Pat Jones

The Grazier’s Son Writes Home

by Jan Iwaszkiewicz

They think we’re convicts; all our hair’s been shorn
for fear of lice, and numbered left to right,
we’re goaded by the most appalling spite
from petty men. It’s all spit-polished shine
and drill, a cretin’s maze of discipline
in which I’m collared by a bullock’s yoke,
a sort of twisted Quartermaster’s joke,
or maybe it is part of God’s Great Plan
to make me ruminate. The Padre said
to say a quick hullo. You know, he’s such
an awful snob and always making much
of knowing Dad in Africa. It’s sad
the Boers have made him scared to share our fun.
We sail quite soon. We’re off to bag the Hun.

Jan Iwaszkiewicz is an Australian of Anglo-Polish heritage. He writes both free and formal verse with a preference for the latter. Jan runs a horse stud in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales together with his wife Christine.