Remembrance 16.11.2019

16 Nov

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.

Memories layered

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


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