Once again in New Zealand it’s coming up to ANZAC Day. So how to both address the week’s Challenge—literature based—and honour the war dead of a hundred years ago, and endless others?
not as lonely as a cloud (okay, possibly a nimbus) through the local cemetery and noted that last year’s poppies were still in evidence on some graves. Kudos to whoever made them (poppies, not the graves). It used to be disabled kiwi Returned Servicemen, once, but ‘they’ outsourced them to China. The Winton graveyard is no longer in commission but it is still a rich historical comment—amazing how many graves from a century ago, and of a more recent nature, mention war losses. I took just one at random—
—and turning on my heel to go saw this one immediately behind—
—at which point I thought I’d best go seek out some mushrooms; and try not to hear these words echoing in the deeper recesses of my mind—
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— John McCrae
I quit my usually benign graveyard to find the hopefully reborn bunch of shaggy ink caps that last year some Council lout on a mower had reduced to confetti—I found them (yay!), shot them, and went home in a meditative frame of mind.
But no escape. This morning in town this one also begged to be taken whilst on my way through to Queens Park for yet more blasted mushrooms—
—and I leave it for you to decide if the poor bugger died in vain, or not. (My personal vote goes against not …)
LIGHTENING UP A BIT
I’ll cheerfully admit that I’m also a wee bit of a Great Pyramid nut.
But I draw the line at aliens.
I don’t think any alien with intelligence enough to come squillions of miles across the empty reaches to us would bother stacking two and bit million blocks of manky old stone without either leaving a message of explanation or at least signing his work. Her work. Their work. Its work … although genuine Pyramid Nutters will bleat all over you that the GP is both the signature and the message (apparently all we have to do is read it). Whoopee poop …
the GP has inspired many, from the great(?) Napoleon to me, and even to the guys who created The Southland Museum which looks a lot like this—
—whereupon at whim I took another shot from a more conducive angle (for sums) and at home measured the bugger with a protractor. With my own elementary resources I concluded that:
(a) this too wasn’t build by space aliens, and
(b) it was based on the GP of E—
—if it having the same slopes and stuff actually means anything. Certainly the GP inspired one poet who should have stuck to writing his more successful fiction novels—
“Your masonry—and is it man’s?
More like some Cosmic artisan’s.
Your courses as in strata rise,
Beget you do a blind surmise
Like Grampians… “
—I shan’t clobber you with the rest, but if it were written as a salute to the GP and/or its creators they must be spinning like rotisserie chickens.
And now, leaving literature out of it and going back to Half-Light; try this wee family grouping on for size—
—is that half-light, or what? Something spooky about being alone in the park at night with the physical images of a family from two thousand years ago* …
JUST PASSING THROUGH
* Thank heavens, then, that I took that one in broad daylight (but with the camera shuttered down a bit—no spooks for miles).