On This Remembrance Sunday.

Hey everyone. This morning I attended my local church for the Remembrance Sunday service. It was a particularly poignant occasion as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 and our minister gave an excellent and inspiring sermon on the horrors of war reminding us that even as we gathered at our wee kirk on the corner that there are 43 wars currently taking place between nations at various places around this earth. To me and many of my friends this is 43 wars too many. In my eyes there is only one war worth fighting and that is the war against poverty. It is I think a terrible shame that the UK Establishment does not and never has shared this view. It is in memory of every soldier I have ever known that I have known including those who served in the World Wars and the lesser known wars since that I dedicate this poem. I have titled it On This Remembrance Sunday. I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read

On This Remembrance Sunday.

On this Remembrance Sunday
I made my way to church
joined the rest of the nation
in the two minutes silence
when we think of those
who never made it home
those who fell in countries far from their native lands
who never returned to Baillieston Bridgend or Brighton
who gave their lives not for a flag nor a crown
but for an enlightened hope
that their families and friends
would live in a better world than this
what would the fallen say
if they could see foodbanks, austerity, poverty
a sham masquerading as democracy
where the middle class and city kids
are content to tell us
they are proud to be Brits
but the Britain they fight to protect
is more fractured than ever
a case of us and them
and to the road to number 10
is a path beyond the travel of ordinary citizens
wealth and ambitions are privileges designed for the few
I wonder what those who fought
would think of our bland new vision of their land
this is no new Jerusalem
and as for jam you may get it tomorrow
but only if you can afford the price
millions died in senseless slaughter
made the ultimate sacrifice
to defend the honour
of the country they were told would take care of them
and build a better future
for future generations
it is in their name
we must speak up and say
this is not the land our ancestors fought to build
this is not the nation they would have wanted to see
on this Remembrance Sunday
we must to promise to honour their memory
by creating a fairer kinder society
in which talent not inherited wealth is the measure of our progress as a nation
we should not be facing
unacceptable choices between heating and eating
to do so is to dance on the graves on the dead
who fought and bled
for a promise of glory
but received instead
only the rags of the rich

@ Gayle Smith 2014


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