We were tidying up dead firework carcasses
throwing them to the embers of old fires,for fun
on the Sunday morning they were out marching
with their banners and their bugles.
We stood underneath a double-centuried Redwood tree;
all those straggly bits of wired sparkler stumps the children
had drawn circles of light in the night air,mesmerised
by mothers with their flashing I phones,memorially
oblivious of those hills of little shoes
an old dead soldier fought down.
No mockeries,nor prayers,nor bells here.
We found one that had not ca-cophed
from the old railway bridge and sent it up
in the brash cold sunlit air around eleven o’clock.
Laughed at the cloud smoke burst and Chinese shingle.
A photographer friend managed to capture a digital moment –
Three grown men who have had the privilege
of not going to War.
‘Well this is very civilised’,he said
‘Yes,we did alot of good out there and some of them
appreciate that still. I’ve often been offered that one.’
‘Didn’t the same people that pissed on your Grandfather
also piss on mine? Shall we get on.’
When you go home,tell them of us and say
for your tomorrow,we gave our today.
Peter Handley was born in a small village next to what was Sherwood Forest in the first decade at the beginning of the end of the age of Aquarius. He has been variously described as an arty farty twat and an Indian Oscar award winning actor and writer. He is published in numerous literary journals, trained, amongst other places, at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and continues to tell stories and bullshit in all the right hostelries to promote positive growth all around the world and in his back garden. His first solo exhibition of works on paper is due out in a fancy gallery in Vienna late 2014.