Tolling noon on an August Day
the cast dome struck forth, a call
for a gathering of grief. Summoning a
silence which was heard throughout
the land as time ceased it’s meaning.
A patriotic symbol draped the
final carriage as comrades held
him aloft in a dutiful acknowledgement
of his sacrifice. Old warriors lowered
fluttering standards in salutation.
Homogeneous bearers worked in unison.
The sharpness of hobnails in time
as the choir gave voice to the ‘Men
of Harlech’, from then to now. The
stone floor eased the salt from drying tears,
and if salt were still currency, today was
paid for, ten fold. The procession halted
in front of the altar, a place for all
occasions, though today was a premature
gathering, for the warrior.
Brothers and friends stood and evoked
stories of him, his quintessence filled
the air, a reverberation of
solemnity echoed the silence. Minds
held memories of his; ‘Amazing Character’,
he was dependable, loyal and wise,
a bright enthusiastic youth. Adjectives
of one that had passed scribed for time
on the pathways which he trod
with each of those, gathered today.
Each person had a dedication for him;
the young man, whose shyness masked
the bravado. The Selfless Infantier’.
‘Masel tov’*, was hailed to send him
on the path of the wandering soldier.
Today, a small border town felt the
pain of war waged a life time away.
Today people joined in the celebration
of a life but the mourning caressed
the very souls of all fellow countrymen.
When the families and media had
finally laid you to rest, I took
a repose, I sat with you and
drew the scent from the cream and
violet swathe, now laid over you.
Pride was felt in equidistance, snipers
had paid homage, Great Aunt Muriel
harboured her feelings but acknowledged
them to you. You were the focus, a milestone
though one that should never have been reached.
Your physicality now placed in view of
Ty’r Pwll while the pool falls still in your
tribute. The schoolyard no longer echoes with
your joyful cries and sound of running
feet. Today reflection is the order.
This final journey which started
in the distant, dusty, sun scorched land
has ended in the fertile, brown earth
of your homeland. We salute you
Cliché suggests; ‘Only the good, die
young’ and ‘fame comes after one’s
death’. However, the World is a poorer place
as you meet both these criteria Richard.
Rest in Peace, Brave Soldier.