ANZAC Day is an idea,

one so powerful

that we are all sold to it;

and it is a national idea

transcending death and time,

and even war and the human losses that

are now only caught momentarily

in fleeting images on screens

and in statistics in dusty history books.


This idea has grown through wars

and peace and protests that marked

the years of change for women, culture and race;

and since it first found fertile soil in the

war to end all wars, it has formed into a tree

seeded from the ragged foreign sacred Cove,

a tree that grows now in our southern soil,

a tree still youthful and seeking light,

a tree pruned and nurtured strong

by those too young to remember

those awful bloody and innocent days.


And it has only risen stronger and more

insistent in our national soul,

in that collective psyche that forms across the land

on this most solemn and reverential day,

though you cannot call it religion,

for it is not about God,

but about what brings us

together, not in heaven

but in death.


We stand and wait as collective and

hear the haunted sounds of

silence and the trumpet’s call,

all of us as strangers and companions

around this shine formed in memory and respect,

formed through this national myth;

and we think about the ashes

and the graves and the cost,

though we probably know no more

than this, just the idea,

the powerful idea,

that we should always remember them,

for they were us,

and in sharing that idea there is no creed,

nor race, nor class, nor gender, or any other

separation, for we are but one indeed.