Yang Mempesona

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Cliff Holland's Poem

Cliff Holland’s Poem

So five graves, like long evening shadows are dug
and the five coffins wait in line, varnished and squared off, and the
firing party aims for the distance
and fires, and all are starched and suited and booted and buttoned up
Then ramrod straight, under the shade of a tree
the boy-bugler raises a golden horn to his lips
and calls to his dead friends with his living breath
And the tune never wavers or breaks, but now tears
roll from his eyes; perfect, as clear as pearls
tears which fall from his face and bloom on his ironed green shirt
like two stark wounds.
Then the world swims and drowns in everyone else’s eyes too

Poem by Simon Armitage
A tribute to soldiers killed in Malaya in the 1950s

* This poem was given to me by my late mother's old friend Mr. Allan John Quinnell who used to serve in Malaya with the British Army. A poem dedicaed to all the British soldiers who lost their life while serving in Malaya. May your soul rest in peace

1 comment:

LittleAl said...

I still read this poem and 54 years after leaving your country, I am still sad for the young lives lost mostly boys in their late teens. Most of their grieving Mothers and Fathers now passed away.

My abiding thoughts of Malaya and it's sweet innocent people remain with me and are in my thoughts every day.

LittleAl

Email me at : myza@mypesona.com

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