Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Poetry News and a wish

Next year sees an important anniversary.

It's hard for me to become in any way excited about the continuous bruhahah that is going to hit our screens, airwaves, and streets next year in celebration or commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War. It's going to be as bad in France as it is in the UK. All sorts of fun and games.

I refuse to join in, as a life long pacifist, my contribution is limited and predictably poetic. I am pleased to have been asked to contribute a poem the forthcoming Two Rivers Press anthology, The Arts of Peace. I also offer you this poem about my grandfather from my forthcoming book, I-spy and shanty  and wish you a peaceful new year:


Timed for his homecoming on Rhymney Bridge 
that November day, my grandfather flung 
his banded ribbons into clouds of smoke.
Then, nothing - 
as if all his barbed-wire memories of lice, 
blood-stench, mud left him that second, 
passed out skywards and were gone.
As a child on his knee when I leaned against
his tarry tweed and dared to ask - silence.
A boy with a metal detector, idling home
over the river one too-hot summer’s night,
is deafened by the screams of those bronze discs.
So I keep a vigil, a daily eBay search:
A.N. WWI medals - to date, no hits.

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