Wars Can Produce Beauty…

I’m not big on poetry… when I was at school it was used as a punishment. Probably not the best way to get kids into the subject, and hey, it put me off for most of my life.

However, there are two poems that I find I absolutely love, and thought I would share them with you… and from a guy who writes the kinda shit I usually write, I’m not sure what that says about me.

However, both poems are from wars… so maybe that does say something about me.

“If you are able,
save for them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.”
Major Michael Davis O’Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.”

Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915 after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

So, there you go. Maybe I do have a little ‘art’ in me.