Peace Bell

Peace Bell Cowra

In Cowra, the Peace Bell tolls a warning,

And magpies caw their raucous and wry chorus in reply.

Their voices reach a quiet graveyard,

An unusual place,

Here Japanese mothers and children sleep.

So far from home – they are not forgotten.

ANZACS sleep nearby -almost – almost – beside them.

They too attract the living – not forgotten.

How strange, the earth’s embrace draws them so close.

The Peace Bell tolls a warning.

Keep them out the shrill galah shrieks

And fearful faces turn to listen, hatred rising in their eyes.

Across the plain a musty folk museum lies,

Its most sacred relic, a roll-up flag.

Turn them out the galah once screamed,

Chinese are not wanted here.

The wind whispers across empty hills,

Unheard between the grass-blades,

Once other feet walked this land.

In another place professors are marched from their towers.

And razor wire curls lazily towards the horizon,

Human victims caught in its merciless coils.

Behind it shelter fearful nations.

The Peace Bell tolls a warning.

In the Hall of Memory stands a forgotten airman,

At his feet – ruins – his handiwork – his ruins.

Above him a wyvern grins.

It watches and waits and has not forgotten.

The Peace Bell tolls a warning.

 

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