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.

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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 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

Naani : Remember Them.

Image from BBC News

Shoulder to shoulder

They stand. Far too many

To count. They fought

In the air, on sea and land.

Image from Pixabay

7.30 am July 1st 1916 Battle of the Somme

Today  is  the  100yr  anniversary  of  the Battle  of  the Somme. Read  here Please

At 7.30am   I sat in my  kitchen in  silence  and  observed the  two minute  silence  in  reverence  for  all  the English,  French   and  German  soldiers  who  died in  not only  that  battle   but  in  that  war…To  end  all  wars , but  also  the those  who  died  in  the  next  war  and  the  next  and  so on! From  all the  countries  in  the  world.

7608494flanders_fields_ypres

Death, Desolation, Destruction!

Men taught hate men taught to wait til death comes to claim them 

Stink, Stench Smell

Bodies sinking in the mud tell their own story.

Is this man’s best glory.

Drench, Damp Dripping

Their guns are filthy,bullets all spent . They all gave up hoping.

Boom,Bang Whistle, 

They no longer hear they no longer fear the hair on their necks no longer bristle.

Dead all dead and left to rot .

This was the war to end all wars ……….. How soon we all forgot

Nothing has changed in the theater of war they are battling still, on the fringe they know the score.

Shout , Scream Squeal they will still advance they have lost the ability to feel.

No longer human their souls are worn out and why are they out there? Can you answer beyond any doubt.

Fight for your sight fight freedom for all ..as if that day will ever dawn wait to hear the cock call!

Death, Desolation, Destruction!

Men taught hate men taught to wait til death comes to claim them.

first-world-war-so_2563293b-large_transpjliwavx4cowfcaekesb3kvxit-lggwcwqwla_rxju8

On the first day of the 141-day campaign, July 1 1916, was and still is the deadliest day in the history of the British Army. Almost 20,000 British Empire soldiers lost their lives in just 24 hours.

Image 1

Image 2

Poem written  by  me

Madness by  the world

LEST WE FORGET!

Lest we forget. 11/11/2015

Today was a special day a date carved in my mind.

Today it is time for us to remember the soldiers who died for all mankind.

Walking up to town today my poppy on show

Just a little reminder, my reverence to show.

The high street was busy full of people to and fro

And traffic rushing through as motorists on their journeys go.

Today it will be different, today is not the norm though

Busy roads and people about their business go.

Outside the Town Hall and in the Market Place

Groups of people gather, smile and wave the older men embrace.

Now the clock hands approach the eleventh hour

Our town surges gratefulness you can feel it’s power.

For every shopper stops and stands and every coffee shop

And bar is silent now because the clock bell tolls the hour.

The tills in the supermarkets and every shop

Are silent and with silent shoppers filled

Even the mighty traffic is in it journey is stilled.

In silence I stood and watched this strangest but most merited tribute

And as ever I shed a tear as the old men took a salute.

Two minutes and it was over all trace of silence gone,

The shops are once more busy the stilled traffic now moves on.

I meet my friend and as in to a coffee shop we go

Saying a silent thank you to all those brave men and women who we do not know.

They fought , some gave their lives for me so

I could be free. In Flanders, Turbrook and Tripoli,on the Somme,

Leningrad, Pearl Harbour and Helmand Province,

Iraq and Iran and many, many other places defended by a brave woman or a man.

I make no apology I will be politically in-correct

For so many have offered up their lives and my life they still affect!

 

They fought against what ever foe that threatened our freedom to take

Often they had to give the biggest sacrifice anyone  has to make.

I shall not forget them and neither should you

for without them you would not be free to do most of the things you do!

So on this 11th day at the 11th hour of this 11th month I stood

To salute our soldiers, sailors and our airmen and many, many others.

For they have given their all for us my sisters and my brothers.

We owe them a THANK YOU.

THANK YOU
one of  my older poems reworked  : Always  and  ever  true.

Loneliness

Alone  he  stands  on the  beach

He’s come  this far from all he has known

All goals  and hopes  smashed  and out of  reach

He  has lost all, job,  family, love  and  home.

 

The  bottle’s content is  his  only  friend

He’s cold  and tired, no life he  has lost all hope,

The sun sets  another empty day comes  to an end

Water  laps his  feet, tears burn his  eyes  he cannot cope.

 

Emptiness  eats his soul the pain is deep like a cancer

He knows  he  had it  all and  lost it, his fault only

He  was young  and  reckless and a bright romancer

Squandered  days  and nights,drink and  drugs left him lonely

 

When did it  start  he  does not  know

But  he  prays it  will end and  soon

He lays  down curled  like  a  child, his  tears  flow.

Alone on  the beach washed  by sea and  lit  by moon.

 

 

 

 

Poetry Challenge #7 08/07/2012 ARMY DREAMERS

photo credits http:/www.fire-horse.co.uk

This really is a song but the words are true poetry. I have always loved it as a poem. It holds as true today as it did in 22 September 1980 when it was released as a single. It tells of the grief of a mother receiving the body of her young son who has been killed in action. Her heart is torn in two and she feel guilty for not stopping him from joining up ( as if she could of stopped him) .

She berates herself for the things he could of been, could of done , the marriage he could of had , the grandchildren and his life. …….. Waste all waste  as I have always said time and time again! War is waste!

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KATE BUSH

Catherine “Kate” Bush (born 30 July 1958)is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Her eclectic musical style and idiosyncratic vocal style have made her one of the United Kingdom’s most successful solo female performers of the past 30 years.

In 1978, at the age of 19, Bush topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single “Wuthering Heights“, becoming the first woman to have a UK number one with a self-written song.

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THE PHOTOS I HAVE USED ARE FROM THE INTERNET AND THE PHOTO OF THE YOUNG SOLDIER IS NOT RELATED TO THE PHOTO OF THE COFFIN RETURNING HOME

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Our little army boy
Is coming home from b.f.p.o.
I’ve a bunch of purple flowers
To decorate a mammy’s hero.

Mourning in the aerodrome,
The weather warmer, he is colder.
Four men in uniform
To carry home my little soldier.

“what could he do?
Should have been a rock star.”
But he didn’t have the money for a guitar.
“what could he do?
Should have been a politician.”
But he never had a proper education.
“what could he do?
Should have been a father.”
But he never even made it to his twenties.
What a waste —
Army dreamers.
Ooh, what a waste of
Army dreamers.

Tears o’er a tin box.
Oh, jesus christ, he wasn’t to know,
Like a chicken with a fox,
He couldn’t win the war with ego.

Give the kid the pick of pips,
And give him all your stripes and ribbons.
Now he’s sitting in his hole,
He might as well have buttons and bows.

“what could he do?
Should have been a rock star.”
But he didn’t have the money for a guitar.
“what could he do?
Should have been a politician.”
But he never had a proper education.
“what could he do?
Should have been a father.”
But he never even made it to his twenties.

What a waste —
Army dreamers.
Ooh, what a waste of
Army dreamers.
Ooh, what a waste of all that
Army dreamers,
Army dreamers,
Army dreamers, oh…

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:

Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 25/03/2012

Death a poem
by William Butler Yeats

 

Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Suppression of breath;
He knows death to the bone
Man has created death.

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In this poem I see “Death” stalking the battle fields and war torn villages and towns. Eagerly reaping up the dead. No respect for age or sex he just collects them all. Not even the animals are safe from him.

In fact the beginning  lines of the poem suggest that there is no hope for man nor beast . There is no hope, for man created war and in doing so they opened the gates of hell to let an unstoppable killing machine/ monster into our world.

Sadly I agree ever since the first tribes picked up stones or branches against each other war has been around in one guise or an other ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ modern or ancient…………………..

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William Butler Yeats 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and playwright, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary society.Yeats had a life-long interest in mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology. He read extensively on the subjects throughout his life, became a member of the paranormal research organisation.

He  was born and educated in Dublin but spent his childhood in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult.

Yeats proposed to 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees (1892–1968), whom he had met through Olivia Shakespear. Despite warning from her friends—”George … you can’t. He must be dead”( he was 51yrs she  accepted,)  and the two were married on 20 October. Their marriage was a success, in spite of the age difference, and in spite of Yeats’ feelings of remorse and regret during their honeymoon. The couple went on to have two children, Anne and Michael. Although in later years he had romantic relationships with other women and possibly affairs, George herself wrote to her husband “When you are dead, people will talk about your love affairs, but I shall say nothing, for I will remember how proud you were.”

Yeats may of had affairs after his marriage but had only had two before firstly with Maud Gonne and secondly with Olivia Shakespear.

More information on W.B Yeats can be found at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._B._Yeats

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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:

Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 11/03/2012

“Dulce et Decorum Est ”    Wilfred Owen

  (It is sweet and Glorious )

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,         Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs                                     And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Is sweet and glorious Die for his country.???

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I have given information on Wilfred Owen before but it is worth repeating myself.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) is widely recognised as one of the greatest voices of the First World War. His self-appointed task was to speak for the men in his care, to show the ‘Pity of War’.

Wilfred Owen

Owen’s enduring and influential poetry is evidence of his bleak realism, his energy and indignation, his compassion and his great technical skill.

The Wilfred Owen Association was formed in 1989 to commemorate Wilfred Owen’s life and work. You can learn more at http://wilfredowen.org.uk/home/

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Sideshow Produced By www.WW1Photos.com

I do not normally add videos to these poems as they are so sad and I am  trying to relate the truth. This song is everything I find so bad about WW1 A merry tune hiding a horrible horrible truth.

A young man like the one in the song could of enlisted at the start of the war and then received  approximately  12 weeks training, by 1918 was down to 6 weeks. Training for a standard infantry soldier was basic as most people already accepted orders, routine, manual labour, so they were compliant. The main areas of training where rifle and bayonet drill, small unit tactics and learning the basics of trench warfare.

So six to twelve weeks and then sent forth to the bowls of hell. I have covered how much this challenge has taught me ……. you already know how I feel.

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:

The Mess in the Alley

cold and damp

It’s finally stopped raining but your jeans are soaking wet and if it were not for the tricks men make you turn you’d be worried about the cold that you could get. The day is nearly over descending in to grey you’re better off staying here now you are already wet and they need not see for what they pay.

You are feeling very twitchy it is hours since your last fix your stomach is turning somersaults and your mood is between and betwixt.You watch people passing the end of your little patch some with shopping some with children all with lives you’d love to snatch.

School children walking home ipods in their ears  you pick up their discarded cigarettes and wistfully long for their, undone homework fears. Life is so simple for them and some are older than you. They would spill their guts and run a mile had they had to do some of the things you do.

If you did not feel so dizzy you really would stand up you need to tart your face up and put on a smile the punters will be out soon so you need to practice your smile. You hope and pray that you can score tonight the cramps are getting worse and your legs are not up to running so there is no point in pinching some old dears purse.

You marvel at the fact that these men will still use you, you look a mess and smell even worse but still you thank God that they do. Why is your head thumping, you’ve not felt that way before have you got enough cash for a sandwich you’ve some money in your back pocket of that you’re pretty sure.

Why can’t you stand up you push your hand down on the floor. God what is this, is it blood it is, it is all over your hands and more. Your legs have turn to jelly and you have never felt so cold your chest feels tight and your guts hurt you so, you need to move you feel a hundred years old.

There is someone coming , you reach out for help , they see the blood, they are so shocked they let out a yelp. They haven’t stopped they have left you here what are you to do.Your life’s blood is leaving you fast and as you shed a tear it all begins to go black suddenly, yet you feel no fear.

“Some one call an ambulance, but I think it is too late . How could she just be left here and in such a state.”

47 Days to Christmas

Christmas Shopping

I want those I want these give me give me, give me please! Look there is one in yellow and one in blue I want both of those and a red one too!

Hurry now only 47 days to go, until Christmas. I WANT SNOW! Get some chocolates get some nuts order a turkey (minus it’s guts!)

Decorations in silver and in gold. I need my coat on, it is getting cold. New tree lights this year they are blue  hurry, scurry there’s so much to do!

Order the booze in and mixers too don’t forget the sherry for great Aunt Sue! Festive tablecloth with matching serviettes and pretty crackers full of curly up fishes, bad jokes and plastic jets!

Buy the presents not a second to lose  lots of wrapping paper needed and shiny bows and glitter glues.

No don’t worry what you spend or waste or who you dash through in your obscene  haste. No don’t worry about those less well off than you, it is not your fault what can you do???

Happy Christmas

Tiny little fingers in the dust , huge eyes so sad finally closed. Where is  the help that was promised where is the aid.War on your left side famine at your right they no longer threaten you Death has arrive to erase your plight.

The last verse of this poem and the photo are meant to shock. The words are from a poem I wrote in August  entitled Death by Aid.        

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/278/

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