Silence (a sonnet for Remembrance Day)

I stood for the two minutes silence today and then, suddenly, swiftly, almost involuntarily wrote this sonnet. I have also recorded it and you can hear it by clicking the ‘play button if it appears or clicking on the title.



November pierces with its bleak remembrance
Of all the bitterness and waste of war.
Our silence tries but fails to make a semblance
Of that lost peace they thought worth fighting for.
Our silence seeths instead with wraiths and whispers,
And all the restless rumour of new wars,
The shells are singing as  we sing our vespers,
No moment is unscarred, there is no pause,
In every instant bloodied innocence
Falls to the weary earth ,and whilst we stand
Quiescence ends again in acquiescence,
And Abel’s blood still cries  in every land
One silence only might redeem that blood
Only the silence of a dying God.


Filed under literature

10 responses to “Silence (a sonnet for Remembrance Day)

  1. Margot Neale

    As you so often do in your writing, the past, the present, the Biblical times reach at the heart, our hearts.

  2. Khaliqur Rahman

    I just posted a comment on the audioboo, Malcolm!

  3. That final image is so hard to see and taste. But there’s a beautiful, living glory in the grace.

    Thanks for these rich words to help me focus. These days, we often give too little attention to poetry — and lose so many connections and images which can help us — both as peoples and nations — to heal.

  4. Khaliqur Rahman

    Silence saves us from tokenism.

  5. Bob Webster

    Thank you for saying what I have not been able to say.

  6. Thank you for expressing so well the pain and despair of listening to every news bulletin and recalling WW2 this week. Blessings, Sheila Longman

  7. Pingback: Remembrance Day

  8. Sergio

    I moved to the USA from the UK last year, and I can’t get a poppy to visibly show my respect for Remebrance Day. I posted this on Pinterest because it said everything I wanted to say, and beautifully.

    People are sharing this every day.

    Thank you.

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