Saturday, 29 May 2010

Flotilla Of Remembrance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

May 27th - June 4th 1940 saw the remarkable rescue of tens of thousands of allied troops trapped under enemy fire on the beaches of Dunkirk. This weekend, the 70th anniversary of this historic event is being commemorated there. I felt compelled to write a poem and this is my small contribution to mark what was an incredible feat of courage and endurance that saw humankind both at its very worst and its very best.


This poem is a villanelle.

FLOTILLA OF REMEMBRANCE

To Dunkirk, the little ships did sail
for tens of thousands, backs to the sea;
an awesome task they dare not fail

Its bloody beaches saw hope prevail,
a town on fire, centre-stage for history;
to Dunkirk, the little ships did sail

Ordinary people, answering the call
to play their part for king and country;
an awesome task they dare not fail

Injured and dying due for a miracle
few could believe they would ever see;
to Dunkirk, the little ships did sail

Tens of thousands plucked from hell
under plain sail transcending the ordinary
an awesome task they dare not fail

Soldiers of Peace, heroes one and all,
applying humanity’s balm, braving its fury;
to Dunkirk, the little ships did sail,
an awesome task they dare not fail

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010