In annual deep autumnal gloom, of russet red November,
Many of us stop a while, to pause, reflect, remember,
Huddled groups, dark overcoats with splash of poppy red,
Reassuring ritual, of words said and unsaid.
This year coronavirus lends the day a different hue,
Musings on mortality touched with other sadness too,
So if you can, go the extra mile to reach out and remember
Those who may be struggling and fragile this November.
While crimson poppies are the norm, some wear a poppy white,
A broader deep perspective to keep within our sight,
Puzzled people ask me what a white poppy is for:
To honour every person killed or traumatised by war.
We mark the memory of the fallen, costly sacrifice
Of those who bravely gave their lives, but also mark the price,
The causes and the roots of conflict, issues broad and deep,
And actively pursue the peace, seek to preserve and keep.
In doing so, we emulate the fragile precious art
Of weaving harmony that lasts, a pearl of God’s own heart,
Like him, let all our yearning for such deep ‘shalom’ not cease,
Until, as oceans cover earth, our world is filled with peace.