Saturday, July 9, 2016

Gallipoli (a poem)


For nine months composed, England, France, Australia fought the Germans and the Turks, had invaded the land of Asia Minor.
From the Aegean Sea to the Straits of the Dardanelles, they had to conquer all the land, to achieve the impossible nor was there any place to land, along the Gallipoli Peninsula, to make their stand.
There was no railway, roads, wheeled traffic, no town or city no shelter, here nor there nor anywhere found.
Yet 100,000-soldiers who loved their country, shunned the evil fortune —as the enemy looked down from higher ground, onto this waterless peninsula, sun-smitten.
So great was the heat that the dust rose…
The hills were entrenched, the landing mined, the beaches barbwired, howitzers and machine guns, bayonet clambered upon the invading forces, day and night, allowing just a brief sleep, —
And men of chivalry too, fought cunning and skillful these overlords, like a swift current from the sea.
No Turk spoke save, all silently and no-one else; the German and the Turk, arrogant, but strong!
The British, Australian, a European Power— should they allow them to force a passage through the defended channel of the Hellespont, then what?
And all one can say, ‘…was not their hearts bigger for that!’

No: 4579/10-23-2014/Revised 7-2016
Note 1: March thru October, 1915
Note 2: The author went to Gallipoli, and stood in one of the trenches fought in during these battles, in 1996.