The Art of War

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Neville Briggs
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
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The Art of War

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:02 am

The Art of War

Visions of making art, took Napier Waller
a world away from boyhood on the farm.
He learned his lessons well, on observation;
matching the hand and eye to art expression.

But Napier was first a man of duty,
and joined the AIF to serve in France.
Although a soldier, not official artist;
while at the line, he drew the life and death
of ordinary mates who manned the trenches.

As long as war and suffering go on,
the uniform of regiments declare
the uniformity of brokenness.
The battle ground of Bullecourt was where
a deadly burst took off Napier's right arm.

The painting arm, the skilful hand that
realized the visions, gone forever.
He later learnt to use his weak left hand
and drew a picture of himself, laid out
and carried on a stretcher; one arm gone.

In Canberra's War Museum, the Hall
of Memory enshrines fine art,
as stained glass windows solemnly
shine on mosaic service-men and women.
I'm told that these large radiant works of art
were done there by a man who had one arm.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Heather

Re: The Art of War

Post by Heather » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:59 am

I like the little story you tell in this poem Neville. You've awakened my curiosity about this man.

Heather :)

Neville Briggs
Posts: 6857
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: The Art of War

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:05 pm

Thanks Heather. ;)
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
Posts: 2746
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: The Art of War

Post by Terry » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:58 pm

By chance I have just finished reading a very explicit book on the horrors of the Western Front and found it very confronting.
Enjoyed your story about Napier Waller Neville, you needed to have been there like him, to appreciate just how terrible it must have been I reckon.

Terry

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