Saturday, 27 February 2016

The People’s Park: A Poem

Following my custom of recording notable events, this poem looks back to the 1946 Liberation Day celebrations in the People's Park, and forward to the celebrations last year, and retaining the Park for the future generations to come. Astute readers may notice that I also reference a very famous American speech, which gives it a different tone.

The People’s Park

We cannot consecrate, nor hallow, this land,
Where on Liberation day played the band,
Both in 1946, and again, even so, last year:
The first time, an ending of dark time of fear,
And the latter, remembering their distant kin,
Who came to celebrate the Allies victory win,
And VE day in Europe, in that self-same park;
And never may that light be dimmed, that spark
Of joy, of freedom, for where else should they go
But a People’s Park! Do not forget but know,
And know well, that noble and honoured past
That is the true Covenant, long may it last!
The fight on plans ended, there will not be a war:
And for now the Park is safe once more,
Where dogs are walked, children kick a ball:
Such treasured moments may seem so small,
But the world is made of tiny precious things,
To smell a rose, or hear a bird as sweetly sings;
The world will little note, nor long remember that,
But we should never forget the park where sat
Those remembering the darkest days of war;
And last year, we too came in homage and saw,
And heard the sounds and sights of yesteryear:
The music and songs which banished fear;
It is for us, the living, to be dedicated to save this
From the cold equations, the rationalist abyss:
The memory of the past, of our honoured dead,
And the tears and suffering which they once shed;
And would that we come also here in joy today:
Swings, roundabouts, the Battle funfare to play;
For this is right too: the park is for all to come,
And joy cannot be costed like accountant’s sum;
So send a prayer from distant St Thomas steeple
That a park of the people, and for the people
Shall not be stolen from us, perish from the earth:
For truly beyond precious stones is its worth.

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