Number 11 in Timms Times
The approaching centenary of World War I, and working on a play about it, made me wake up today with this poem circling my brain:
White messages of life and love
are strong for British people.
A bridal gown with veil and lace
shows honour, purity and love.
White lilies mark a second life
hoped for when one dies.
White symbols show our faith and trust
that what we hope will happen.
White doves fly in free formation,
released to mark our joy
They briefly darken sporting skies,
or cast a moment’s shade
on days that mark our peace.
In World War I, white plumes of shame
marked shame-less non-enlisters–
no matter if they tried to hold
or live ‘thou shalt not kill’;
no matter if they drove or carried,
saving injured soldiers;
no matter if they gave their lives
that others might live theirs.
No cowards they, but brave believers
holding to their faith.
13 April 2014