The annual Remembrance Service has come and gone for another year. Time never stands still and memories inexorably recede. The poignancy of our lives bound by time is a thought that often occurs to me. Perhaps it is a consequence of growing older. There is clearly more time behind me in this life than lies ahead.
This year I was asked if I would consider writing something for our Remembrance Sunday Service at church. I was pleased to be asked but a little daunted at being "commissioned" to write something for the first time rather than this arising spontaneously within me.
In truth my creative writing has become sporadic of late (hence the long gap between this entry and the last) and I sat tentatively in front of my keyboard wondering where to begin.
I recall writing an opening line but then finding that it seemed a cul-de-sac and nothing followed from it. After 10 minutes or so of quiet waiting, I created a space below the opening line and started again. This time the words flowed smoothly and I found myself exploring the wider nature of remembering, as well as the national memory of those killed in conflict. Then as the words flowed down the page, the words of Jesus at his last supper with his followers , the invitation to remember him, jumped into view providing me with the lines to close the reflection. I once again experienced the delights of writing in the moment.
24 hours later I heard the news of the passing away of a member of our church, a person who had been infirm for a number of years following a stroke but who had been instrumental in my taking up creative writing in the first place. In that instance I knew that the poem I had just completed was also a remembrance for her and I was delighted to dedicate it to her on Remembrance Sunday
Creation in all its magnificence,
Yet bound by time,
Slips like silent waters
‘Neath the bridge of sighs
That is our brief and fleeting life.
In six billion minds
Each recalling treasuries
Of people gone before
And holding fast to moments caught in time
Remember me, etched on 10 million crosses
Strewn across the battlefields of time and space
Stand sentinel to the bravery of men
Who gave their all, that those who will come after
May know a better place.
Two minutes silence
Mark the moment all stand still
And thoughts recall
In silent solitude
How peace is won through war’s great ill
Poppies red as blood
On coats and hearts
Bear loving witness to the sacrifice of those
Who died amidst the vilest clamour
And rest for evermore in silent rows in foreign parts
Do this in remembrance of me
Six words that echo down two thousand years.
Across a billion tables
Bread and wine is shared;
The God of love, the God of tears.
(c) Martin Wild 2019