Rememberance

Major 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”

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a thought crosses my mind. What would those dead men buried under Flanders field have though 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 so wrong. War strides on as I type.

I think the video from Black Adder goes fourth says everything there is to say on war.

poppies

Bright young Men

We sent them off to war,

These bright young men

We had no knowledge of what they saw,

They came home bright young men no more .

Yes though brave they were no longer whole

Those that survived had no soul.

Many died,the lucky ones, death to them was kind.

Those who returned were faded in body and in mind.

Their loved ones at first relieved

Soon found they had much cause to grieve.

Though there, in body broken,

Their fears left unspoken

Their minds were left behind.

They went out whole, these bright young things.

They returned lost, holding on by gossimar strings

Taplow Court

They went full of pride for God and King

They ran head long into hell

On return they could not relinquish it’s bad spell.

So we had a nation of half men, half ghosts

Fearful, their heads still had them at their posts.

The trenches and the blasts of bombs, the smell of death

Clung to them and bled them dry, the whole in body, the blind of eye

The amputee, it was as if they had never left.

We sent them off to war,

These bright young men

We had no knowledge of what they saw,

They returned bright young men no more.

SONY DSC

Paintings by William Rothenstein.

Homeless At Christmas

I  originally wrote  this in  December  2013  but it is  still relevant .

I hope it won’t snow this Christmas it’s one of my biggest fears.

It was so bitter last year even thinking of it makes me shudder and shed a tear.

They won’t be eating Turkey with all the trim

Unless they find a charity shelter and they can get in.

The people at the shelters are angels from up above they give their time and plenty love.

They really are saviours they really do so much good.

They give warmth and comfort and Christmas dinner and even  Christmas pud.

OH! why are they out here I hear you say

There are lots of reasons, have you got all day? Dave got made redundant the bills he couldn’t pay So the bank stepped in and took his home away.

His wife could not stand the B&B that the social offered them

So she took the children off to live with her mum so Dave won’t see them again.

Jen, she was cheeky girl always having fun

Staying out late and playing up in the end it got too much for her mum!

After a big row one night  in the summer she asked Jen to go,

So she is struggling along out here now,when your homeless it is amazing how fast your friends all go.

Rob well his story is very sad,

It all started with his drinking then he discovered drugs he became violent and everything turned bad.

He fell out with his mother’s boyfriend who told him he had to go

And then threw him out into the December  snow.

The reasons are legion you can take your pick,

People  who  loose  their jobs  because  they became  sick

From parents who can’t cope

To addictions that make you loose all hope,

Parents or family who beat you, family who will not stop at a touch

They want you to give them way too much.

This may all seem morbid this may all seem too sad

I hate to tell you all, things can be so very, very bad.

People young and old see their hopes and dreams unfold and vanish in clouds of smoke

As they end up on the streets lost and without any hope.

So enjoy your Christmas parties, your families and your Yule tide fare

But as you raise a toast remember the homeless ones out there .

 

YOU  CAN DONATE  OR  HELP HERE 

 

FanFoFeb : Freedom… Please.

Tears are friends I know them well

They spend more time with me than I care to tell.

Harsh words are loud inside my head

They pound and pound as lie in my bed.

Lost and lonely I walk the line

Looking only to find what is rightfully mine.

Peace, is not too much desire.

I am exhausted by this hate, anger and fire.

It will consume me if I do not brake free soon.

I stand alone and cold and appeal to the moon.

I have followed this trail all my life

I have never been me , a mother yes and a wife.

I only ask for what is mine,

It is not too much to just ask for time.

Escape from the noise that is strumming in my brain,

I just ask for help ……………. freedom from pain.

HOMELESS AT CHRISTMAS

I hope it won’t snow this Christmas it’s one of my biggest fears.

It was so bitter last year even thinking of it makes me shudder and shed a tear.

They won’t be eating Turkey with all the trim

Unless they find a charity shelter and they can get in.

The people at the shelters are angels from up above they give their time and plenty love.

They really are saviours they really do so much good.

They give warmth and comfort and Christmas dinner and even  Christmas pud.

OH! why are they out here I hear you say

There are lots of reasons, have you got all day? Dave got made redundant the bills he couldn’t pay So the bank stepped in and took his home away.

His wife could not stand the B&B that the social offered them

So she took the children off to live with her mum so Dave won’t see them again.

Jen, she was cheeky girl always having fun

Staying out late and playing up in the end it got too much for her mum!

After a big row one night  in the summer she asked Jen to go,

So she is struggling along out here now,when your homeless it is amazing how fast your friends all go.

Rob well his story is very sad,

It all started with his drinking then he discovered drugs he became violent and everything turned bad.

He fell out with his mother’s boyfriend who told him he had to go

And then threw him out into the January snow.

The reasons are legion you can take your pick,

People  who  loose  their jobs  because  they became  sick

From parents who can’t cope

To addictions that make you loose all hope,

Parents or family who beat you, family who will not stop at a touch

They want you to give them way too much.

http://nolimitshelp.org.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/main/Homeless_Young_Man_1.jpg

This may all seem morbid this may all seem too sad

I hate to tell you all, things can be so very, very bad.

People young and old see their hopes and dreams unfold and vanish in clouds of smoke

As they end up on the streets lost and without any hope.

So enjoy your Christmas parties, your families and your Yule tide fare

But as you raise a toast remember the homeless ones out there .

Finished the end of an era.

Hush hush don’t say a word ,

not one wants to hear what you say so silence little bird.

No good you flashing those blue eyes at the world

they are not charmed by you so you can stop now little girl.

No , No we don’t want to be told any more

we no longer believe that the world owes you a living, it doesn’t, so get up off the floor.

Those huge eyes do not fool me any more

I am sick and tired of the grief that you lay at my door.

So take your debts and your problems somewhere else

I can’t take any more, all these years I have thought of you and nothing else.

Until you start to care about us you are going nowhere except down

to the depths of grief and disgust.

So that is it , it has been said now the bomb that is our relationship

has finally exploded KAPOW!

I am too tired of coping and too tired to try any more so sling your hook

you are no longer welcome at my door.

I truly cannot cope with the lies and the grief

you have taken , taken in fact you are no better than a thief/

The Addict

You love them so, this they know, but how to respect that is something they don’t know.

There will always be the need for extra  money,

the excuse is always good somehow their requests are coated with honey.

They will sell their clothes and their belongings and if they can they will sell yours.

They have no conscience, until maybe after the act when it is too late  and they have time to think and pause.

Always they need , always they want . You will never sate their thirst.

The  need for the needle, the bottle or the gamble is ever present and that will always come first.

Hide your purse, hide the cash, hide the car keys or you will loose them.

Then when that happens  they will cover up and lie and swear on your life.

After the lies comes remorse.

The food can go from the cupboards, presents and toys too,

furniture, clothes nothing is sacred they have no choice the demon in them drives them to.

They loose care and love for family and friends.  They will take from anyone,

anything  they will break your heart and it never ends.

Is there hope, well there is some, but so much hard work must be done.

Recovery is hard so very hard, even when they are counting the days, weeks or years

you never can relax you are never out of the woods.

The thought of the demons’ return is ever here, an ever present fear..

You love them so, you help, you sort them out time and time again.

They will bleed your bank dry and bleed your heart  dry they will cause you so much pain.

With any request for money the fear is always there,

do they need it for what they say or are they off the rails again….. OH! if only I did not care.

Poetry Challenge # 16/12/2012

He’s five foot-two, and he’s six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He’s all of thirty-one, and he’s only seventeen,
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years.

He’a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn’t kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he’s fighting for Canada,
He’s fighting for France,
He’s fighting for the USA,
And he’s fighting for the Russians,
And he’s fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way.

And he’s fighting for Democracy,
He’s fighting for the Reds,
He says it’s for the peace of all.
He’s the one who must decide,
Who’s to live and who’s to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Labau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He’s the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can’t go on.

He’s the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can’t you see,
This is not the way we put an end to war.

Written by

Buffy Sainte-Marie, OC (born February 20, 1941) is a Canadian Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist,[1] educator, pacifist, and social activist. Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism.

She founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding Native Americans. She has won recognition and many awards and honours for both her music and her work in education and social activism.

Sung by

Donovan (born Donovan Philips Leitch, 10 May 1946) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist. Originally a folk artist in 1965, Donovan quickly developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music (notably calypso). He has variously lived in Scotland, London, California and Ireland, and currently lives with his family in County Cork in Ireland.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is an unusual anti war song . Instead of blaming the arms makers, the politicians, the generals, the religious leaders,  the usual bad guys. No instead it blames the soldier, the everyday guy or ( girl these days ) for fighting! Who knows the words could be right. For maybe if the the everyday soldiers and people rose up and said no maybe war would stop……………………… or maybe not!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Poetry Challenge # 09/12/2012

What Was The Christmas Truce?
Although the popular memory of World War One is normally one of horrific casualties and ‘wasted’ life, the conflict does have tales of comradeship and peace. One of the most remarkable, and heavily mythologised, events concerns the ‘Christmas Truce’ of 1914, in which the soldiers of the Western Front laid down their arms on Christmas Day and met in No Man’s Land, exchanging food and cigarettes, as well as playing football. The cessation of violence was entirely unofficial and there had been no prior discussion: troops acted spontaneously from goodwill, not orders. Not only did this truce actually happen, but the event was more widespread than commonly portrayed.
How Did It Start?
There are many accounts of the Christmas truce, the most famous of which concern the meeting of British and German forces; however, French and Belgium troops also took part. The unofficial nature of the truce meant that there was no one single cause or origin; some narratives tell of British troops hearing their German counterparts singing Christmas carols and joining in, while Frank Richards, a private in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, told of how both sides erected signs wishing the other a ‘Merry Christmas’. From these small starts some men crossed the lines with their hands up, and troops from the opposing side went to meet them. By the time officers realised what was happening the initial meetings had been made, and most commanders either turned a blind eye or happily joined in.
How Long Did It Last?
The fraternisation lasted, in many areas, for the whole of Christmas day. Food and supplies were exchanged on a one to one basis, while in some areas men borrowed tools and equipment from the enemy, in order to quickly improve their own living conditions. Many games of football were played using whatever would suffice for a ball, while bodies that had become trapped within No Man’s Land were buried.Most modern retellings of the Truce finish with the soldiers returning to their trenches and then fighting again the next day, but in many areas the peace lasted much longer. Frank Richard’s account explained how both sides refrained from shooting at each other the next day, until the British troops were relieved and they left the front line. In other areas the goodwill lasted for several weeks, bringing a halt to opportunistic sniping, before the bloody conflict once again resumed.

The Frank Richards material comes from the December 2000 edition of BBC History Magazine.

Robert Wilde

Robert Wilde
European History Guide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you can see I have two mediums for my challenge. Firstly I used JONA LEWIE‘s  video of Can you stop the Cavalry   You can read about Jona Lewie here

Hey, Mr. Churchill comes over here
To say we’re doing splendidly
But it’s very cold out here in the snow
Marching to win from the enemy
Oh, I say it’s tough, I have had enough
Can you stop the Cavalry?

I have had to fight, almost every night
Down throughout these centuries
That is when I say, oh yes, yet again
Can you stop the Cavalry?

Mary Bradley waits at home
In the nuclear fall-out zone
Wish I could be dancing now
In the arms of the girl I love
Wish I was at home for Christmas
Bang, that’s another bomb on another town
While Luzar and Jim have tea
If I get home, live to tell the tale
I’ll run for all presidencies
If I get elected I’ll stop, I will stop the Cavalry

Wish I was at home for Christmas
Wish I could be dancing now
In the arms of the girl I love
Mary Bradley waits at home
She’s been waiting two years long.

The song tells of how hard life was for the poor soldiers while the politicians and generals lived a life untouched by the first world war.

Then I have reproduced Robert Wilde’s excellent  article on the truce held at Christmas 1914 the one and only truce in both world wars.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My take ….. you all know my take on war. Thank you for reading my poetry challenge this year. It will be drawing to an end soon. I have learnt so much about about war all over the world. None of it good.

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

No escape

ooo2

escape

escape

escape

I thought I had escaped at last the clinging ties that hold me fast. I though with age things would relent and all the harsh things you’d said were just not meant.So many years I have carried the fears that have weighed me down and reduced me to tears.

How long is this path I have to walk while all my short falls on your, black board, you chalk. I just think I see the light and as towards it, my way I fight. You watch me nearly reach my goal then you scoop me up and drop me in your goldfish bowl.

How long can this torment last? When will you loose these chains that have me in their grasp.Why must each day be another trial that sees me fail , stupid, lazy , ignorant and vile.Why must it always be your way, why must I adhere to everything you say. You march on your eyes and ears tight shut and I am dragged in your wake all bruised and cut.

I am tired and and weak of heart lost for words, by your demons I am  slowly torn apart. After all these years I cannot melt your icy heart but I guess I new that from the start. How can I fight these devils, they are yours not mine but still they are killing me as around my heart they entwine.

 

Previous Older Entries

Follow me on Twitter

Follow Us

Follow Us

Follow Us

Follow Us

Kevin Parish

Poetry, lyrics and other words...

Claire Ladds

Novelist and short story writer

adamdixonfiction

Short stories from a fiction addict

Write to Inspire

Lance Greenfield - Night Writer

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Books, Poems, Stories...and a cup of coffee, or two!

Tent Stories

The untold tales of paths trodden, fears conquered and battles won.

Jemima Pett

Writing and reviews with an environmental, science fiction, and fantasy touch

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

Marian Wood

Aspiring Author and Poet

Ritu Bhathal

Author, Poet, Storyteller

besonian

musings on life, love, people, why we're here and where we're going

Author Steve Boseley - Half a Loaf of Fiction

Horror and Dark Fiction, and assorted other topics

Ben Naga

Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. "Laissez-moi vous raconter ma vraie histoire."

A Unique Title For Me

Hoping to make the world more beautiful

Looking For The Light

Keep Moving Forward

M J Mallon YA/Paranormal Author

Kyrosmagica Publishing - The Magical Home of Books, Writing and Inspiration

Jane Dougherty Writes

About fantastical places and other stuff

chuffincat

By popular demand.

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth, but there are facts.

Thru Violet's Lentz

My view, tho' somewhat askew...

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Music, Musings, Memoir, and Madness

Savoring Sixty and Beyond

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

poetry, writings & rants; hope in the margins

SaylingAway

Shorts, Novels, and Other Things

Joy Lennick

Writing and Reading

The Swan Song

Words and Words are all I have!

The Silent Eye

A Modern Mystery School

TanGental

Writing, the Universe and whatever occurs to me

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

Just muddling through life

The ups and downs of a working mum

ThoughtsnLifeBlog

Our Thoughts Influence Our Life.

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

The Showers of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings

TheFeatheredSleep

Tigers not daughters

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter