We may find a multitude of ways to remember Sacrifices made, this day each November And whether we wear poppy red, poppy white In the square, in a churchyard, in the soft autumn light Or at home, or even if we don’t mark it at all Conflicts, some present, exert still a call On our minds and our hearts to give pause and reflection Consider, is there some substantial connection Between those who struggle, and our more comfortable lives Far from child soldiers under African skies Or those in Ukraine, or Iran, where they fight Against varying tyrannical forms, out of sight… When part of you hurts, the whole body feels pain It’s how we should be, when one person is maimed So let us be conscious, seek out and discern Where conflict is happening, to direct our concern And find out the cause – resources, or land – Which ignited the flame, let it get out of hand Put ourselves in their shoes, empathise, and yeah, pray Take some action perhaps – and though it doesn’t go away We can lift up the hurting, joining hands, joining hearts And imagine a future – where war finally departs
I sense a fresh dimension to Remembrance this year Fallen soldiers, not for them alone we shed a tear Another source of sadness now engulfs our troubled world The tendrils of a different grief around our hearts now curl Remembering former conflicts, honouring those who fell Let’s listen to that other grief that in our hearts now swells Conflict, it has meanings that are not confined to war Bayonets and battles are not all we’re grieving for A shrill alarm, a clarion call: our conflict with the earth Novel forms of death to which destructive ways gave birth This Remembrance Day, let us not solely view the past Let us weigh a future that is coming at us fast How better can we honour those who paid such sacrifice Than dare give up our comfort for the sake of future life Life encompassing the ones who’ll live here after us People, creatures and a planet placed within our trust Climate – it is said the situation’s like a war A scale and challenge unlike anything we’ve fought before A safer, greener, fairer earth is surely worth the price Of careful thought and action now, a personal sacrifice Echo faint yet resonant of sacrifice once made By One who dwells within creation, on whom grief was laid Love of God, a tenderness and breadth of endless scope Like poppy red, where all seemed dead, now springs afresh with hope
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.