dust settle, it’s hard to string words together to form grammatically correct sentences.   I woke this morning to this thought/idea/concept-

                                                In the canyons of my mind

                                     Ginsberg howling from the Afterlife

                                                 ‘All is not how it seems’.

Unfortunately I jolted fully awake before Ginsberg could howl out his meanings and his posthumous perspectives on it all so I am still percolating/letting the dust settle as I try to work out it is, or even how it seems to be.

So much fear and loathing being expressed by so many right now – the fear of World War, of Muslims and of migrants.   My life long fear of nuclear holocaust  is triggered.

Image3

As Ginsberg howls from the Afterlife I catch hold of ideas percolating in the ethers –

          I see that the old order is inherently corrupt

It favours the elite few over the often powerless and subjugated majority.

As new awareness and understanding, both political and spiritual, sweep across the globe the power base of the old elite is disintegrating.  As the old power structures begin to disintegrate chaos ensues.

Just what new frameworks we find to guide us into the future remains to be seen.

           Will the rabble baying for blood rule the day

            – will it be like the French Revolution where the elite were publicly beheaded

               or Nazi Germany where minority groups were shipped off to death camps?

                                    Will Trump nuke Isis and/or North Korea

                               – will we descend into the holocaust of global war?

Or will we somehow find our way, collectively and individually, to work together to create an egalitarian society where all humans co-exist peacefully in a world governed by sound ecological principles that ensure the ongoing survival of our species and of the bio-sphere we inhabit?

Our future hangs in the balance and the outcomes are, at present, unknown.

Percolating, or letting the dust settle, I dig over my new vegie plot.  I write haiku.  I meditate on peace.

I am free to change to my consciousness. I am free to transcend my fears and find a way forward that sustains me spiritually. All the same, it’s not a straightforward path.

chopping

excerpt from Howl by Alan Ginsberg – (you can read the poem in full here – https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49303)

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!