Poem for Remembrance

Bournville Quaker Claire Bowman has written this impromptu poem for their Remembrance Day Meditation, which Quakers might like to use in our reflections this Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. It starts with a translation of the words of the Pie Jesu, hence the title.

Pie Jesu 2021

Holy Jesus, Lord, Grant them rest, eternal rest

Rest to all those traumatised by war
Death in the fighting,
 And of all that went before

Homes destroyed and pillaged
The countryside laid waste
Can we bear to empathise  
With everything they faced?

Brave soldiers set out daringly
To kill and wound and maim
And on the other side are warriors
Doing just the same

Across the world are mothers, children, brothers, sisters, aunts
Whose aching hearts need healing
Futures blighted, cold and dark

And do they learn?
And do they change?
And do they hear the cry
Of generations damaged
By those bullets as they fly?

Here’s to negotiation, peace
And love once more restored
Bring rest and hope and healing
To our weary world,  Oh Lord!

Claire Bowman 11/11/ 2021