A Collection of War Poems by Judith Bandidt, dedicated to returned servicemen and women around the world, and to those who did not return.
With several relatives World War II servicemen, I have always been aware of the impact of war, not only on those in the front line but on their families as well. It is not surprising that war poetry forms a significant part of my collected poetic works.
The themes of the poems selected for inclusion in The Soldier on the Stone address both World Wars, Vietnam, the conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and the continuing war on terror.
The Soldier on the Stone
He clasps his rifle butt between his hands;
with eyes that see through night he gazes out
across the green and empty space
around the cenotaph and far beyond.
Poppy red the colour of the sun
as it sets beyond the dunes and river sands,
lights the eyes and touches on the hands
that hold the rifle of the soldier on the stone.
Our ‘soldier on the stone’ war memorials are to be found in many towns and cities across Australia.
I wrote this poem at sunset, sitting beside an RSL memorial, in a small Western Australian country town in 1988.