Remembrance Sunday peace and sound


We ring the bells for

Babies, we ring them

Then for brides and

Grooms, we ring them

Every Sunday, in politeness

To our Father, his Son and

Of course, the Holy Ghost.


Today’s bells ring and ring

And clash with the drums

And brass blowing down

The street to the pound

Of feet remembering flesh

That was blown to sand

Or mud or stone, depending

On the time, the place and

The type of luck or

 Bravery that graced

The soldier who didn’t know

The shortcut was It.



Arpeggios, majors, no

Minors – Don’t dwell

On pain, keep calm

Carry on – Don’t clock

The fuss civilians

Make about bombs.


Drums for triumph

Beating out a time of

Red and gold and

Sabre mounted on the

Field, blast through the murmur

Of stealth or chocolate bars

Mingling with Kalashnikovs

In the long-distance lorry’s bowels.


Drumming stops and the

Ducks go quack quack as

They paddle in the

Lake and the leaves

Break out in chatter

Now that they can hear

Each other better without

The dreadful stacks

Of beats that back

The boots that crack

The streets to remind

Them that another year

Has passed and more

Bodies are piled on

The old ones who died

Young. God rest their souls.

Palm Sunday (Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago wear the shell of Saint James on their bags)


Came through the thicket

Road strum, fuddle, sink

Your tongue into hot dough,

Just cooked enough to fluff

Your heart and muddle your

Head with its sugary puff

Crusted round and filled

With ham grazed on Spanish

Farms not far from here, the

Heat and the dust swelling through

The bricks and filling out the

Beer-branded umbrella stands that

Shade indiscriminately the pilgrims

And the old bar-hands who’ve seen

The streams of human sheep pass

By for years, without the urge to keep

Time with them, along

The path. Better to sit and watch it

Flow along, bobbing shells

Connecting the morning sun between

Their rucksacks and their swinging palms.