Tag Archives: poppy

At the going down of the sun we shall remember them

One of my earliest recollections of growing up in Liverpool, is of a relative (I called him big granddad or Captain Jim), who had fought and been wounded in World War I. I remember him tapping with the walking stick, which he invariably used, on the fish tank which sat in a corner of my grandfather’s (on my Mother’s side) living room. In later life I learned that he had been (and remained until his death) a member of the Labour Party and that meetings of the local organisation had taken place in his home.

I have no memory of ever having talked with this kind gentleman regarding how he came to walk with a stick but, later in life I learned that he had been wounded in the trenches. I have no idea of what this man had been through (its difficult at this distance in time to comprehend the horror of trench warfare other than by reading the accounts of eye witnesses, the recordings of those who fought in the “Great War” and, of course the poetry of the war poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke). In retrospect I wish that I had spoken with Captain Jim about his experiences. However I was a small boy so did not do so. Even had I raised the subject, its perfectly possible that he may not have wished to engage with me (or anyone else) on it.

Back in November 2016 I wrote the below poem “Poppy” which is reproduced below:

To those who died that you and me
Might live free.
To those who gave their sweet breath for King and Countrie.
I regret that yesterday
I had no cash to pay
For a poppy deep red
To remember the dead.

I will not know the stench
Of trench
Nor the wrench
Of fear
And pain as spear
Drains the life away.

What can the poet say
Who has never known
The touch of steel against bone?
We die alone
But most will peaceful go
And will not know
The whoa
Of comrades lost,
Nor count the cost
Of bloody strife.
They will not give their life
That others (you and me)
May live free.

Having only my debit card I regret to say
That I could not buy
A blood red
Poppy to remember the dead
As I wended my way
To my nine to five job yesterday”.

 

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Remembrance

In honour of those who gave their lives for freedom, I am reproducing below my poem “Poppy”, which first appeared here on 4 November 2016. This year I was able to purchase a poppy to remember the dead.

To those who died that you and me
Might live free.
To those who gave their sweet breath for King and Countrie.
I regret that yesterday
I had no cash to pay
For a poppy deep red
To remember the dead.

I will not know the stench
Of trench
Nor the wrench
Of fear
And pain as spear
Drains the life away.

What can the poet say
Who has never known
The touch of steel against bone?
We die alone
But most will peaceful go
And will not know
The whoa
Of comrades lost,
Nor count the cost
Of bloody strife.
They will not give their life
That others (you and me)
May live free.

Having only my debit card I regret to say
That I could not buy
A blood red
Poppy to remember the dead
As I wended my way
To my nine to five job yesterday.

Poppy

To those who died that you and me
Might live free.
To those who gave their sweet breath for King and Countrie.
I regret that yesterday
I had no cash to pay
For a poppy deep red
To remember the dead.

I will not know the stench
Of trench
Nor the wrench
Of fear
And pain as spear
Drains the life away.

What can the poet say
Who has never known
The touch of steel against bone?
We die alone
But most will peaceful go
And will not know
The woe
Of comrades lost,
Nor count the cost
Of bloody strife.
They will not give their life
That others (you and me)
May live free.

Having only my debit card I regret to say
That I could not buy
A blood red
Poppy to remember the dead
As I wended my way
To my nine to five job yesterday.