Friday, 28 October 2011

Poppies

Jennospot 42  Poppies


'Ere's somefink different fer a change. It's a poem wot was writ by Peter St John fer November 11, wot is Armistice Day. It's the day wot marked the endin' of the two World Wars. It's the day when we fink real special about them wot died in these two great conflicts, and we fink about the reasons why they gave their lives: It were fer us remember.


Armistice Day is called “Poppy Day” in Britain. On Poppy Day, people volunteer ter sell artificial poppies. They are already on sale now. This is so's there's some money comin' in fer wot's called the Earl Haig Fund. This Fund was set up to 'elp former combatants and their families. Let us not forget:


The Poppy Seller


Buy a poppy, lady?

A few pennies for a poppy?

Please give, just for a poppy.

Won't someone buy a poppy?

Some pennies for a poppy?

Buy a poppy, mister?

Just a poppy sir.


Poppies grow in upturned land 

Such as dug by bombshells. And

Fed by blood and bone manure

They bloom bright red. As pure

As spikes of crimson sun—

Flowers fit for everyone...

Buy a poppy, lady?


Retail poppies, up for sale.

Poppies tell a wartime tale.

Poppies peeping where none grow—

Hats, and buttonholes also—

Buttonholes instead of eyes.

Button-eyed, a whole world cries...

A few pennies for a poppy?


Buttons trimmed with petals red;

Lacquered holdfast to the dead.

Button up and cry inside.

Batten down and seek to hide.

Poppy fields were blooming there

In the smoking, stinking air...

Please give, just for a poppy.


Scarlet petals, blood-like stains;

Black dark pit of stamen grains;

Poppies waving in the breeze;

Poppies writhing into wreaths.

Opium for a suffering few;

Drugged with poppies. Poppies new...

Won't someone buy a poppy?


Black death; red death; poppy bright;

Only death can stop the sight.

Poppy bright evoking blood;

Poppy shining from the mud.

Hope, despair, gut-wrenching fear;

Fleas, disease, and tin-can cheer...

Some pennies for a poppy?


Pretty poppy pepper-pot,

Blood-red petals now forgot,

Shake out far your hard black seeds;

Poppy flowers are not weeds.

Some saw carnage; poppies there.

Shake my can, and show you care...

Buy a poppy mister?


Just a poppy, sir.


© Peter St John

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