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Shadows of greatcoated men
by the lonely dune fires
of their brutalised youth,
poking the dying embers
in the agony of broken minds
and trying to reconcile
the past with the sounds
of peace.

Their ripped spirits
rise with glittering cinders,
riding the sea wind and
falling utterly extinguished
into the healing waters;
men grateful for the certainty
that the sun will rise again
and touch their faces.

The sounds of gunfire
and the shocking impact
of bullets and flesh,
slowly but surely die away
as they turn their faces
to the hills of home
and hear the tui calling
from the ramparts of totara
standing there.

Young-old men scattering
the dead ashes of morality,
walking softly away
to the sound of quiet waters
and the restoration of sanity
promised by the cry
of free birds out there
on the eastern horizon.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR


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