O sun despairing Bound to serve Soften the soil Our last preserve Victory grows not From bloodied dirt But the bones of children Are tipped into the earth Shall they return now To their sleeping valleys To their winter skies And mountains untamed? We tell their stories Neglect their names And farm the fields In which they were slain Scottish songs of divine birth Dark December, Christmas mirth We pursue fleeting comforts To contain nameless hurt Silence the screams Of soldiers buried In the earth The ground beneath us Rises to meet the sky Faceless god God on high Stillness
For the young men who never returned. For the young men who did, but grew old quickly. For those who witnessed things they never should have witnessed. We remember, with sorrow and gratitude. May the sunlight forever warm your faces, and remind us never again to tread in the dark places of greed, anger, envy and violence. ‘They’ are us. And they dream of peace. Note: I took this picture in the church in the ghost village of Tyneham in late September.