Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “ Cherry“.

I don’t know what I was thinking today, I forgot to provide the background for today’s poem.

 Yesterday (August the 5th) was the anniversary of the Cowra Breakout, the largest prisoner of war breakout of the Second World War.

359 Japanese prisoners of war broke out of the Cowra POW Camp.

239 Japanese soldiers and 4 Australian soldiers were killed.

Many of the Japanese escapees either committed suicide or were killed by their compatriots in blood pacts. All the survivors were recaptured within ten days.
Australia continued to operate the camp until the last Japanese and Italian prisoners were repatriated in 1947

Ed Bates was in today providing the koto sounding guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


A garden blooms in a Cowra street
Wiradjuri melds with Japanese
Beauty hides it’s own deceit
Among Eucalypt and cherry trees

These lands of rolling hills and plains
So distant from a world at war
Yet here wars legacy remains
A day in nineteen forty four

Prisoners, seized in battle, spared
Brought here, captive; an intolerable stain
Is mercy not honour? A tenet not shared
Death preferred to unbearable shame

War holds no honour; death no relief
We fight, make peace, forgive and befriend
War holds not glory, but insufferable grief
The victors, the vanquished; who wins in the end?

This beautiful garden, tranquillity reigns
Like soldiers, cherry blossoms fall
Yet it’s calm and grace a sadness claims
That this garden needs exist at all

© Copyright 2017 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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