Bullet points


  • In England's fields few poppies grow,
  • Chemical fertilisers have seen to that
  • The land is still owned by the same fey aristocrats
  • Who’ve plundered and marauded for untold centuries.
  • On the slivers of common land that remain
  • The common sparrows still bravely sing,
  • Scarce heard amid the empty political posturing.
  • No-one listens to the Glorious Dead. Lip service only.
  • Instead, if the 'great and good' bother to remember,
  • They don't remember the ordinary Tommy
  • Who still has no home in England's land
  • Where, it is made abundantly clear,  
  • Those trespassers will most definitely be prosecuted.
  • Year after year, after year, after bloody year. 
  • Some still bow our heads for the magnificient few
  • Who flew those endless sorties
  • In the endless summer of 1940.
    Very few people understand the sacrifices they made
  • Now in England veterans queue at food banks in the rain
  • They don’t boast, don’t even mention the terror and boredom of war,
  • Or what it was all for. Civilians cannot understand.
  • Everyday we break faith with these dead broke
  • Blokes, who still cannot sleep nor find repose,
  • In any land where the bloody red poppy  grows.

 Image result for british soldier with blood


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John Marks

Sat 9th Nov 2019 22:43

Brian, the poem (not 'narrative', that means story)) does not state that all veterans are destitute. But if one veteran is destitute - that is, for me, a national disgrace. The poem is centred on our national hypocrisy - we wear the poppy but forget (or fail to realise) the flesh and blood sacrifice of those who serve - death, mutilation, shell shock, PTSD et al. . This gap between civilian 'remembrance' and military service is at the centre of the poem. Also, if we really valued our soldiers, sailors and air personnel we'd pay them more and offer them decent pensions, if they live long enough to collect. Instead, since 2010, the budget for the MOD has been cut and cut again. You are not alone in having served, and having relatives who served. Millions of Brits are in the same position, I am no exception.

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Brian Maryon

Sat 9th Nov 2019 21:40

I accept what you say John that there are veterans who are homeless and in need but narratives such as yours give the impression that every veteran is in the same position. I can only speak as I find...I have three siblings who served and five friends. My father and all my uncles fought in WW2. None of these ended up homeless or destitute. So based on that what other conclusion can I draw except that the very fact of being a veteran does not make you destitute. There must be other factors in play such as family support.

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Paul Sayer

Sat 9th Nov 2019 20:37

John... Oh! how I wish you had narrated your poem over this bed.

I have cried many a tear. We all will gain strength from your words.

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Paul Sayer

Sat 9th Nov 2019 20:31

And so, another year passes. With each passing year, passing moment.

The veterans from WW2 fall in numbers to be reunited once more, with those that gave their life, and gone before.

Thought provoking words John

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