Letters from Andy 2018

Dear All                                                                 November 2018


Lest we forget …..


In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin
that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud …
but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood
run upwards from the slime into its wounds;
see lines and lines of British boys rewind
back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home –
mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers
not entering the story now
to die and die and die.
Dulce – No – Decorum – No – Pro patria mori.
You walk away.
You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)
like all your mates do too –
Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert –
and light a cigarette.
There’s coffee in the square,
warm French bread
and all those thousands dead
are shaking dried mud from their hair
and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,
a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released
from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.
You lean against a wall,
your several million lives still possible
and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.
You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.
If poetry could truly tell it backwards,
then it would.


Last Post written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy to mark the deaths of Henry Allingham and Harry Patch,

the two longest surviving soldiers from the 1914-18 First World War.


It would be impossible to express words that truly describe what any or all feel who have been through conflict, past or present.

All we can say is that we will remember them.

And those who follow Christ will pray ….

O God of truth and justice,

we hold before you those whose memory

we cherish, and those whose names we will never know.

Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,

and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.

As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;

for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever.

Amen.                      Amen indeed. Andy



Date First Reading Gospel
4th November Isaiah 25:6-9 John 11:32-44
11th November Jonah 3:1-5 and 10 Mark 1:14-20
18th November Daniel 12:1-3 Mark 13:1-8
25th November Daniel 7:9-10 and 13-14 John 18:33-37



Share This