Friday, 11 November 2011

At the Eleventh Hour... for the sake of humanity

Written at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year of this millennium.

I have only one thing to say about Remembrance Day: Let us simply remember it and all the lives that have been adversely affected by conflict over the years, but particularly lives lost.

That's it!

Well, it isn't completely it. I do have something else to say.

In fact, right now, I'm feeling very angry... angry at the arrogance, unreasonable partisanship and any kind of behaviour that demonstrates ignorance and intolerance - especially political or religious intolerance - or any form of drum-beating vested interest from anywhere in the world.

Leave it out, for God's sake, pack it in and leave it out!! Just start thinking about what the poppy really represents.


When I see a poppy
I see the symbol
of something that
it's easy to forget;
not a logo, a stripe
or a statement of rank.
It's neither corporate image
nor party colour,
nor crucifix.
It is not even...

...a badge of honour.

It's only a symbol,
designed to jolt
our memories.
It's not to be taken
as hostage
by those with 'affiliations'!
Nor to be hijacked
for personal ends.

It is for humanity
for non-affiliated
family and community;
national and international
universal praise and pride...

...in humanity.

You've only to imagine
you're facing an adversary,
in whose hands
your life may be held;
imagine that all you think,
in any one moment
of extreme danger,
is your preparedness
to sacrifice your life
for your friends,
who stand beside you,
your comrades in arms;
for your family
and community
and to demonstrate...

...ultimate loyalty.

It is not for self-interest
nor to promote
your image;
it is for real heroes,
whose blood we see
as a bright red carpet
of papaveraceae.

...and each flower
is a life.


Remember this and only this, please; and perhaps, one day, there will be peace on earth.

(I make no apology that the above looks like a poem, but is not necessarily very good poetry. It is, nonetheless, a way to express how I feel, by breaking up the prose into meaningful lines - maybe that's what poetry can be...?)

© 2011 John Anstie