Andrew has written this poem in response to our last prompt of ‘Rite’. Andrew says: ‘I thought it would be interesting to take a look at ‘death’, our very last rite of passage. For some, there is no death as such, only an entrance into a fuller life, whereas for others, it’s prospect can provoke anxiety or dread, compounded by a fear of the unknown or a fear of loss. In this poem, I have tried to strike a more positive note by considering if there is an antidote to this very common fear. And it’s not easy!’
If I could reach into the silence
to a still point
where memory and desire
are no longer stirring
THE FAKE MASK by Pete Brammer
I have turned my back on the ones I love,
Carefully closing the garden gate,
Tramping my way with a tear in the eye,
To where, my future awaits.
I turn and wave, then let my arm fall,
As family wave back, from beyond the wall.
In uniform proud, I head for the front,
To the battle that has to be won,
But will I join the ones who will die?
Those fathers, uncles and sons,
‘Pray God I be spared’ is all that I ask,
Since leaving my home, I have dropped the fake mask.
A mask that said, ‘I am not afraid’
For behind it lay fear, and great dread,
I have witnessed friends and comrades, so many,
Seriously wounded and dead,
So reverently, their remains, were duly sent back,
I don’t want to be a name, on a memorial plaque.