Wreath laying…Remembrance

Wreath laying…

So easy now to judge:
that one was right,
another wrong.

But we were never there
in the narrow trench
or corridor of power.
We never heard the thunder’s fire,
nor found ourselves
strung up upon the wire.
We never had to make that bleak decision
consigning one to death,
another to derision.

Our innocence is born of inexperience,
our wisdom consummated in our ignorance.

And if the clocks turned back,
were we to tread where men,
now dead,
once walked,
would we be just as speedy to deride,
or criticise the ones we said once lied?

Dear God,
give generosity of thought
to read the pages history have wrought;
to look with eyes of grace into that time,
to fathom truth and reason
in that jagged, harrowed rhyme.

Then let our lines not ridicule the dead,
for, but for grace,
we might repeat their acts,
yes, but for grace,
we might yet taste their dread.
© Andrew Pratt 2014

Remembrance – so easy now to judge

So easy now to judge:
that one was right,
another wrong.

But we were never there
in the narrow trench
or corridor of power.
We never heard the thunder’s fire,
nor found ourselves
strung up upon the wire.
We never had to make that bleak decision
consigning one to death,
another to derision.

Our innocence is born of inexperience,
our wisdom consummated in our ignorance.

And if the clocks turned back,
were we to tread where men,
now dead,
once walked,
would we be just as speedy to deride,
or criticise the ones we said once lied?

Dear God,
give generosity of thought
to read the pages history have wrought;
to look with eyes of grace into that time,
to fathom truth and reason
in that jagged, harrowed rhyme.

Then let our lines not ridicule the dead,
for, but for grace,
we might repeat their acts,
yes, but for grace,
we might yet taste their dread.
© Andrew Pratt 2014

This fragile, passing beauty…Remembrance hymn

On the 1st September 1939, 80 years ago, the Second World War began. Germany invaded Poland; with the United Kingdom and France declaring war on Germany two days later…

This fragile, passing beauty,
this autumn, red and gold,
a season’s recollection:
love never will grow cold.
The seasons change and fracture,
the leaves of green turn brown,
as life seems tinged with sadness,
as petals flutter down.

This time of our remembrance
that reaches back to pain,
the chill of recollection
can open wounds again;
But this we must remember
that human war and hate
are matters of our choosing
and not some random fate.

God let this time of grieving,
of mem’ry and regret,
enable reparation,
in case we just forget.
Fill human hearts with courage,
frame human words with grace,
that love might flow among us,
make Earth a sacred place.

Andrew Pratt 16/9/2019

Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Tunes: BRED DINA VIDA VINGAR (Reclaiming Praise, No.142 – https://stainer.co.uk/shop/b891/), another setting of this tune can be heard at https://youtu.be/V6dDt3OJf6Q ;
Another tune: AURELIA.

Holocaust

The silence…

palpable

tourists alight…
silence deafens,
like Buddhists, walking, shedding no footfall,
slipper footed it seemed.

The air was light,
the breeze slight,
yet every heart was heavy.

Rows of sheds…
empty.
Tiers of planks named ‘bed’ where bodies had lain:

Nameless.
Objects of a crude economy,
measured and managed,
pulled,
pushed,
directed.

Objects transported to where we were standing.
No looking back.
The end of the line.

The silence…palpable…

We left…
silence…
never more
in peace

For Holocaust Sunday 27th January 2019 © Andrew Pratt

birchenau