Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Events that Changed the World

In the modern world and due to media coverage we are all more aware of events that have, and indeed are , changing the world. Imagine the coverage that might have been given to the catastrophic meteor that struck what we know as the Gulf of Mexico , that heralded the slow end of the dinosaurs !
  " Dinosaurs moving North...EU Ministers hold emergency summit...North America declares a state of emergency ...National Guard called out ...UK says that the sooner it becomes an island the safer it will be ....Local Government warns people to keep their pets indoors !" 
A bit of fantasy . 
It seems that it is mainly wars ,or the threat of, that changes our world and we are very aware of the happenings because of TV, newspapers , Internet and such. News of wars used to take weeks to reach our ears....letters transported by foot or horse, river, port, ship....The laying of Transantlantic cables and their ilk ,the use of morse code, then the spoken word opened up the 20th century. Followed by transmitted pictures , once carefully vetted for upsetting content. Nowadays we are warned that content maybe unsuitable and that we must decide whether to view or not.
The space missions have shaped our modern world and indeed the mission to put a man on the moon enthralled all nations and to some extent held them in awe , changing our perception of the world for a little while.
 World wars ( the name tells of the impact ) have been events that have changed our world ( here I refer to 'my world' I.e. the UK) , having a catastrophic impact on most of the world , not just where the conflict took place..but it was far reaching , involving the colonies of the countries involved. Great Britain was rocked when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands..and indeed who in this country had even heard of them ! We were propelled into action in a few short weeks. Coverage was intense , men and machinery sent off on a long journey to the other end of the globe. I was teaching in Oxford at the time and my husband was a reservist awaiting call up ( luckily for us he wasn't ) ,but many of his friends went and some didn't return. A class of boys that I taught , who were normally a pain , surprised me by saying that they wished they were old enough to go. They were hyped up by the coverage and the sense of outrage that the nation felt.
I am going on a bit today...must be the recent illness making me nostalgic....
Anyway today's poem is the last that I wrote before a gap of nearly 20 years ..written during the Falklands War....


A resting place far from home,
On a lonely windswept shore.
A posy of flowers placed upon the graves
Of those never to return.
An anthem by a vigilant piper, 
A requiem for the dead.
The minister's cassock caught by the wind
That carries the souls - that carries still
The sounds of battle
To ears that hear no more.

Rest, you weary men 
Upon this far off shore.
Your torn and mutilated bodies
Resting in the soil.
Your struggle now has ended.
The battle o'er.
A simple headstone, your only medal-
All you have to show.