Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Sunday 11 November 2018, was the centenary of the Armistice which marked the end of World War 1 at the
“Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month”.

The British Poet Laureate, Carol-Ann Duffy wrote a commemorative poem, THE WOUND IN TIME, which was read simultaneously by thousands of people across British and Irish beaches.

I read the Laureate’s poem on Muizenberg Beach along with five poems from AFRICA ABLAZE! and ending with PSALM by Stephen Watson.

These poems cut as a shaft of light through humankind’s elected and macabre hallmark of recurring war and genocide.
I read them as the waves came toward the beach in formation
like marching men and wounded men and dying men,
striking the sand
with a drum-roll.
A gull cried.
A cormorant closed its blue-back wings across its breast.
The carcass of a crab lay folded
like the bones of a trench-entombed soldier.
A train coming in to the distant station
screeched for the Last Post .
All hearts beat red like Flanders’ poppies.

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