The Negatives of War   5 comments

The Lost Diggers are a collection of glass plate negatives of Australian diggers and other soldiers from World War 1. They were taken in the town of Vignacourt.

The Negatives of War

Glass plate negatives,
headstones of history,
fragile, precious, irreplaceable.
Of my heart they pull at strings.
Keep me away in case my tears
run and the images disappear
like the sands of time.

Was this their youth captured,
a last great adventure
from a Boys Own Annual.
One last hurrah, a last kiss
last glass of wine, all this
before their final fray,
their last charge into battle.

Of place and time not spoken,
into the heart of Vignacourt
these men had marched.
Many never to return,
today they live within the grey,
that not quite black or white
captured image from the past.

See their look of nonchalance
Aussie men from sunburnt land,
with smile for photographer found.
Clean shaven faces, laconic smiles,
irreverence there in every grin,
You would not know that they were less
than twenty miles from battle front.

With bandolier over shoulder rest,
slouch hat and webbing belt, upon the
collar, a badge of Rising Sun.
Pips and stripes some wore, some none.
Puttees wound from ankle to knee,
breeches and braces uniform maintain.
Cigarette in mouth to draw.

Photographers Louis and Antoinette
for many years now gone, with them,
for a time, their treasure lost in farm attic.
We wonder, did they grasp the history,
did they know the souls they found
in the mothers son and child’s father
they preserved for future kind.


Posted 30/11/2012 by DarKarsean in Musing, poem, poetry, Story Writing, Uncategorized

5 responses to “The Negatives of War

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  1. You have remembered them…it is a honor for them…and to have a gentle soul like you to realize the importance of “remembering”…

  2. I did not see the button to share this on Facebook…did I miss it? This is such a wonderful tribute to the men who gave their lives…to the mothers who bore the sacrifice with them…and to the photographers who attempted to memorialize them.

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