But once a year

out of obscurity glory flares

in decisive moments every year

far from where bullets tore at the fabric

flags are hoisted high

to a grave whisper of tattered dreams.


No questions asked of why,

better to do and die.

Then the fabric is once more re-stitched

at small shrines again

tributes dusted down, candles lit

trying to make some sense of it,


why wars can always be justified.

We mumble to our inner selves

Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory

our men.

◄ ON THE QE2 1977



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Fri 15th Nov 2019 22:38

So there we have it Ray... Directly from the friendly, helpful, truthful, voice in the corner... coming soon to every corner, in every home.

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Fri 15th Nov 2019 22:35

I was going to make a very derogatory comment about our members of Parliament...
You are correct sadly, at the moment.

However, many of TPTB are getting a tad concerned about this new interweb thiggie.

Do we really think that free Internet, owned and controlled by government is a good thing... I for one don't.


Whats that Alexa...

"Alexa is NOT dangerous. The data it collects is NOT dangerous. Nothing about an Amazon Echo is dangerous. It's awesome.

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Fri 15th Nov 2019 20:43

Indeed, Po. Perhaps horror is the thing we fear most and keep on repeating it. That seems bizarre I know but we kill what we fear don't we? At the present time people are afraid of being overwhelmed by the unknown and social instability. The politicians will sort it out no doubt.


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Fri 15th Nov 2019 13:05

..."Are we to learn or just repeat our ghastly misconceptions of supremacy and marginalizations which result in ethnic cleansing and the like?"

Sadly Ray I feel this is exactly the situation we are STILL in.

When I say 'we', I mean the whole of humanity with the exception of a very small minority.

When exhuming a mass war grave... (the results of ethic cleansing) such as I referred to in a previous post, the skeletal remains could be any race, creed, or colour, from any time in earths history, at first glance we all look the same... because we all are!

Under forensic scrutiny we may discern the differences, however the end result is... man's inhumanity to man.

I generalise here obviously. When the pile is bulldozed in to a pit
if it continued, I truly fear what we would be left with.

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Fri 15th Nov 2019 12:20

Jennifer, you are right to honour those who died for whatever reason was valid at the time and that is indeed what most of us feel compelled to do. In a sense it is all we can do. However in the poem I wanted to bring out the sense of futility of the wasting of life and how a yearly observance of it just becomes ultimately an institutionalized response. I think anger would be more effective, instead of the subduing of emotion which often happens at crowd gatherings and indeed at church services. I may be wrong, but these are simply my feelings. I intended no disrespect.

Hi Jon, I'm glad my effort was worthwhile; it's not a subject to be taken lightly, so I gave it my best shot. Thanks.

Po, I have stuck my neck out here I know, but it is after all a site for discussion, and I have subverted that last line to introduce an element of national sensibility into it. We probably unconsciously are drawn to a sense of loss more focussed where our own kind are killed. Perhaps we are closer to understanding other cultures nowadays, and how precious is life globally. I believe there is a sort of tribal element to conceptions of The Empire which were greatly influential at the time. Are we to learn or just repeat our ghastly misconceptions of supremacy and marginalizations which result in ethnic cleansing and the like?

Thanks for your like, Jon.

I'll get my coat.

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Thu 14th Nov 2019 19:57

Ray your penultimate word is absolutely masterful.

You say... “I could go into more depth but this isn't really the time and place in my opinion for more dissension to ensue.”

I would enjoy some more discourse on this Ray, perhaps you may like to pm me:-

I would enjoy a companied walk along the valley of the shadow of death

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Thu 14th Nov 2019 19:24

Hi Ray
Thought provoking. The stunning second stanza sums it up for me.
So well thought out and written

jennifer Malden

Thu 14th Nov 2019 16:44

If we didn't even bother to turn out surely it would mean we didn't care a damn? turning out will never help the pain and sorrow of those injured, or that of families who have lost members, but it at least shows that we remember and are grateful for what they did. Or not?


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Tue 12th Nov 2019 14:38

Thanks for the likes, Joshua and Dorothy.

Just to be clear folks, this was not exactly a celebration of an occasion as the whole procedure hinges on sacrifices made in the name of a cause. If people feel they should show solidarity to that it does nothing to stem the lunacy of killing and being killed often for motives of the furthering of territorial objectives, but for those who feel a resonance emotionally once a year that it what is catered for with the showing of poppies. I could go into more depth but this isn't really the time and place in my opinion for more dissension to ensue.
In particular Brian, we can indeed go in groups to support any cause and publicly voice our opinions, and that would be more significant than a mere online presence, faceless and fairly impotent. I don't quite see that is hypocritical in itself but if you feel yourself as qualifying that is entirely your affair. I appreciate your thoughts Hannah and Martin.


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Brian Maryon

Mon 11th Nov 2019 11:35

Perhaps like everything else we should go online, then we wouldn't have to bother to go out in all weathers to pay some sort of homage. Then, as no-one can see us at our computer screens, we can soon drop it altogether.

Not me though...I enjoy the hypocrisy of turning out.

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Martin Elder

Mon 11th Nov 2019 10:44

I agree with Hannah in this one Ray. It is indeed brilliant. It reminds of a church not far away from where I live that has some tatty looking regimental flags that look as if they would disintegrate if anybody touched them
Fabulous mate

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Hannah Collins

Sun 10th Nov 2019 17:07

This is a brilliant piece.
Once a year we are taken into this realm of suffering and loyalty and heroics, with as you say, few questions as to why.


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