The Lists

These are the lists of death:
They were so young!
Brave valiant hearts
Who loved the earth and sun,
The stir of life,
And joy's swift ardent breath.

These are the lists:
When shall their memory fade?
The nations best beloved of her sons,
Her shining, high, immortal, steadfast ones;
Honour, not death,
Has sealed their accolade.

                                     Alice Gore-Jones

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Spring, 1916 

Anzac Day, Mt Morgan, 1916, note absence of men                          By Alice Gore-Jones

The purple jacaranda bells are fluttering in the air; 
The mango trees are budding, there is sunshine everywhere.
By silver creeks the willows droop their long green shining hair.

The peewee sends its piping call from tree-tops far and high;
A limpid stretch of azure is the pale unruffled sky;
While an ancient joy is stirring that will never never die.

Though the world be rocked with anguish till its outer portals ring,
You cannot rob existence of this strange and subtle thing,
When the sap in man and nature hears the hoyden1 call of Spring.

When the sap in man and nature feels a swift and sudden stir,
And the pipes of Spring are pulsing through the perfume-laden air,
Ah! the pity of youth's pageant that the young dead may not share.

                                                                           Alice Gore-Jones (1917)

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1 hoyden - a boisterous girl

Troop Trains

Troop trains troop trains
Passing on their way.
A sudden gust of cheering cuts
The crisp cold winter's day.Troop train at Enoggera, 1917 

Above, a sky swept clear of cloud,
A blue infinity;
Below, the dun-brown carriages
Steaming towards the quay.

All along the railway line,
Where the people dwell,
Flecks of eager handkerchiefs
Fluttering in farewell.

Troop trains, troops trains,
Hear the bugle's note,
Flags, and cheers, and music, and…..
A touch that grips the throat.

Alice Gore-Jones, 1917

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Brisbane

A red cathedral's tiles, a tapering spire
Piercing her gaunt zinc roofs, the city lies.
Dim blue hills rise about her circle-wise,
And flame trees deck her steep white streets with fire.
While tremulous as some Aeolian choir
Beside her river-way the bamboo sighs;
And to a burning sweep of turquoise skies
Ascends that slow sad song of lost desire.

Stranger than all her sisters of the South,
With languid warmth she lifts her sun-browned arms
In eager longing towards the distant sea;
This Northern witch with young and glowing mouth;
And half-alluring, half-elusive charms,
That bear the tropic's seal of mystery.

                                               Alice Gore-Jones,1917

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