Soldier’s battles for survival continued long after the troops had stopped fighting

ANZAC poems – Mere Meanata – April 1992

Acknowledgements of former times are observed on the 25th of April every year. Fading soldiers with lasting memories, Remembering selpchres of fallen men. Offspring of Pakanga Tuarua Feeling angry at the futility.’Pō Atarau’ – Now is the Hourimmortilises the Pakanga Tuarua.’E te hokowhitu’ reminds us of Ngarimu and other fallen men,Lives lost for a country, which called on its men to give their all.My matua tane was in the Māori Battalion. He told tales of romantic faraway lands, of Italy, Crete and Egypt. He sang their love songs, But of the hardships, the wounds, the fallen comrades and the nightmares, he would not sing.Coins, photos and other mementos he kept in his tin box.Medals pulled out once a year for Anzac parade.Tungane he took to the Domain for the Service and March Pass,Tamahine stayed at home.Every other day he lived a private war, The sleepless nights wandering around in the dark or sleep walking. Two jobs, long hours of work then drinking to forget. The short temperedness, the anger, the hidings the battleground was extended.Little wonder that pacifism is my stand,Protector of peace, Valuer of lifeCommunicator and negotiator for alternatives to violence.Conscientious Objectors of this centuryI can relate to.My loyalty to rugby Was easier to acknowledge.Vietnam – Another war, it was not ours, we had no role. I honestly could not heed the call of my country to support this cause.As a conscientious objector registered, enlisting matua support,Memories of his whanau participants in both Pakanga Tuatahi and Tuarua.The costs are too high in war even an offspring of Pakanga Tuarua never a soldier been, knows the rages of the battlefields since V.Day.Anzac Day – soldiers, whanau, conscientious objectors, attend Dawn services throughoutAotearoa.Prayers and supplications for change offered for all those fallen this century.Tears fall for my matua tane and the mamae. Kia tau te Rangimarie.

BUANO SERA SIGNORITA – Mere Meanta – 1992

Strange the things that spark a memory, like a speeding train flashing by. A memory jolted by a white Hiroshima Day carnation of a haunting melody in my brain. Buano sera signorita, Amore Amore, Amore signorita.We sang that around the house when I was small.Amore, Amore, Amore.A heartrending song, so romantic to a 10-year-old, so romantic, so far away and so long ago.My dad used to sing Amore, Amore.He told me it was Italian.Learnt it with the Māori Battalion during World War Two.Those days that left scars of the pain and sadness of Egypt, Greece, Crete and Italy.It’s only now I can appreciate how five new languages were added to his native tongue by his attentive ear and excellent recall.Taonga passed on to his mokopuna for linguists, they are.His passion so proud, and his love of faraway places and a faraway time passed on.Amore, Amore, papa, Amore.Amore and peace for that far away time in that far away land A memory jolted by a white carnation.

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