In honour of Remembrance Day, poet Bob McCluskey has shared a few of his poems with us.
Lest We Forget
From Random Insights to a Poet’s Delight
So many boys and young girls too
responding in their youthful vigor.
Answering nation’s urgent call,
To Arms! To Arms! with bravest rigour.
Unheard in times when peace expands,
scarce then aware of foreign station.
We’re looked upon in warring lands
as Eden, void of devastation.
And so, the call to muster arms
each Remembrance Day, anew.
They march then, in our memory
so many sons we never knew.
In all those far flung foreign lands,
they sacrificed to keep the peace.
Through bloody wars our young folk died,
will wars and hatred never cease.
Observing, as we line the way
old Veterans, war’s survivors still.
Our inner eye sees boys parade,
far distant, over field and hill.
Not clearly, as these aged vet’s,
but vaguely, as through simmering mist.
Stretched past where weeping eye might view,
in all their millions, marching through
Remembrance Day, not one is missed.
Lost sons and fathers weary, battle worn,
bleeding from the piercing wounds they kept.
As Jesus crucified, when crowned with thorns,
they too surrendered all….Lest We Forget!
Dear God, they come to you in countless number,
enlisted from the battlefields they died.
Contrary to our hope, they never slumber,
boys for whom our Savior Jesus cried.
And do they come in brotherly affection,
comrades in arms now marching to their fate.
Sharing with each other, thy direction,
embracing now, the enemy they’d hate.
Foe with foe now wed to common passion,
recognising only men of common worth.
Trusting that in Christ they now will fashion,
eternity with God through second birth.
Oh God, may thy great mercy permeate them,
may everlasting grace redeem their souls.
May all the joys of heaven elevate them,
Include us Lord, within their honor rolls.
I was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1926 and grew up during the depression years. I had a stint in the Royal Canadian Air Force, then worked as a fireman on a coal burner on the Great Lakes. I served in the Canadian Army as well, just before World War II ended. Cast adrift after my Army discharge, I worked at a number of forgettable jobs. Through the intercession of my wife’s uncle, I became a retail clerk in a Brewers Warehousing beer store. I became assistant manager, then manager, and worked there for the next twenty-seven years.
At fifty, I had a very intense spiritual experience resulting in my resignation from the beer business. With my wife and younger daughter, we attended Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Hawaii for six months, after which I worked for five years at 100 Huntley Street, a daily Christian television program in Toronto.
My wife and I then moved to British Columbia to join our two married daughters there, where I continue to the present time. My first wife passed away, and after a few years I met and married a lovely English lady whose picture you now see on the back cover. This brings us to March 2015, and my poetry continues to arrive as we continue to thrive.