Remember…

Poppies!

A field of poppies… inspired by Monet’s Poppies Blooming. I made some modifications… and of course, not oil painting! Although I did this doodle about two months ago, it was always intended to be for Remembrance Day. We are even working it into the flow for Songs of Albion.

UPDATE: New sonnet for Remembrance Day from Tom – thanks!!

Behold the men who lie beneath the Earth
where now the bright red splashes of the flowers
belie those times when once a human’s worth
was measured by the armies of the Powers
who needed cannon fodder for the fields
they sowed with arty, gas and Maxim fire,
where boys were carried homeward homeward on their shields
but never quite escaped the mud and mire.
Behold the peaceful meadow, poppy-clad,
where ghosts are never quiet in the night,
beneath the autumn sun where once the mad
convinced the world that war was something right.
Behold the dead, the boys who never age:
Whose ghosts won’t rest until it’s peace we wage.

Copyright (C) 2011 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer

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3 Responses to “Remember…”

  1. Behold the men who lie beneath the Earth
    where now the bright red splashes of the flowers
    belie those times when once a human’s worth
    was measured by the armies of the Powers
    who needed cannon fodder for the fields
    they sowed with arty, gas and Maxim fire,
    where boys were carried homeward homeward on their shields
    but never quite escaped the mud and mire.
    Behold the peaceful meadow, poppy-clad,
    where ghosts are never quiet in the night,
    beneath the autumn sun where once the mad
    convinced the world that war was something right.
    Behold the dead, the boys who never age:
    Whose ghosts won’t rest until it’s peace we wage.

    Copyright (C) 2011 Tom Radcliffe

    • Thanks Tom! I knew I could count on you 🙂 I especially like the final couplet… but I think I’m missing something in line six – could you explain?

      • I wondered if that would need explanation (insert here some curmudgeonly lament on the ignorance of today’s youth! :-))

        “Arty” is artillery, “gas” is poison gas, and the Maxim was an early-model machine-gun, of which Hillare Belloc once wrote (in his poem “The Modern Traveller”):

        ‘Whatever happens, we have got
        The Maxim Gun, and they have not.’

        Glad you like the couplet… the couplets always take me longer than all the rest of the poem.

        I wrote something a good deal more bitter for my own blog: http://www.tjradcliffe.com/?p=595 but figured you would appreciate a lighter and gentler touch here!

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