Anthony W. Pahl

Maria’s Garden from the wrought-iron garden chair
View of Maria’s Garden from the wrought-iron garden chair – Murray Bridge, South Australia
Photograph ©Copyright December 5, 2006 – The Pahl Collection

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He sits beneath the Southern Cross on a wrought-iron garden chair
And ponders on the day’s events and how tomorrow he will fare
With an inner smile to acknowledge a good day’s work’s been done
His thoughts now turn to other things, and the peacefulness he’s won

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: May 15, 2007
Awarded: May 15, 2007
The flagpole that he’s dreamed of, now flies his nations’ flag
The bronze plaque he once wrote about, exists and he is glad
The mates he went to war with, call and visit when they will
Once part of life, the storms have eased, and the night is still

The scent of eucalyptus trees wafts on the night time breeze
And mingles with aromas of almond, fig, and apple trees
Roses of a hundred types, unseen but clearly there
Transmit their wondrous odour – and he sits without a care

And Misty, who adopted him when she was pregnant and alone,
Purrs and brushes against him, content in her adopted home
The mopoke and the night birds call and flutter through the air
And Misty just ignores them. Neither they nor she despair

The bantams are on their night time roost, having laid their daily eggs
The rooster (Russell ‘cos he crows) keeps them safely in their beds
Enshrined in leaves of flowering bushes, grown with love and pride
An old man sits content and revels, in his love, his life, his bride

And ‘neath the Southern Cross this night, the silence suits his mood
Because the old man knows the joy of life, and knows that life is good
Despite the shatt’ring year of war that’s lasted more than thirty years
The old man has come to realise that the past holds no more fears

He blinks away the teardrops, stands, and stretches stiffened limbs
And takes the first of several steps towards the love who waits for him
Contented, he’s prepared for sleep, and sleep will quickly come
Mares of the night still widely range but he is now, at last, at home!