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The annual poppy symbols flaunt

Perennial sorrow;

Gratitude pride will not vaunt



I leave the cenotaph,

The unctuous adulation of the cleric;

I crave sea-silences, to laugh,

Or to be sick!


Here, between tide and tide,

In the place of dead men's bones,

Here, where the grey gulls glide

And the wind moans;


With weed-cerements, green bands,

In pools of the ebb-tide flow,

With froth of spume on wetted sands

Like snow.


Drift-water, reveal the wrack

And the wreckage of wars;

Outward go, then, inevitably back,

While I pause


To remember them, laughing, young,

Remember the tales they told,

The lewd jokes, the songs that were sung,

Of old.


To remember the pubs, the dances, the drink,

(Left, but a little time),

The women, seduced with a wink

And a gin and lime!


To recall the clean, boy-faces, so resigned

On embarkation day;

The saddened girls whom they left behind

In the family way!


But not the blood of battles, the stench,

And the screaming fears;

Not the grovelling down in a shallow trench,

Or the tears;


Nor even the sight of the steel-torn guts

And the mangled limbs....

Nor the Church Parade behind Nisson huts

Singing hymns;


And how they prayed as the Padre prayed

For the Proven Cause;

Proud, perhaps, of the part they played....

And I pause


Here, with the spume-flecked waves

Of the endless tide,

To forget the rows of regimented graves

Where brave men died.


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born on day British won famous battle in Belgian town of Namur WWI,

volunteered for British Expeditionary Force WWII,

evacuated from Dunkirk

subsequently stationed in the Falklands)

for king & country?


a - z



Also by Namur King: Aberfan

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