Tuesday, 13 November 2012


“There was never a good war or a bad peace.” - Benjamin Franklin

Remembrance Day here is commemorated on November 11 each year in Australia. This is because the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice, on 11th November 1918, which signalled the end of World War One. At 11 a.m. on 11th November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. Initially, when WWI ended, the day was known as Armistice Day but was renamed Remembrance Day after WWII. In the USA the day is known as Veterans’ Day.

Each year Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11 a.m. on 11th November, in memory of all those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations. This is a simple yet very effective way of remembering the massive loss of life and immense suffering that humankind has been subjected to in all of the various armed conflicts that have blotted recorded history.

Magpie Tales this week has provided a prompt (Verdun, 1917 by Felix Vallotton) in harmony with this day of Remembrance. Here is my contribution.

The Rabbit, III

Run, run, run
Rabbit run!

The gun spits out death.

A flash, a bang, an echo

And the pungent smell

Of gunpowder...


Bang, bang, bang
All stops in mid-jump.
One, two, three
And inside me

My noontime meal

Turns to poison.


Kill, kill, kill
Blood, death, terror

In the falling evening.
Life is death

Love is life

Death is love.


Eyes, eyes, eyes
Hard eyes, soft eyes.

Love is hard, sharp, jagged glass

Death is soft, yielding velvet

Life is soft, hard, sharp,

Smooth, tender but unbending.

Life is death

Hard, sharp like broken glass

Soft, smooth like velvet.


  1. In primary school, we used to go to the shrine on Remembrance Day. But I haven't heard of people doing that for ages. Shame, really - as you say, it is important to mark the occasion each year.

    Because of the date, I came to this topic in my own blog, paying particular attention to Ballarat. Thanks for the link

  2. Please God we never forget...

    but we never learn.

    Anna :o]

  3. When will they ever learn?
    Oh when, will they ever -

  4. The machine gun-like repetition lends itself well here...

  5. Your words are compelling and vividly describe war in all of its horror ... beautifully composed.

  6. A fabulous piece - in all it's sad glory.

  7. Yes you wrote it exactly how it is. Run Rabbit Run - 1939 Flanagan and Allan.