April 2015

Why do the bagpipes stir our soul?

As we commemorate ANZAC Day, Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey shares one of her poems. The daughter of a World War II veteran, Pam says “it is a day with very mixed and alternating emotions for returned service people”.

BY Pam Grey SGS

The bagpipes – those weapons of war
killed naught,
but roused the trembling hearts
of the strong, the brave –
those Brothers in arms.

The solitary piper on the hill
halts us in our stride this day,
with sense of awe
not fear
setting a pounding in our hearts.

Deep down harmonics
of skipping, leaping chanter’s pleasure
catch our beat of love and living,
while the baleful sound of the drone
draws forth our full ripe feeling.

A shade of longing,
a hint of sadness,
a sense of excitement,
a touch of the sublime
doing justice both to the dark and bright.

Reflect on memories so vividly real.
Then when moved to silence,
listen …
… for that Divine in-breathing …
for fallen friends
who rise again.

Pam Grey

Melbourne-based Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey is a writer and poet. She also volunteers as a home tutor for newcomers to Australia who need language and resettlement support.

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