Anzac Centenary ~ 1915-2015

April 25,  2015

 

On 25th April, the day of the landings at Gallipoli, I want to remember the young volunteers from Australia and New Zealand who put their lives on the line to fight the brave fight against the oppressor a hundred years ago. My father, Bogdan Stojić, was a volunteer, too. He served as a medical orderly in the Serbian Army at the time.

The poem in this post is dedicated to the heroes of both World Wars as well as those in present wars, as, unfortunately, humans have not yet found a way to resolve conflicts without the use of arms. The poem was written for Susan Budig’s Mindful Poetry Contest 2012. It was first published by narratorAUSTRALIA (now narratorINTERNATIONAL) online and in print in narratorAUSTRALIA, Volume Two. It also appears in my book Dreams On My Pillow.

The Anzac March

Decuain

 

My Muse, oh please help me write a poem

In thoughts I see the bloody battle fields

Anzac Marchers proud and very solemn

The battling soldier heartfelt prayer shields

He fights against the wicked, never yields

Returns per chance a hero, shell-shocked, maimed

Or killed, the stuff that always wartime wields

Blood and tears are shed, victor is proclaimed

See the medals, hear the bagpipe’s rhythm

Cheers to all who fought for sacred freedom

~

The decuain is a ten-line rhyming form in iambic pentameter created by Shelley A. Cephas.The rhyming pattern in this decuain is: ababbcbcaa.

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My father always marched with Frank Hebbard, his POW camp mate in  WWII, under the 2/6 Australian General Hospital banner. He is the marcher smiling at us, wearing a blue jacket with his medals for bravery.

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My father, Dr Bogdan Stojić, who was Lieutanant-Colonel in reserve in the Yugoslav Army, with Mum and me after completing the Anzac March in Sydney in 1988, aged 95.

~

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

(From the “Ode of Remembrance”)

~

LEST WE FORGET

~

© Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric

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The Air Raid By Irina Dimitric (Me, as a Child Poetry Series)

irinadim:

My poem written for Mindful Poetry Contest 1913

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

With my mother during WWII
THE AIR RAID
By Irina Dimitric

When I was nine years old, the war was on.
The enemy drowning fast at last; the end
Was near, but first the Allies had to bomb
Our town to drive the fiend aground, and so
We hid below in shelters, praying loud
While bombs were shaking walls and breaking hearts
And windows; I was always first to grab
My bag with sugar when the siren howled,
Then ran as fast as arrow; sheltered well
Beneath, I thought; the drone of bombers near,
Then whizz through air, then once again, three times
Before the end — the siren shrilling flat.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: With my mother during WWII. This photo was sent to my father, a POW in Lamsdorf, Germany.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I chose this poem as this year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of…

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Growing Up In The 1940s – Primary School – World War II

 

This year we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War Two. It was such a long time ago. I’m trying to remember what it was like for me in those turbulent years of War, and what it was like for my father as a POW in Germany. It will be part of our Family History. From time to time I might post an extract on my blog. It’s a work in progress. So here is Part 2.

You can read Part 1 here, if you wish.

Part 2Primary School

 

My only two cousins left for Ljubljana in Slovenia to stay with our grandparents. It was safer for their family there. Yugoslavia was falling apart under the onslaught of the Axis: Slovenia, south of the Sava River, came under Italian occupation while the Nazis ruled in my neck of the woods, helped by home-grown collaborators. My mother and I sought refuge on our friend’s farm in Bregana, on the border of Slovenia and Croatia, not far from Zagreb. It was safer for us there, too, in those turbulent first days of occupation. We stayed in Bregana for three months.

Meanwhile, my dad, a doctor and lieutenant-colonel in reserve was captured in Bosnia by the Germans on 15 of April 1941 and transported in cattle trucks with other POWs to Germany. My mother must have given a sigh of relief when she received in November his first letter and a photo from Teschen in Upper Silesia, now Tešin in the Czech Republic.

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P1240234 First photo from Bogdan -Teschen, November 1941
My father is in the middle

 

The first two years of occupation were relatively peaceful both in my hometown and in Bregana on the farm. I started primary school in 1942. It was run by Catholic nuns. I liked my school. I was a good, obedient pupil, and I adored our teacher, Sister Irma. She had a sweet smile and loved me, too, I think because I was a very devout little girl.

P1000833 Sister Irma

I’m the girl with dark plaits in front of Sister Irma, on the right.

 

Wasn’t Sister Irma pretty? She was young, with a freckled face and when she smiled, I thought she looked like an angel. I wanted to be like her. I wanted to become a nun. A teaching nun, just like Sister Irma. But ballet came in the way. I went to ballet classes with my best friend, Ines. The two of us would become inseparable. We both loved ballet and often performed together.  I was happiest in the ballet class. Even happier on stage. In my first performance I was one of the little chickens in Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at the Exhibition’. Our teacher, Ana Maletić, ran the best school of modern ballet in Zagreb in Mesnička Street and was a marvellous choreographer. All her students, the very young, like me, and older girls, took part in all ballet performances.  For this particular “tableau”, the ‘Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks’, she envisaged the little chicks all in yellow, with yellow socks, so we were asked to dye a pair of white socks ‘little-chick yellow’. But our mothers, Ines’ and mine, objected: they were not prepared to ruin a pair of white socks we needed for school. Oh, how embarrassed we both felt? And disappointed.  The other mothers were quite willing to go ahead with the dying, but our mothers were adamant, not willing to change their position. Well, it was decided then that all the little chicks would dance barefoot, which we didn’t mind at all. Mother Hen was an older student. When the curtain went up Mother Hen stood in the middle of the stage, dressed in a large crinoline of feathers under which we, the little chicks, were hiding. Slowly and cautiously the first chick  appeared; then the second one, and the third, and so on until all six hatched one by one and were out dancing in a circle around Mother Hen’s crinoline.  Then she taught us how to look for worms in the ground, so we scratched the ground with our bare little chicken feet. Next she taught us how to use our wings to fly, but at the sight of an eagle, she called us back to hide under her feathers. Oh what delightful fun! I can still dance parts of the routine. But I need the music.

 

And here is the original piano version. Embedding was disabled by request, but I’m including the link because we danced to the piano version, played by the very talented Mr Marasovic, our regular pianist.

Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition (original piano version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8z1_A-Zlbw

 *

Many performances followed. In a German tale for children ‘Der Struwwelpeter’, ‘Stockhead Peter’ or ‘Janko Raščupanko’ in Croatian, I was a comb and Ines was a bar of soap. And another friend, Vesna Kobelja, was a cat. In our ballet class we had to learn each other’s roles and, of course, I still remember some of the steps.  The greatest thrill and pleasure was to dance on stage. I never had the slightest stage fright. I knew my steps well and looked forward to appearing from behind the curtain to perform. When I was the comb and finished my dance hopping into the “drawer” behind the curtain, Ana Maletić was there with a beaming face; she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and I knew that I did well.

*

In ‘Petrica Kerempuh’, based on ‘The Ballads of Petrica Kerempuh’ by Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža, I was a little girl playing with my brother, a girl who was of stronger build than me. We followed our mother, a poor peasant, throwing an apple to each other as we danced, which was a bit tricky, but we managed to finish our dance without dropping our “ball”.

The performances were staged in The Little Theatre, as it was called then, in Frankopanska Sreet. Today it bears the name of the Croatian theatre director, critic and essayist Branko Gavella – Gavella Drama Theatre, opposite the church where I worshipped with the nuns and lovely Sister Irma. Ines and I loved pretending to be nuns and teachers. I had a little altar in my room with the figure of the Virgin Mary, and whenever I passed by, I would genuflect and cross myself.

‘So which way will I go?  Will I be a nun or a dancer?’  I was torn between those two vocations.

*

©Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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My Poem Just Published!

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My poem ‘Sing A Song of Love When The Warlock Beckons’ has just been published by narratorINTERNATIONAL. If you wish, you can support me there. It’s a very friendly publishing company; you may even consider submitting your work.

http://www.narratorinternational.com/sing-a-song-of-love-when-the-warlock-beckons-irina-dimitric/

This poem was published earlier on WordPress here.

 

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W P Weekly Photo Challenge – Ephemeral The ever elusive side of everyday moments

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on Your Nibbled News:
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”    ― William W. Purkey ? Those special moments…

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Anzac Biscuits – Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

2015 is the ANZAC Centenary year, so I’ve chosen for this post fresh, crunchy, delicious and nutritious ANZAC Biscuits, sent by mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts to soldiers in WWI. They were all volunteers as was my father in the Serbian Army. In November 1915, when the Anzacs were fighting bravely at Gallipoli, the equally courageous Serbian Army was forced to retreat under German attacks. They had heard of the extraordinary bravery of Australian and New Zealand soldiers and thought, if only the Anzacs were there to help, they would be able to beat the Germans. That retreat is known as The Albanian Golgotha or The Serbian Golgotha. The Gallipoli campaign could very well bear the same name – The Gallipoli Golgotha. The Anzacs withdrew from Gallipoli in December, but went on to fight in France, and the Serbs regrouped in Greece, in Salonika. The war was won in 1918, but the losses suffered by both armies were enormous.

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Yummy! How the soldiers must have loved them!

For the recipe click on this link:

http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/anzac-biscuits-L79.html

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~ LEST WE FORGET ~

*

Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/fresh-2/

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EXCITING changes coming to ARTISTS4PEACE…READ ON…

Originally posted on Rethinking Life:

ARTISTS4PEACE

It is time to grow! :D

It has been wonderful setting the foundation with all of you and our monthly scheduled topics. It is nice to share our work and our passion for peace and love AND we need to work to spread peace in our communities and around the world. It is time to do more!

We will be introducing more challenges, ways to get involved and asking you questions. Imagine if we all contribute our ideas and can act upon them to actually make a difference in achieving peace!

We will continue to have scheduled topics and of course accept general peace related art at any time.

Reminders:

Remember just blog as you normally would and then email a link to your post to artists4peaceproject@gmail.com for consideration!

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for April.

April

How does language influence peace?

Submission Deadline April 1st
Selected…

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Call for Submissions: Me, as a Child Poetry Series

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

logo_poetry1
Spring is almost upon us (actually, in Los Angeles it’s already here) and our thoughts turn to beginnings — the inspiration for our latest call for submissions: ME, AS A CHILD Poetry Series.

PROMPT: In a poem, tell us about yourself as a child — written from a child’s perspective or from your adult perspective. If possible, please send a photo of yourself as a child to accompany the poem.

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the work in the Silver Birch Press ME, AS A CHILD Poetry Series during April 2015.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem to silver@silverbirchpress.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info, one-paragraph author’s bio (written…

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Growing Up In The 1940s

 

This year we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War Two. It was such a long time ago. I’m trying to remember what it was like for me in those turbulent years of War, and what it was like for my father as a POW in Germany. It will be part of our Family History. From time to time I might post an extract on my blog. It’s a work in progress. So here is the beginning.

Growing Up In The 1940s
Part 1

The good old days. No digital technology. No TV. No transistor radios, just a big box in the living room. And a gramophone.

Zagreb, the city I lived in, the capital of Croatia, had only 250 thousand inhabitants. I walked to school and ballet classes with my best friend. We played in the public park in front of our homes, took a tram to the swimming pool or the zoo or the ice skating rink in winter. And the National Theatre, a beautiful neo-baroque building, built at the end of the 19h century, designed by two Austrian architects, well-known all over Europe, where I clapped, laughed and cried, was only a five-minute walk from my home. Just across the road from the theatre is Zagreb University I attended in the 50s. Between these two buildings, in the square in front of the theatre stands “The Well of Life” fountain, a remarkable piece of art by the world-renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. In the circle around the well the young embrace and kiss, while the old figures’ expression is one of sadness. A popular meeting place for students, I often met my friends there but wasn’t aware then it is considered among Meštrović’s finest sculptures. There are many more beautiful monuments in Zagreb and streets with names of famous people that I took for granted. One of them is a street named after Mestrovic’s good friend Nikola Tesla I walked along whenever heading to the centre, to Jelačić Square, or to the Concert Hall in that same street. It was in Australia that I learnt more about the genius of the greatest inventor of the 20th century. The Nikola Tesla monument in Zagreb was created by none other but Ivan Meštrović, a gift from a genius sculptor to a genius scientist. Zagreb is a beautiful city, often called ‘Little Paris’, a cultural centre with historic monuments and beautiful parks where seasonal flowers bloom in carefully tended flower beds. Returning home from my trips to hectic London and Paris was the sweetest thing – there was no better place to live.

I can’t remember seeing many cars in the 40s, but there must have been an occasional one, belonging to the ruling class and the well-off. Buses took us to the nearby countryside and trains all over the country, to the mountains and the seaside.

1940 was a good year. I was five. My Montessori kindergarten teacher, Tante Dédé, spoke to us in French as much as possible. I particularly liked the puppet theatre when Tante Dédé was telling us stories in French. Later in life, when I had children of my own, I dreamed of recreating the magic of Montessori and make a puppet theatre for them, but it never eventuated. I suppose I wanted them to experience Tante Dédé’s thrilling world, a world of make-believe, of creating pretty things out of plasticine and clay, of painting, sewing and knitting, of song and dance.

Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse
Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse, tous en rond 

*

P1000623 Montessori Fancy Dress PartyMontessori Fancy Dress Party – I am seated next to the cook in the middle.

Dancing was my passion. I would twirl and twirl around the living room to the music out of the big box.

And then, on 2 April 1941, my dad, in army uniform, came to my bedroom to kiss me good night and with a smile on his face, his eyes warm and shining, told me he’d soon be back. I had never seen him in uniform before. Although I was only six, I knew that a man in uniform meant something very serious, something ominous. My dad was going to be in danger. Will I ever see him again? When he switched off the light and shut the door of my bedroom, I clutched my white teddy bear tightly and cried myself to sleep.

A few days later the Germans marched into our town. Soldiers in grey and brown uniforms paraded through the streets and zoomed around on motorcycles with sidecars.

Tante Dédé’s kindergarten closed down. The age of innocence had come to an abrupt end.

*

©Copyright Irina Dimitric 2015. All rights reserved.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

 

Just as an orange nourishes your body, so the orange colour energises your soul. The colour orange was named after the fruit.

IMAG1070_1 signed

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~ Nasturtium is not only a weed buster,  but it’s also edible and very good for your health. To learn more about it click on this link: http://fionajeanmckay.hubpages.com/hub/The-Various-Health-Benefits-and-Uses-of-Nasturtiums

P1190271 lucky signed
~ Bird of Paradise in my garden. I just love this combination of colours! Nature sure is an accomplished artist.

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~ At the end of the day I stand in awe of the fiery masterpiece and cannot but say, ‘ Thank you, God!’

Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric

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