Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Hockey, Rugby and War

Hockey is tiring. All that bending and hitting the ball and running and bending and hitting really takes a lot out of you huh? Luckily, I didn’t get hit by a stray shot from an amateur hockey player like myself. That would have been….unpleasant.
And training rugby with older and more “capable” players is a drag, coz they don’t really take it that seriously. Let me rephrase that. They don’t take it seriously. They just train for the heck of it. I like to train to improve.
Tomorrow I’ve got a presentation coming up. It’s not even my group, yet I have been invited to present the poem “Beach Burial” by a Kenneth Slessor. It’s flattering really. Australian I think he is. Or was. He lived during the 2nd World War. I’ll leave you guyz with the poem. You are welcome to interpret it if you like. But remember, don’t make assumptions! Make interpretations based on the evidence given!

Beach Burial by Kenneth Slessor

Softly and humbly to the Gulf of Arabs
The convoy of dead sailors come;
At night they sway and wander in the waters far under,
But morning rolls them in the foam.

Between the sob and clubbing of gunfire
Someone, it seems, has time for this,
To pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows
And tread the sand upon their nakedness;

And each cross, the driven stake of tidewood,
Bears the last signature of men,
Written with such perplexity, with such bewildered pity,
The words choke as they begin-

‘Unknown seaman’ – the ghostly pencil
Wavers and fades, the purple drips,
The breathe of wet season has washed their inscriptions
As blue as drowned men’s lips,

Dead seamen, gone in search of the same landfall,
Whether as enemies they fought,
Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together,
Enlisted on the other front.

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