Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 08,01,2012

Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 08,01,2012  week 2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCrae

Poppy photographed on the First World War battlefield of the Somme near the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.

Inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”

Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. (1)
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (source: A Crown of Life)

During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. He was a  friend  of commander Major John McCrae .

John McCrae was a field Dr in  the same unit as his friend Alexis. For some reason the Chaplin was called away and so John was asked to take the  funeral service for his friend. It is thought that in the evening after the funeral he wrote his most famous poem. In Flanders field.

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The Poem is so sad, it speaks of how so many young men died, cruel and painful deaths on the muddy fields and squalid trenches of Ypres. He talks about the larks bravely singing, as I see it he is alluding to the fact that life just goes on as this evil war raged. “The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.”

They died so quickly without warning, though  better that than maimed and dying slowly in agony. They were young, they had lovers, family and then they were gone so suddenly. I think they hung around for a while as ghosts trying to adjust to death.

The dead, he tells us, implore those who follow them to take up the torch and fight the enemy to the end. For if they loose or shirk the challenge the dead will never rest and forever haunt the poppy fields of Flanders.

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Just a thought crosses my mind. What would those dead  men buried under Flanders field made of the tanks and foot soldiers of the 2nd world war. The young men of the 1st world war thought they were fighting the war to end all wars…………. Sadly they were wrong.

 

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

Planet Eaters. Last Warning

woow!

One nano second in time, stop look what you will see is divine. Drops on water ripples on a lake watch as they move such wondrous patterns they make.

Droplets of water invisible to the naked eye  form magical patterns as they loop and fly. Mountainous waves form and dissipate we cannot see them as a blink of the eye makes it too late.

Sunlight through the leaves can a cathedral make with dancing dust mites forming wonderful patterns which no camera, can a photo take.

Moonlight through a canopy of leaves. Fractals of light with captive motes which inflames the imagination and the eye deceives.

Sun gentle, dancing on the sea and sand, shines and glitters in a way that could not be created by any human hand.

Stars at night twinkling in an infinite sky some are just beginning to live and some are just beginning to die. Try as we may to do so, sadly those are places where we will never fly.

Suns by the legions, planets by many, many more. All the wondrous things unseen, un-checked  evolving and changing  evermore.

Wonders of life

The wonder of a baby grown from a tiny seed like nearly all in nature a fertilized egg is all you need. Of course there are one celled creatures that only need to separate and some that are both sexes, no fun for them, no sex?? I am sure that that is something we would all really hate.

The tiny new life, a baby, animal, plant or seed are truly just a wander, tender love and caring is all they need. The love that we bestow on something new and young is sometimes spoilt by evil acts that cannot be undone.

It not only beings and plants that we woefully mistreat we have ravished our lovely planet leaving it’s life and resources un-replete. So stop and think for a nano second or more, so that the Planet Eaters will not devour us tooth and claw.

We may have rainforests now and lush green jungles and veldts but if keep destroying and stripping them we will be left with baron welts. If we keep killing animals for make up and just for gain we can not expect them to go on for ever the same. We cannot keep polluting the air that this poor planet breathes or heating up  the seas where our ice caps now recede . Please mark my words now for the planet eaters await so it is up to us now to decide our own fate.

They came, the planet eaters, they trundled on and on they came upon us quietly so at first we did not notice anything was wrong.

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