Who’ve gone to ground
Fallen in a season
For which life
Had not yet come around
Fell upon your spring
And I write
Words seeking time
In some future dream
When the Flanders torch
Shall not be passed
We will no longer ask
The young to die
For causes wrought
Upon the lie
A time when poppies bloom
In their rightful spring
Not this remorseful
No longer red
No blood be spilled
But lovely white
Our peace fulfilled
British Columbia, Canada
On location for The Magicians, Season 1, 2015
Across Canada, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, we remember the fallen of World War I, along with the fallen of all wars, in a national moment of silence. We wear poppies, a gesture suggested by the poem, In Flanders Fields.
It’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching poem, and I well understand why it has come to symbolize our remembrance, but I’ve long been ambivalent about its final stanza, which calls for those living to pick up the torch of war and carry on. I understand why that’s there, too. Why it was important, at the time. That time, seems to me, long past.
I find it disturbing that in the week or two leading up to Remembrance Day here, you’ll see youthful cadets in their middle teens, in full military ceremonial dress, standing at the entrance ways of grocery stores and big box outlets. They’er selling the little red plastic poppy pins many of us wear on the lapels of our coats… as if they are already accepting the torch. Too young to die for their country, but already preparing for the day they will be called upon to serve, and possibly die.
Not yet leaves. Barely a bud on a twig. Already preparing for autumn.
Some Canadians have taken to wearing white poppies, instead of the red, not to dishonour the dead, but to honour them with the hope that their sacrifice in “The War to End all Wars” may someday fulfil that promise. Then, the torch may be laid to final rest at the base of some cenotaph to be marked,
In Remembrance Of All Who Died
In Needless War
Until This Day From Which Hence
We Warred No More.
Last week we contemplated Contemplation. This week, let`s pay tribute to Remembrance or find something else to inspire you in this photograph of autumn maple leaves fallen to Earth in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Pic and a Word Challenge is a weekly creativity prompt offered Sundays.
Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.
- Use any title you like
- Your response can be words and/or images
- You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
- Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
- Add a link to this post in your response
To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:
- Add a comment on this post to announce your response
- Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post
The word for last week’s Pic and a Word Challenge #160 was Contemplation, along with this sunset photograph of a woman in a yellow rain slicker contemplating the very edge of the ocean at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Eight bloggers spent some time in deep Contemplation this week. Thank you, everyone! =)
- Contemplation, by Dancing Echoes
- Contemplation, by Woolly Muses
- Contemplating Motherhood – An Etheree, by I Do Run
- Contemplate this, by Mexi Movie the Third
- Transition of Perspective, by Stuff and what if…
- Contemplation, by Being in Nature
- Contemplating Hope Among Tombs, by Turning the Page on Suicide
- Contemplation, by For Much Deliberation
View all the Pic and a Word Challenges, including the current challenge, on the Pic and a Word Challenge tag page.