Deeds of War and Peace

There are testaments, faith
in trenches, the misplaced ordinary.

What beyond Owen
needs to be said of that

alien encounter, the green
demise of mouths and masks

as if stubborn gallantry
and common fear could build

a masculinity. My mother’s parents
lost a brother, each.

Their names are preserved
in generations. Church women

wrote verse. A story
broke with earth, desolation

of things spent, a species
pride. He too dug-in –

a person of Country paid
like all the men

at six shillings a day.
While he served, his children

were removed. Ten years later
there was a massacre on Country.

Anne Elvey


Anne Elvey is author of Kin (Five Islands Press 2014), This Flesh That You Know (Leaf Press 2015) and White on White (Cordite Books 2018), and co-author of Intatto-Intact (La Vita Felice 2017). She is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics.

© 2018