And now once more, flocking the silent air
Unnumbered petals drift in dying fall:
Each one a life lost and remembered.
They rest on heads, on caps, on shoulders
Where stand in rigid ranks the living
Solemn as statues to honour the dead.
Now heraldic trumpets pierce the silence;
Known words recall the fallen thousands;
Prayer and ordered music honour the long past.
Immaculate in stately ritual:
The young in uniform paraded line,
The old, weighted with memory,
Some who remember all that they have lost,
Others whose lives will yet be given
Where man's unyielding inhumanity
Defies the peace Christ also died to bring.
Behind the coloured panoply and pomp
War's haunting images still crowd the mind.
Stark in the mocking monochrome of evil.
Against a world of terror, greed and death
Is set only this night's fragile pageantry.
And as the echoes fade into the dark,
Trampled beneath the slow and marching feet
The crimson petals lie in soft reproach.
Festival of Remembrance 2003
The act of worship at the end of the televised service was led
by Bishop Nigel McCulloch, an old friend of St Faith's
Go the the war poetry anthology
Go tot he poetry pages index
Go to St Faith's home page