Lest We Forget.

They were so brave, so very young Their journey had not yet begun. Blindly they marched into the guns To a last roll call at the setting sun. They had family and loved ones They all marched off as friends They left their homes full of hope Most would not be back again.

White Poppy Floral Background Field Red

They pulled the gun carriages until they dropped

They carried messages and they got shot.

They searched out the unexploded mines

They saved lives a thousand times.

Spare a thought for the horse, pigeon, donkey dog and many more

Remember them, they all help us in times of war

Image from Pixabayhttps://pixabay.com/photos/flower-white-poppy-2684182/
Why
Argue
Both were brave
Each had their own
Principles to up
Hold. Neither less than bold.
One would carry a weapon
The other a stretcher, no gun
Both men died for their own held beliefs
They were both lost and that loss brought much grief.
———

From the beginning of time up until now and way in to the future war prevails. I believe we will never be free of war.

What we can do is remember those who have given their health or their lives for us to hopefully live better lives. I say Thank You.

We must never forget.

Thursday photo prompt: Destination #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a path between an avenue of trees. Shadows from hidden sunlight fall across the path, but mist obscures the way forward…

Destination.

When morning took hold it was bright but very misty. Calador shivered as he watched the mist roll up to the ramparts obscuring the road ahead. Though there was sunlight is was pale and held no warmth. The trees that lined the road cast shadows across the short distance he could see.

Wrapping his cloak around him Calador felt the damp but above that he felt a dark menace that he could neither see nor pinpoint. The mist enveloped him, in it he heard the voices of thousands of Vampires, evil beyond his darkest dreams, and humans and animals screaming.

Just as this grew unbearable something touched him on the shoulder, he jumped. Swinging round dagger drawn and ready to defend himself he was shocked to see his sister, Erin.

Wide eyed she stepped back “What is it” she asked, “Are you afraid of your own shadow” she suddenly stopped speaking, hearing the voices in the mist too.

A wind suddenly threw them together, Calador dropping his dagger so as not to stab his sister. The wind dropped as suddenly as it has arisen and the two elves stood in the silence, the voices and the mist all gone.

*********

Lisa stood looking out of the castle window and watched a new day dawn over the loche, Hope, to all intent and purpose, was sleeping peacefully in a basket by the fire. The child was asleep but in her sleep she was watching over everyone.

Ewan burst in the door making Lisa turn to face him. He bowed and bade her good morning, “Has the wolf returned yet” he asked. “Not yet” Lisa replied, “But I sense she is on her way” Ewan shouted for the women who worked in the kitchen and asked for some food to be brought up as quickly as possible. This done he woke the sleeping boy by the fire and told him to stoke it up.

Lisa sighed with relief as she saw a huge wolf approaching the drawbridge. Passing through all the troops that were eating and readying themselves for the long march to meet the elves. None of the soldiers or their women approached the wolf as she loped through their mist, a few dogs fell in behind her but she saw them off with a look.

Ewan met her at the bottom of the stairs with a robe, he dropped it to the floor and shouted, ” I hope it’s your colour” as he retreated up the steps.

Rachel growled but her yellow eyes turning blue as she transformed once more to her human self, smiled. She put on the robe an electronic blue edged in gold.

Joining the others she ate heartily. After their meal it was decided that she and Lisa would accompany Ewan and the army of men to meet the elves and that Hope was to stay at the castle in care of the cook and her husband, two of Ewan longest serving and most trusted servants. The cook and her husband already had a large family of ten children, what better place to hide this special child. In a large and loving family.

Preparations underway to leave early the next morning Rachel went to sleep while Lisa cradled Hope and told her why she had to leave her here , the child already knew, she knew everything. Soon Lisa too was sleeping tired after the nights vigil.

No one, except maybe Hope knew what lay ahead or where their destination was.

******

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.

Borrow The Lyrics Challenge: Ribbons.

I was very interested to receive this challenge from Jim Adams. (You can read his entry here)

Here are the Rules.

1: You need to choose a verse from a song and use it in an original poem or story.

2: You must include the name of the song and the singer at the end or beginning.

3: You need to challenge someone else and invent ONE rule they need to follow.

4 You must credit the person who started this challenge (a.k.a. PJ – I’m sorry for the inconvenience) and the person who challenged you, which was Jim Adams.

Thank you for the challenge Jim and your new rule that the song I use must contain the word ribbon in it.

So here goes. I did not want to use the obvious, Scarlett Ribbons, because I really do not like that song.

So I have gone for the song Ribbons by the group, The Good the Bad and the Queen.
The Good, the Bad & the Queen, comprising Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Allen Their first album The Good the Bad and the Queen debuted at number two in the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold in the UK within days of its release despite little media recognition and airplay. In the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 49. In October 2018, it was confirmed that the band’s official name is The Good, the Bad & the Queen after they announced their second album, Merrie Land. It is from this second Album that I have chosen the track, composed by Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Visconti.

The lyrics are in the video.

Ribbons of War.

Out of the blue

Come the arrows that kill me and you.

Dance round the maypole while you can

Wear your coloured ribbons pray for your man.

The king’s men are fighting below the hill

Wearing their colours as the enemy’s blood they spill.

Dance in the morning feel the warmth of life

You’ll be wearing black ribbons by dark tonight.

The Queen in the castle the King on the hill

It’s the peasants of the fields the ribbons and arrows will kill.

Horses and maypoles carry ribbons blue, red, white green and black.

Flowers will bloom, in glorious dawn

Planted for the dead by those left to mourn.

***********

So there is my little anti war poem about Ribbons. I think I may of stretch the rules by using more than one verse but I do love the lyrics of the song.

Now I nominate Fandango this, that and the other. My extra rule that the song must have the word home in its title or lyrics.

Have fun , I did.

Weekly Song Challenge, Round 15!

Time once again for Laura Venturini’s Weekly Song Challenge! Here, as always, are the rules:

Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post.

Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.

Tag two people to participate!

Post a video of a song that makes you think of the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Well we don’t have Memorial in the UK . We have Remembrance Sunday in November. But it is celebrated for the same reasons. Here is my first video. Keep the Home Fires Burning by Emma Stevens.

Post a video of a song that has the word war in title or lyrics.

I have chosen Warchild by the Cranberries.

Post a video of a song that is part of a movie soundtrack that had something to do with war. Oxygen by Jean Michel Jarre.From the film Gallipoli.

I nominate

Di

Dale

Guess That Art II! Mr. Potato Head meets Annie Lane.

Ronovanwrite’s has given us the Pablo Picasso painting to think about. Then he’d like us to write a poem of how we see it. The painting is Gurnica. Painted in 1937 it is a very grafic portrayal of war.

Guess That Art 2 image

Death laughs

This is a war of two halves

Slaughter house rules

Mutilation carried out by fools.

Women and children first

Come on big man do your worst.

Then let’s take innocent animals out.

They are just sport no doubt.

The death wheel will do another turn.

We will we choke on fumes as bodies burn.

It’s the war mill and we are the grist.

We are just humans and the lord is pissed.

This is part of Ronovanwrite’s Guess that Art 11

Thursday photo prompt: Shadows #writephoto

This is my entry for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto, Shadows.

Thoughts of a Ghost.

Am I awake or is this dream

There is no colour, everything monochrome.
Shadows lengthen belying the scene.

I am cold and a long way from home.

I cannot move I cannot speak

My mind is confused and my is body weak .

The Bedlam of war is strangely hushed.

Am I here, dieing alone

I try to move I know I must

Around me the spirits of fallen friend and foe.

The detritus of war, we lie dead with nowhere to go.

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.

Thursday photo prompt: Calm #writephoto

This is my entry for Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo’s #writephoto.

Calm (Lest we forget)

BOOM! Tom came to with a start. Everything ached, he was cold and wet. Slowly things came into focus and so did the realisation of where he was.

Will lay next to him dead eyes staring up at the sky. It wasn’t really Will he told himself, Will had gone earlier. Tom cried, how could he tell his mum that he had shot her son.

Will had stepped on a mine there had not been much of him left. He had begged Tom to kill him. Tom had held him and told him to hold on, he’d be alright. He had held him tight, screaming over Will’s groans “stretcher bearer”.

After five minutes a voice down the line shouted “If you don’t put that poor bastard out of his misery, mate, I will do for the both of you.”

Will had looked him in the eye and mouthed “please” so Tom shot him.

The silence was deafening, yes there were shells and bullets all around him. Everyone went about their business. That must of been when he had passed out.

Will was cold and stiff, how long had he been laid here with him Tom asked himself. It was dark now and the shells and tracers lit the sky.

Tom eased himself out from under Will’s body. The others were lining up for food so he joined them. Halfway through their meal orders came that they would be pushing forward at 19.30 hrs.

Tom felt nothing, yet some of the men were excited, others like Tom remaind silent. Tom looked at his watch, 19.00hrs. Looking down he noticed he was covered in mud and blood. He felt sick and sad that he would have to leave Will behind.

So the next half hour Tom went through the motions, checking his gun and anmunition. At 19.25 sharp the wooden ladders were put up to the wall of the trench. They all stood there in the damp, cold, dark squelching in the mud. Some prayed, some swore, some smoked, Tom just stood staring and shaking.

At 19.30 precisely the whistles blew and they all when up the ladders and into noman’s land.

Wire cutters at the ready, in the vain hope they might get to use them. Bullets and shells whizzed and exploded all around them . They fell, some immediately dead, some yet to die …a few to live another day.

Tom didn’t see the bullet coming but he felt it hit his forehead. As he fell others trampled over him. The last words he heard were those of the Officer calling the men on “For King and Country Lads”

Tom awoke for the second time that day. It took him a while to take in his surroundings. He was dry and warm and clean, no mud? … “Here Tommy boy, just as you like it hot milky and three sugars.” Tom looked up into Will’s loving eyes. “No more fighting for us Tommy , we’ve found peace” Tom sipped his tea and smoked a fag taking in the crowed room…there were so many people a sea of calm souls. Beyond he saw the stream where he and will played as children.

Thursday Photo Prompt.

The Red, the White and the Purple

I do not want to upset anyone but as we draw near to Rememberance Day I just wanted to share my feelings on the poppies we wear.

There are more than one, these days, the red to remember the dead, the white for peace. To remember the conscientious objector. During WW1 and WW2 many thought these men were cowards. I do feel they were brave enough to stand up for their beliefs. Many were tried and shot for not taking up arms. Many spent the war as medics and stretcher bearers unarmed or in the mines.

What ever you think, the wars killed them irrespective of their principles. I respect the Red and the White.

The Red and the White.

Why

Argue

Both were brave

Each had their own

Principles to up

Hold. Neither less than bold.

One would carry a weapon

The other a stretcher, no gun

Both men died for their own held beliefs

They were both lost and that loss brought much grief.

———

Then there is the Purple Poppy in remembrance of all the animals who died in service during conflicts.

They pulled the gun carriages until they dropped

They carried messages and they got shot.

They search out the unexploded mines

They save lives a thousand times.

Spare a thought for the horse, pigeon, donkey dog and many more

Remember them, they all help us in times of war.

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