Remember now, as the storm wind from the bay
awakens the weeping chorus of the pines,
how proudly I led you off to your first long day
at the small bush school below dark Mowbullan.
I remember how soon your baby figure turned
to virile muscle, how the gay French blood
of our mother danced in your eyes, and how I learned,
tall as I was, to respect your hard brown fists.
I remember how the two of us loved the sea-
we were born with the quenchless sea-lust, you and I-
and how we laughed through youth light-heartedly,
glad comrades of the ocean and the sun.
I remember you best on your white skiff, home-racing,
your bare legs poised on her gunwale to leap ashore,
a sea-drenched jersey loose about your shoulders
and an old pipe jauntily held between your teeth.
All this was long ago, ere the great cloud hung,
blood-crimson, flame shot in the western sky,
before the age-old battle-runes had sung
wildly within boys’ hearts, bidding them to die,
bidding you send this note to let me know
that the war-drums of the west call you to sail
further than all our boyhood ships could go,
out beyond Moreton, beyond the cliffs of home.
How it hurts to bid good-bye, aware that after
such unsurpassed delight has come this ending,
that I may never listen to your laughter
ringing from where the little ships are beached,
nor see again the white skiff racing homeward,
you lightly poised on her gunwale to leap ashore,
with the sea-drenched jersey loose about your shoulders
and the old pipe jauntily held between your teeth.
Good sailing, brother, may the great grey waters
send you, as ever, safely, swiftly, home.
Garry Lyle, from Australian Poetry (1942).
 John Walters Lyle, born 7 July 1922, enlisted 23 January 1941, demobilised 2 May 1946.