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War - A Whisper On A Summer Breeze - Poem by PAUL WARREN

An Australian day is dawning bright and new
In a wide bright sky forever painted azure blue
Kookaburras laugh greeting the sun’s arrival
The steam engine strains awaiting its revival
And I see them together in love’s fond embrace
The train leaving from home in god’s good grace
Then a ship to France to end the War.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

Proud khaki men in hats turned up at the side
In a uniform for hard work and not parade ground pride
Excited voices singing of the legend of the Dardanelles
They are South Australians on their way to Hell
For them it’s not Anzac Cove and Johnny Turk
Fair Dinkum they are and Flanders will be their work
And they know the cold and clear devil’s arithmetic.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

The steam engine whistles the time to leave
It’s a great adventure now with no time to grieve
Berlin or Bust chalked on the carriage with flare
The Huns can’t beat us – Australia will be there
Their promise sincerely given I’ll return back to you
Girls in Sunday best on train steps like glue
And she is there as always held in his embrace.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

At Outer Harbour the ships are duly loaded
Her streamer breaks and in her pocket carefully folded
She thinks of him so proud and wipes away a tear
In God’s Care she places him to hold back the fear
Through long nights alone her anxiety well founded
The priest visits others so her fear well grounded
But she will not let such thoughts to linger long.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

The ship rolls on for soldier’s drills and practice
It’s all routine and sergeant’s shout without malice
But it’s a dry argument and a man could use a drink
King Neptune calls his court and joining him they do think
But the Spanish death is unleashed and one is given to the sea
This one is the gate keeper and will be holding the key
For others in those sad days ahead for Australia’s sons.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

Heroes are hailed as they dock at Durban’s fair port
The Angel of Durban invites him in and gives her support
On her veranda she smiles and entertains with great pluck
The Signaller as usual flashes goodbye and good luck
Their journey continues on to England and Salisbury Plain
Learning the bayonet and gun its importance is to gain
An upper hand needed but will it temper Maxim’s gun?

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

To Flanders Fields and Somme mud the battle joined
With never-ending bloody death and destruction purloined
20,000 Tommy pals are gone in the first day brawls
One time as a messenger over gained ground he crawls
Struggling through for his mates to take vital word
Playing dead where the Boche advance occurred
His bravery marked by a few lines in daily despatches.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to find
And never disappears

The days into years he struggles through the war haze
Stand Hardy through those long dark days
So strong in mateship the Anzac Legend is the go
But Mateship doesn’t stop gas as his mask is too slow
To the Clearing Station as a casualty lying in here
Some thinking nothing’s wrong we are all in good cheer
Then the blood fills their lungs as the gas wins again.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

These were terrible days of sacrifice not impeded
The 1918 Boche attack that nearly succeeded
To win before the Dough Boys flood they all agree
Refugees with their stacked carts fleeing until they see
No need to leave now the Australians are here!
Hold strong with the British horseman give them a cheer
High is the price paid by them and by holding they finally win.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears


The March to Victory rips through their trench line
It’s a black day for the German Army so sublime
They agree to swallow the bitterest of pills
But the fighting is still hard and others die still
At the end the Anzacs are in reserve their fighting is done
The end of the war to end all wars has finally come
The Eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

The wait for a ship to home is so lonely and long
Monash’s plan for troops is for peace so strong
For what is needed now is a job and to leave France
But still some are called to the Spaniard’s dance
Hacking is the cough until you breathe will not come
For some who survived the mud, shell and gun
Lie now as heroes in General Ware’s villages of the dead.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

At last a ship for home and to re-join his love
The worst has passed. Oh! Praise god up above
Each day she waits for the loneliness to end
And she will be there with no need to pretend
Still nightmares will linger and many will struggle
The war has left them with many things to puzzle
The ship docks home and their life will begin again.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

Their marriage and promises are as light as a feather
The grand steps to start anew with a life altogether
He builds her a home and picks the pieces all up
For her and their children it’s his communal cup
But the war is not finished as it tightens its grip
His life is for family but his health starts to slip
For the gas has lingered and so the end begins.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

His cough bites into the night so he buries his head
She hears the hacking and tries not to dread
But the blood in his handkerchief has different views
The doctor in judgement gives them the terrible news
He will not go on and his death will be soon
There will be no glory now with the old platoon
It will not be quick and clean with the bullet’s dull thud.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

They lose their life and any dreams of a secure future
His work at an end and a refused pension no nurture
They say the throat cancer has no link to his warrior fight
She rips the official letter for the decision’s not right
There is no grateful nation to look after them now
For her a long journey it is hard to know how
To see his last days in the Daws Road Hospital.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

For twelve months he struggles in the fight of his life
His strong Anzac spirit sees him suffer in his strife
Her sister provides shelter and in exhaustion she sleeps
His time is at end and the heavy burden she keeps
That night the sisters around the kitchen table they sat
His army photo on the wall and his dog on the mat
They talk into the late night about his time now spent.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

The family dog is awake and looks to the wall
A wagging tail for his master again to enthral
In a wispy grey fog he appears proudly in God’s grace
Her sisters are frightened and cower back in embrace
But he just smiles and takes their fear all away
His family is important and it’s hard not to stay
To say goodbye is his wish as his final journey has begun.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

He walks from the room with the dog at his feet
Through each bedroom to them his family to greet
The final time for this life he tells of his love
Back to the sisters he assures of his watch from above
He departs them now leaving no fear of death’s end
He speaks to one sister of good times a dear friend
If you are worried it will be the gladiolas in bloom.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears


He disappears as he came in a wispy grey fog
They sit in silence with their thoughts now to log
A policeman comes to tell them of a life now lost
The family now paying together the great cost
Each day’s a struggle as the years roll by
She is strong for her family and tries not to cry
In all her days she knows and lives to see him again.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

Those days are no more and the memories fade
No more of her lonely life from him will be made
That wonderful lady whose love was so freely given
Is now in his arms forever a paradise now is living
Never again apart in eternity’s fond grasp
She is content and all of life’s struggles have past
As it was once for them in those times so long ago.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears

O Hail all our heroes of trench, mud and barbed wire
Of the others who loved them waiting time to transpire
Of those short years together after the raging storm
Of the struggling time forgotten was their life’s norm
Of her aching for him in those long lonely years
For they deserved the best but received only tears
Their lasting gift for us all was love freely given.

Love is just a whisper on a summer breeze
That caresses through the years
With a longing heart to please
And never disappears.

Adelaide, South Australia
1/5/15.
For all ANZACs particularly those of my family Frederick Stone, Harry Stone and Leslie Settre - All brave South Australians who paid the ultimate price on Flanders Fields and later. And to Carrie Settre who loved and lived a life for her family.

© Paul Warren Poetry


Comments about War - A Whisper On A Summer Breeze by PAUL WARREN

  • Rookie - 318 Points Ann Beard (8/10/2015 3:42:00 AM)

    An amazing recollection of your families war history. again a story that needed to be told and felt. A fine poem. Ann (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,815 Points Rachel Ann Butler (7/18/2015 8:24:00 AM)

    War - A Whisper On A Summer Breeze, it told me a tale, weaved in love, passion and dedication to duty to country, duty to fairly. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 271 Points Stephen Loomes (7/13/2015 2:58:00 AM)

    You are a good poet in my opinion, I found this piece quite gripping. Life has been a lot kinder to you and I than the warriors in our families, I suspect. I guess you've read Wilfred Owen, and Australia's Iachlan Irvine (a vietnam vet) . For further comparison google up the words to Eminem's anti-war piece called Mosh. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

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