Thoughts [poem, 14 December 1941]


While the blazing sun is setting,
Somewhere in the golden west,
And its last dying embers
Attack the clouds with colored zest,
Perhaps the harsher shade of crimson
Or peaceful Pacific blue,
Then suddenly, changing
To tender shades of pastel blue,
And a breeze comes off the ocean
On a cooling errand bent,
Then you lay on your bunk and wonder
Has your day been well spent.

Have you joined in with your cobbers?
Have you helped them all you can?
Can you say you have acted squarely?
If so, lad, you are a man.
Or perhaps your thoughts turn homeward
And you remember with a sigh
Those times you have spent together —
Xmas times of years gone by.
But while we’re here in Darwin
Do not think you are alone
If homewards your thoughts are straying,
We all left folks back home.

As the sun, slowly setting
Somewhere out there in the blue,
Sinks below the blue horizon,
Bidding this world of ours adieu,
Then comes the dusk of eventide
To prepare our forest glades
For the gentleness of slumber-time
And the heavenly cavalcade,
Your thoughts still drifting homeward,
Perhaps there’s one with which you toy
Of a girl somewhere in Sydney
And you up here — her boy.

Then suddenly comes darkness,
And the brightness of the night
Gives way to approaching storm clouds,
With lightning vivid and bright,
That cool breeze so refreshing,
Forerunner to tropic rain,
Sets your imagination madly whirling:
Home your thoughts go once again.
Oh, to be back there in Sydney,
What would you give to get the leave
To be with your folks and sweetheart
On this troubled Xmas Eve.

Army News (Darwin, NT), Sunday 14 December 1941, page 6 (column 3)

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