Veterans ( 6th June 1944)

 

 

70 years before…….

Young men stumbling into the shell bound surf

Silver flying fish

Stunned

The boys, wading on and in

Falling, camouflaged no more

Booming, battling forth

Whistling bullets, the siren song of war

Deafening the ocean’s unerring roar.

 

Years ago

in Juneau

I watched ‘Saving Private Ryan’

With Pete Bibb

Self appointed ‘old timer’

Who left the movie house

“Cannot watch this, have to go”

he muttered

As the faux machine guns

Cinematically stuttered.

 

This D Day morning

The robes of priests, clustered

The coat tails of politicians

And hats of royalty

Fluttered

As the bemedalled veterans

Mustered

Attendant, attentive,

Old men now

Memories shared, perhaps, despairs

Some stood and stared

As the peace yearning prayers

Were uttered.

 

In the fields at home

The buttercups, the thistle heads

Were bowing in the stiffening wind

That blows across the Channel

Westward, ho!

The clouds scud seawards

A breath of memory passes

Back across to France

Where death gleaned a mighty harvest

No respect for rank, for officer classes

 

The flags and flowers

Half masted

The crowds lost

Perchance

In collective trance

Subdued respect, even awe

For

Our veterans

 

And own them all, we all surely must

Those alive

Others sand blasted,  dust

Their debt, in full, is met

Our account

Ever owed

To remember

And not forget.

 

Marc Mordey 6/6/14

 

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The Blog Tour

 

I was very pleased to be invited to join the Writer’s Blog Tour recently by my Twitter friends at Mirren Jones – please see www.mirrenjones.wordpress.com

The introduction on their blog tells you how this works ….”Welcome to the Diary of Mirren Jones – a new stop on the Writers’ Blog Tour. We hope you’ll enjoy your visit, and will go on to sample the blogs of other writers, highlighted below. We are part of a growing international community of writers, working to introduce each other’s blog to a wider audience. Christine Findlay, Chair of Bookmark Blair, (Blairgowrie Rattray and The Glens Book Festival) in  Perthshire, Scotland invited us to take part. (see www.cfindlay.blogspot.com) We in turn have invited the writers Angela Jeffs (Scotland), Heidi Garrett (USA) and Marc Mordey (Wales).”

So, now it’s my turn and there are 4 questions for me to answer :

1. What am I working on? Well, if I ‘m truthful, not a lot just now! I have a new poem prepared for Mayday and am working on notes from a recent trip to Sussex and Kent , which provided lots of visual and mental stimulation. I have a small collection of poetry that my father produced and have some ideas for incorporating these into my next collection of poetry (but that’s going to be a while in the making I think.)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I think it is terribly hard to answer this question as it demands a degree of objectivity about one’s own poetic voice which I at least am unable to achieve! But I think it is fair for me to say that what I try to produce is poetry that documents my  own day to day experience of life – and the many moods and nuances that entails – and that I like my poetry to be accessible.

3. Why do I write what I do? As a record for myself. As something to share with friends and family.Because I find it enjoyable, cathartic and stimulating. And because I can.

4. How does my writing process work? I seem to have 2 ways of producing a poem – either it just ‘pops out’ of my mind (and I find walks and train journeys to be particularly valuable in this respect) or sometimes they take months, even years to find their way out onto the page. I probably write more of the spontaneous variety than the latter. I try and keep a pocket size notebook about my person for the purpose of jottings, and occasionally (mostly on a walk) I use the voice memo function on the I phone to record a line or two, or a stray thought.

And finally, I want to introduce you to 3 friends whose work is wonderful – please visit their blogs to find out more. These talented folks will be offering their answers to the same 4 questions on Monday 12th May. And anything you can do to help us all share our words and ideas through your own networks would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Stewart Bartlam Having worked as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language for a number of years, followed by twenty years in the civil service, I took early retirement a couple of years ago.  My time now is happily occupied by reading, listening to music, following sport, the pleasures of food and drink, and writing.  I’ve tried my hand at novels, essays and short stories, but it’s poetry that has become my pivotal passion; one that I hope to share by means of this blog. BLOG : http://stewartstanzas.wordpress.com

 

Helen Carey Having spent time in various different parts of the world, Helen Carey now lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, in a beautiful location overlooking the Irish Sea. She has had a number of jobs and her varied experiences of working as a chalet girl, a waitress, a travel agent, an oil trader, a management consultant and in the British Army have all featured in one form or another in her books. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Wales and is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. Her aim is to entertain, and her sense of character, story structure, pace and humour all combine to create compelling, page-turning novels which attract fans from all over the world. BLOG : http://helencareybooks.wordpress.com

 

Gillian Mawsom Gillian has interviewed 450 Second World War evacuees. She has worked with the BBC on documentaries and develops workshops for schools and museums. Her first book ‘Guernsey Evacuees: The Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War’  describes the evacuation of 17,000 civilians to England just before the German occupation of Guernsey. Her new book ‘Evacuees: Children’s Lives on the WW2 Home Front’ contains interviews with 100 evacuees who spent the war years in Britain. BLOG : http://whaleybridgewriter.blogspot.co.uk/


Book review – The Road Between Us

As a result of a Tweet (of quite some time ago) I was lucky enough to be selected to review some historical fiction – to all Twitter friends, keep your eye out for similar opportunities from http://www.trasnworldbooks.co.uk – and the last one, which I have recently finished, is entitled The Road Between Us and is by Nigel Farndale.

The story fluctuates between 1939 (and the ensuing days, months and years of the Second World War) and 2012 and encapsulates the story of the love between Charles and Anselm, the former who, is court martialled for ‘conduct unbecoming’ and goes on to become a war artist whilst the latter is sentenced to hard labour for ‘re-education’. From this initial scenario we are catapulted into the London (and Foreign Office ) of 2012 and the story of the kidnap, long term imprisonment and ultimate release of Edward, a diplomat captured and kept in a cave in Afghanistan for 11 years.

The plotline is captivating, the complexities of emotion displayed by all the characters is believable and well portrayed, and the way the storylines are ultimately drawn together, eminently satisfying. This is a novel that asks for involvement and attention from the reader – not a ‘light’ read but a rewarding and absorbing one and recommended by this reviewer!

11/1/2014

The Road Between Us