FIGHTING for Peace – an Oxymoron

 “God has created the world as one—the boundaries are marked out by man.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha

Earth’s soil fertilized

artificial poppies grow

in human blood, bones

*     *     *

Fallen in battle 

 It’s time for falling in love

Soul’s soil fertilized

SEa of Poppies

Sea of Ceramic Poppies, Tower of London, England

IMGP3134

The exhibition entitled Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, is the work of Derbyshire-based ceramic artist Paul Cummins, and was set up to Commemorate the 100 years since the beginning of the First World War Each poppy representing each British and Commonwealth death during the conflict.

See view from drone http://bcove.me/qgvfevz2

poppy installation London Tower 6

One of the reasons I follow the Baha’i World Faith:

“To be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.” 

Abdu’l-Bahá

Haiku Horizons - prompt FULL

Haiku Horizons – prompt FULL

Verteran’s Day – Secrets of My Father

Blood of our fathers

devastates mind-body-soul

For peace or for war?

My father died 10 years ago. I have held his secret for one decade.  My Father held his secret 6 decades.

Dad was a WW II veteran.  He enlisted in the army even though he was exempt from serving. After he returned from service in the Philippines Mom said he had changed from the spontaneous, communicative man she had married.

The father I knew didn’t talk,  he did things – built rooms, repaired cars, fixed leaks, upholstered furniture. He was incredibly handy, always busy doing, never talking. The father I knew was taciturn and downright anti-social at times.

After my mother died Dad began to talk.  He talked non-stop, mostly about fond memories of his youth and early days of dating and marrying Mom. He talked to me, to strangers, to anyone who had a friendly listening ear.

Only when I was driving, both of us looking straight ahead,  did he talk of regrets or sorrows . . . He needn’t look at me and I couldn’t look at him.

One ride I will never forget, his tone changed. “I never told your Mother . . .”, a tone I had never heard in his voice before . . . “I killed a man in the Philippines.  I still see his eyes.”  Startled,  I turned to see tears running down his cheeks.  “I think about that man having a family . . .”, choking back sobs, he stopped talking.

Flower holder in my VW with poppies

Flower holder in my VW with poppies

Monday was Veterans’ day.  Outside the market The Veterans of Foreign Wars were handing out poppies.  I took one and slipped $5.00 into the donation can – one dollar for every year my father continued to keep his secret kept after Mom died.

A typhoon just ripped its way through the Philippine islands yesterday leaving a trail of visible destruction. There are too many destructive events in this world that rip their way secretively through our psyche and soul.

To read my post about my Dad, my VW & me and an explanation of the significance of the poppy for veterans click here 

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below”.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw”

“The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields”.

“In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces 

Thanks Pop, with love always

Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have.
Veteran’s day is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have.

I wanted a VW Bug for years. They are round and compact and tweak memories of my teen years. One month before my Father died at the age of 93 he bought me a VW Bug: Brand new, white with a beige interior and a little plastic vase to hold a flower right next to the steering wheel.

My Father was a World War II veteran. Every year he would buy red poppies from The Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers who gave them out for contributions for disabled and hospitalized veterans and their families.

I hadn’t seen or thought about poppies in years until 2 months after Dad died. Outside the grocery store an elderly man was selling poppies. I gave him a donation and received a poppy. Since then it has shared space in the little plastic vase in the Bug my Dad gave me.

A brief history of the artificial poppy

In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild. The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars. The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By 1918 the poem was well known throughout the allied world. Moina Michael, an American woman, wrote these lines in reply.
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war and also as a symbol of keeping the faith.

The poppy became a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

Here’s to you Dad! Thanks for fighting for us,

all your life.

(This is a repost from a few years back)