Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winded in the cemetery

the tree surrendered -
a layer
above the resting souls.
Broken but unbowed
the aged tree
maintains the guard;
a centenarian sentry
in the quiet cemetery.
The symmetry of its loss:
the natural paring
of dead wood.
But in the night
did it make any sound
in its falling
on dead ears.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

This bread that is not bread

This is bread that is not bread,
yet neither skin nor bone
that passes lip and tongue.
This is bread shared
in broken crumb,
passed from hand to hand
the signature of family.

This is wine that is not wine,
yet neither blood,
that travels flowing within –
balm to raging soul,
salve to aching sin.
This is wine
drawn in scarlet pain
from a well of love
that knows no boundary
in depth or time.
This love
poured from
the heart
of God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Memories fade

(Photo by KW,  poppy made by Pam Burgess)

Memories fade
as years march on:
their longevity challenged,
fall in a new line of duty -
the line of time.
Their breeching of trenches,
their enforced bravery
and long carried wounds
forgotten in the grief
of their new graves.

On this day,
when poppies are king,
when Autumn leaves
tinge red with gold,
tears will fall
from thankful souls.

On this day
fears will grow
for the newly marching
who forget their history
or remember it too much
and stride toward some lighthouse,
blind to the rocks beneath.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The naming of the dead*

I do not know them,
these whose sweat and blood
congeal on foreign soil.
Their names, as strangers,
assault the local tongue,
falling, misspoken,
if spoken at all.
Friends and enemies,
mingled paths their misfortunate destiny,
tangled together by vaguery.
I do not know them,
their names fill no lines
in my address book,
their phone numbers
share no history with me.
But I will name them;
every mother’s son,
every missing father,
every soul
upon its new adventure.
I will name them,
proclaim them,
claim back their pride
for all are hero
foreign soil or no
who jeopardise themselves
for me.

*I took the title from the title of a book by Ian Rankin, its content has no other connection.  I have placed it on the blog before but wanted to recognise remembrance on the 11th of 11th again and have posted it a little early.  Wanted to add David R Morgan's kind comment too:

David Morgan
Keith you're on a roll. This is very good old friend and carries your very own honest, authentic voice.