Gritty Remembrance



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:


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