Poetry

Holland’s Nadir

Holland’s Nadir   Men around a submarine moored in Sydney Harbour close to the end of wartime   showed us below, down into their oily mesh-lit gangway of bunks atop machines.   In from the country, we weren’t to know our shillings bought them cigars and thread   for what remained of Holland’s Glory: uniforms, odd rescued aircraft and a clutch of undersea boats   patrolling from Fremantle. The men’s country was still captive, their great Indies had seen them ousted,   their slaves from centuries back were still black, and their Queen was in English exile.   The only…

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