Beth Shalom

img_0599Crucially it tells the story
All should know but still must be told,
Of those who grew not old,
Who fled from fear and intolerance,
Or died horrendous living deaths
When life was cheap,
When no one dared weep.
Cry now as you see photos
And hear personal testimonies
Of truly horrendous stories,
But it won’t do any good –
Only the history exists,
The people are gone
In a hate-filled Armageddon.

Hope spreads from the telling
Of the threat of extremism,
The arrogance of racism,
Hope spreads far and wide
When truth is revealed
Of a time man destroyed man
In a man-made plan.
Danger emerges
In the quest for perfection
Perfected in destruction,
In wholesale death.
Far better to believe
That all are born equal,
Love thy neighbour,
Set not brother against brother.

Copyright wordz2Go Feb 2017
Matthew 22:39
‘Thous shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’.

Inspired by a visit to Beth Shalom:
A Nottinghamshire village
Hosting a Shoah memorial.

James, Frederick and Leonard

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Tower of London, November 2015 (c)

Yours is a tale from
The war to end all wars,
Yours is the blood
Spilt pointlessly in mud,
Mingled in shell holes
In the hell-hole of war.
Yours is the noise
Of battlefield cries,
Boys screaming for Mam,
Men calling for wives,
Yours is the wholesale
Butcher of lives.

James, Frederick and Leonard,
Yours are the lives
Ended shockingly short,
Yours is the warning
Of political breakdown
Both country and crown.
Ordinary men caught
In an act of contrition
In a war of attrition
No-one could win.
In the mud where you tread,
Shells are the harvest
From the fields of the dead.

Copyright wordz2Go Nov 2016

Inspired by personal details left at the Tower of London 2015 Poppies display
(See my photo above)

Isaiah 2:4 “The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes.”

 

Blame Game

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Focus on the Somme today
Is right and good and proper,
We should remember, we must remember,
There is no pleasure
In war.
No winners,
Only losers.
But why remember only those
Soldiers from our home nations
The flower of a home-grown generation?
German boys and mothers suffered also,
They too were just young and innocent boys
Forced by political failure into an abominable war of attrition,
True remembrance must surely include this recognition
Of failure and the lost on both sides.
There are no winners in war, only losers
But history is written by victors
Who are rarely magnanimous in approach.
So who should we reproach?
Politicians, generals or whole nations?
Were German tactics any worse than ours,
Did they shoot the traumatised deemed to be unpatriotic?
Were their politics any more idiotic?
Colonialism and empire,
A sense of right and might
And inflexible plans of man
Mowed down as many as the guns.
Focus on the Somme today,
Is right and good and proper.
Go visit the graves, see the poppies,
Mourn the loss of millions,
Soldiers and civilians.
Remember too to visit other smaller
Memorials where equally innocent
People lie awaiting empathy.
Refuse to play the blame-game,
Let’s not forget how wars begin –
By looking for the log without
Instead of looking in.

Copyright wordz2Go 1 July 2016

Wales-Scotland 2015

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The second battle commences
As we fight up North,
Plenty of supporters
To make the dragon roar
And watch the Murryfield monsters
Quake at the sound
Of thousands of Welshmen invading their ground.

Arm in arm they stand on the field,
Two great anthems sung with pride,
Two celtic teams side by side,
Both determined to win today
But Welsh fans pray
Harder to Rugby-God in the sky
To plead for a better result.
And God heard us today,
We saw some great play
As we watched the tries scored
From Davies and Webb
And groaned over the binning
Of a winning try-scorer,
‘At least the Ref was consistent’, we said,
Nearly as good as Halfpenny’s boot
On his deadly right foot
That ruined a fine Scottish day.
A frustrating game some say
But Warburton’s men won out –
And if you were in doubt,
Just remember this:

Wales is a small country
With mighty ambitions,
We could win The Six Nations, again!

Copyright wordz2Go Feb 2015

Wales-England 2015

This is war,
Disguised as rugby,
To be sure
But war, nonetheless.
Wales-England,
2015 Six Nations –
The unstoppable force that is George North,
Warriors in red,
Fighting to prove our country’s worth.
It’s tense, real tense,
And it makes no sense that
England are now two points up,
Come on boys!
You started so well, an early try,
Hopes were high.
Ten minutes to go,
You can pull this back,
Just give us a try
Before I die
Oh Lord, England’s try instead
I’m off to bed.

Copyright wordz2Go Feb 2015

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke 1915

2 Oct 2015 National Poetry Day in the UK.
This is a favourite of mine. When visiting Ypres and Tynecot Cemetery it naturally sprang to mind. So evocative.