It’s the start of December. Advent. Did you remember?
Put up the tree and decorations, entertain expectations – of snow?
With climate change they’re low. In fact it’s probably a ‘no’, but even so…
You might get an Advent calendar, with those pretty little doors.
I’ve got a nice one already. How’s yours? Has it escaped the kids’ mucky paws?
A time of waiting, anticipation. Not just for the cut-price vacation.
A time of preparation. For what? You may say.
And you know what, fair play for asking. I’m not basking
In any special expertise. Oh please!
For some it’s looking forward to Christmas, baby Jesus.
Maybe not what your average geezers down the pub are giving thought to.
And who says they ought to?
But we can all use a moment to be quiet. You should try it. Some hush amidst the rush.
A little chance to be peaceful, and still. Like it? Think you will.
Out with the mates, pub, Friday night…will I have a good time, or get into a fight?
Walk up to the bar, it catches ma sight.
Nice tray of poppies. Not sure it’s for me.
War stuff. Had enough. Best forgotten, ya see?
Plastic things, need a pin. Nah, don’t count me in.
Makes me think though, ya know, of poppies in a field.
They grew in the trenches – I’m sure that’s for real.
Dunno if I’ll buy. I mean donate. Nice try.
There’s something about them though, seeing them every year.
Symbol of hope. Need some of that. Right now, right here.
I put the telly on. That ceremony from the er, Cenotaph, that’s the one.
Politicians, royalty, that posh lot ya see.
Dressed in black. Now don’t give me flack – but it‘s not for me.
So sombre, look at that ‘ombre, with ‘is medals n poker face.
I’d feel right out of place. Something about it though, the quiet,
Two minutes of it – amazing. Might even try it.
Could do with some peace, release. Life’s tough, we all know it,
But be still for that long – and not blow it?
Let down the façade? – look behind? what’ll I find?
Scary stuff? Nothing? Maybe God? Who can say?
I’ll try it. Today.
It’s Remembrance. A special one. End of the War – you know the score.
First world war, the Great war, fourteen to eighteen,
It was brutal. It was bloody. And by all accounts, muddy.
I don’t choose to watch the TV news – I usually refuse,
But seeing those brave lads in their khakis and caps – no rest, no naps.
In their ranks. In their tanks. Their camouflage gear. No fear.
Day in and day out, down the barrel of a gun. Not fun.
I admire; they inspire me to face conflicts of my own – and not alone.
With the boss, the mates, the missus; and not with flattery – or kisses.
Maybe with God’s help? And prayer? I dare to believe – that he’s there.
These poems with music bed were broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds and Pulse 2 in West Yorkshire last weekend. Dry versions (voice only) here: