Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey and John McCrae

On Libya's beaches the blood flowed red,
From twenty-one martyrs their bodies dead.
Who heard their silenced screams for aid?
The West? With ransoms to be paid?
From comfort our heads in unison shake,
For not our lives we willingly stake.
Awful! Horrible!
What a horrific tragedy!
And in muted silence thank God it's them - not me.
Put down your Fifty Shades of Grey
and retake the torch from fallen poet John McCrae.
For we have broken faith with those who died
On Libya's beaches -
A crimson tide.
Henry Vanderlaan; February 22, 2015

Dear Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae;

I'm sorry to have waken you from your near hundred year slumber. You see, we once quarreled with the foe. We once held the torch high. We once kept the faith so you may sleep in Flanders fields under the blowing poppies.

Every year, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, we faithfully read the poem you so eloquently crafted in May 1915 under the larks above and amid the guns below. Bathed in the poetic prose of your seemingly timeless poem, we praise the sacrifices made on our behalf.Veterans, whose numbers dwindle yearly, adorned with metals and poppies brave the elements and march in silence in remembrance of those fallen in wars past and wars current. We hold high the valor and courage of men and women who have served our nation with little regard for self yet with high regard for neighbor.

And now, on the beaches of Libya, innocent blood was shed because the murdered were "followers of the cross" - Christians. But, Mr. McCrae, can you tell us what torch we're supposed to carry? You didn't make that clear. What quarrel should we take up? Quarrels of faith? Of military might? Of economic power? Of gender equality? What? Mr. McCrae...WHAT??

Maybe...what you meant was quarrel only when convenient...when my rights are being violated. And then I'll shake my fist at the nightly news, turn out the lights, and go to bed. It'll be a new day tomorrow. It makes sense now.

You can go back to sleep, Mr. McCrae. Sorry for bothering you. I got this.

Now what page was I on in Fifty Shades of Grey?


A beneficiary of your sacrifice and 100 million others.

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