Born and brought up in Bath when it was in Somerset, lived a fairly peripatetic life until back in Somerset again in Pilton. I have always written poetry.
For Harry Patch and his Generation
Pardon me for dying in my bed
While you sank slowly in the mud.
Pardon me for living out my days
While you were dealt too short a span.
No time for love or wine.
No comfort if I say that years
Can bring both joy and pain.
Churlish if I mention the neglect and unconcern
As soldiers struggled to forget
And live the life for which so many died.
The chiaroscuro all around
Would be welcome to you,
Who’ve only had the shade.
But I have tried and made
Those around me hear of you who gave
And waved the flag for peace,
But landed in the grave.
Pardon me for not dying with you.
August 2009, following the death of Harry Patch aged 111