Friday 11 November 2011

A smile for Remembrance Day, 11/11/11

I love the English language. What I want is a word that suggests humour and irony, and there it is: "Wry." Not just any word, this is a three letter word. And as any fule kno, the short words in a language tell you most about its speakers and writers.

So here's a wry offering for Remembrance Sunday, offered to you this Remembrance Day, in the hope that it will give you a smile at around the two minute silence millions upon millions will observe at 11a.m. It was inspired by Louis being asked to make this Sunday a day of young enterprise, making money selling junk at a car boot sale. Louis is a Scout, and he will (alongside  many others from the global scouting movement) be attending a Remembrance Sunday service. I am an "ordained entrepreneur," and I love enterprise, aspiration, wealth creation and the "big society," firmly believing that work is not merely toil, but a celebration of the very nature of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So on that day I will lead the Sunday service with an Act of Remembrance at St Thomas's Hall, Cambridge where I am privileged to minister.

We remember the war dead not as tragic figures defined by death alone, but as those who lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved - and, of course, laughed. So I offer you a wry poem, written on the small screen of my Android smartphone, somewhere between London Liverpool Street as I returned from collecting the IET Information Technology Award for the Cambridge Heathcare team.

On a Remembrance Sunday Car Boot Sale

In Flanders fields the poppies grew 
Between the hatching, straight and true 
That marks our pitch - until our eye 
Fell on an Astra parked nearby 
With garden shears of every hue.

We earn some bread. Some time ago 
We saw a boot sale near Heathrow, 
Paid, and got paid. So we branched out 
To Flanders fields.

Take up our offers so unique. 
Roll up, roll up and take a peek 
At all our wares. The value's clear: 
Cheap DVDs and Belgian beer. 
We've proved that it was time to clear 
Those Flanders fields.

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It's great to get comments - a good way to encourage, challenge and help me! Thank you. Jeremy