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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1943

Home Guard

Home Guard

Even here where the lovely Alps
rise arrogant above our northern pride
we labour six days and on the seventh
play war on the green hill-side.

Now we have learnt to keep in step
and wear khaki without self consciousness
we are only a short step from Libya or Japan;
but in the meantime we are concerned with the procedure
of falling in and falling out again,
and a technique of war whose part (like amateur actors)
we know, awkwardly, forgetting the lines....

And always the question, what's the use?

For here where the broom is the target
and only the gorse and the blackberry resist
it is hard to remember brothers and friends dead
to whom this was play once and now is real,
more real than leaves and the dead stumps
of fingers that no longer feel.

The sun rising goes down over Europe leaving a darkness
That Dante in his dreams never envisaged;
And even when we go home at night it doesn't stop.

Anton Vogt.