Thursday, 11 November 2010

A New Home in the Sky - Remembering

Today we decided, as Klueless was behaving itself tolerably well, that we would make an effort to perform a proper act of remembering at 11 o'clock and not just sit slack-jawed at our desks for two minutes.

So, with the wind blustering and the rain falling, we adjourned to the Cathedral Suite.  Spare Change Guy greeted us from his usual place in the underpass, a giant puddle creeping gradually nearer to him as the rain fell. It will be interesting to see if he will keep to the same spot as the winter weather cuts in.

Quite a few people were in the Cathedral Suite before us, although most of them seemed to be there as tourists, and there were some students at one end doing some kind of performance art thing - or so it looked to us.  They were quite noisy and we hoped they would quiet down in time for the two minutes' silence.

They did.

And then it was like this:

The eleven O’Clock bells chime
And down from the leaden sky
The silence drifts like a blanket.

We stand bareheaded under the grey.
Strangers all, come together here
Among the ruins, to remember.

We look skyward unseeing, or shoe-ward,
While the November wind and rain
Go about their business, unconcerned.

A silver ribbon of music
Unwinds from a bugle’s mouth
And goes floating on the sodden air.

In this roofless ruin
The high clear notes echo round
Touching here stone, here wood, here heart.

Then the city stretches and stirs, waking.
The silence is rolled up
And put away for another year.


  1. i did my usual thing of forgetting all about it (i always do unless someone reminds me) - and i walked into a shop just after the 2 minute silence had been announced

    As soon as i realised what was going on i stopped still - but one woman kept on yakking and when she was told off she had a real whinge about it afterwards

    No matter what i may think of war i don't think it's too much to ask for 2 minutes of my time once a year and to show good grace when someone reminds me

  2. Put away for another year, but thanks to your remembrance here, something for me to ponder and honor. Thank you.

  3. This brought a tear to my eye - beautiful poem. You, Peter & Kat today - sigh.

  4. DFTP - some people are just ignorant, at least you had the good grace to stop as soon as you were aware of what was going on.

    Karen - glad you liked this.

    Bug - it was quite a moving thing and i'm pleased I've managed to convey a little of that.

  5. heartfelt words.

    love the music knowledge in it.

  6. the world... it's a strange, beautiful and terrible place sometimes... normally all at once!
    gorgeous poem!


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