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We have known silence
the silence that speaks when there are no longer any words
to explain
or reason


We know silence
the friend of our deep longing
that understands
there are some truths that cannot be spoken


For while others might look to the hills
for our aid, our hope;
our salvation is found in poppy fields
that fall silent
for the day all wars cease











Loving God
beyond all that we can say or do
we offer silence


Not because we have nothing to say
but because we can say nothing


So from our silences today
may there come a response
not of words
but of truth
a choice
to live towards each other
where ‘never again’
is a choice
to believe a different way
where our values
for our communities
are shaped by this moment
of self-giving
and unconditional love
laid down
for friends


May this moment
and these silences
not a pride
or a loyalty
to justify what we have done
but a vision
and an intent of what we will do
to grow from here
as people
more valuable
because of the cost our lives have been
on others

a value
that recognises
what is truly lost
in conflict


May we hear
that call
that speaks more deeply in us
to live towards the world
with such love
that gives of self
for another need

So be it



How much silence do we need
to wear a poppy
that holds all the memories and longings
the worries and the fears
the stories and the hopes
of the people?

How much?

There never is enough
And the cost
would be too great.
We can only afford so much silence:
we need the poetry
the music
the explanations and excuses
to ease the vast depth of the abiding silence
a poppy requires
to hold it all.

But if we need to talk
or sing
or pray
let us at least
speak of the things
the silent fallen
would want

of never again
of peace
of pain
of love

So now that the silence has once more
been folded away
let us fill the space
with songs that speak of grace
and words that offer hope
and the poppies can hold their own silence
for only they know
how much is truly needed



It’s no longer just about remembering names.
Names are easy.
Names can be recited
even as there are so many of them.

This remembrance
is no longer about remembering names
but remembering the future,
the promised future,
that came packaged with a past labelled ‘never again’.

It was from a horror of war
that poppies grew
that names were remembered.
The red poppy,
lets name it,
is bloody horror,
and is worn to remind us:
never again

It is “a declaration of hope that war should never happen again”
yet the poppy often feels
like it sanitises war
makes it respectable
full of honour
and respect.

Yet the poppy is meant to say otherwise
to remind us
to remember
the inhumanity
the horror
the pain
and to say
in poppy red:
never again.


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