The Spike or Victoria College Review 1940
Easy where blood flows
But we are unfortunately far enough removed
to be more temperate.
This must forever be
the tragedy and desperation
of a to-far-away nation:
To know only in farewells to sons and lovers
the choked restriction
that we are accustomed to feeling
Between the pohutukawa and the rose
12,000 miles of sea still interpose:
Our blossoms bloom as innocently red,
in ignorance of Flanders' dead;
and kowhai gleaming golden on the tree
arouses neither greed nor enmity.
We are so distant here
it is impossible to feel
that war is real
while no bomb threatens the immediate precincts
of the city
to force us to some measure of self-pity.
The decisions, in short, are made elsewhere;
and we are absent from out funerals
because out deaths no longer are
our own affair.