Big Questions

They could not see
the end
of their noses
the end
of the last century
the end
of infantry and cavalry
of Boys Own battles
and yet they stand
today in ceremony,
the successors
and descendants
of those, who may have
invoked
supplied
and managed
this catastrophe,
with military pomp.

Somehow
it glorifies,
it excuses
it avoids
the actions,
the decisions,
the consequences
the tactical and
maybe strategic folly
the utterly desperate
and tragic outcome,
somehow …

And yet, how else
can we remember
those, who were,
without question,
persuaded to be brave
enough to give up
their lives
for a five mile
quagmire?

[This is the only way I can commemorate Passchendaele. Today, 31st July, is the centenary of the start of that horrendous battle. It raged for 100 days and took hundreds of thousands of lives. The oft spoken words: “We will remember them” are not enough any more. We should now be asking big and much more difficult questions]

© 2017 John Anstie
All rights reserved.

Advertisements

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates As a young man, John enjoyed being fit and sporting. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines as Gordonstoun, giving shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. This fitness was enhanced by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, by selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a forty-seven year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and a mixed barbershop quartet, Needle & Fred. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club). He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is often autobiographical and frequently pins his colours to the mast. In 2013, he completed an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of nine poets, who met on Twitter. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
This entry was posted in Death, Free Verse, poem, political, sadness, War and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Don't leave without letting me know your feelings...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s