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Poem: 12th of November – next day thoughts on Remembrance Day




12th of November

Too many flags
Too many wreaths
flying and furled
circles and sheaths
symbols of power
and Babel’s tower
Too many widows
Too much unsolaced grief

Too many pipes
Too many drums
militant skirl
bellicose beat
marching in lines
laying down mines
Too wedded to war
To demand that peace comes

Too many guns
Too many bayonettes
aimed and fired
jabbed and thrust
with iron will
and practiced skill
Too many victims
Too few regrets

Too many elegies
Too much lament
plangent with pain
and bitter regret
victims of war
cry what was it for
Too many leaders
Too proud to relent

Too many lands know the tread
of too many Great British boots
annexed or invaded
subjected subdued
pink-mapped empire
tempered in fire
Too many viceroys
Too few native roots

Too much religion
Too much God saves
Priests blessing battles
Divine self-deceit
this life alone sacred
no reverence in dead
Too many crosses
atop too many graves

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