I will be poppy-less on Armistice Day. The poppy lady did not call this year, selling the bright red remembrance of wars long past, and ones still claiming lives. Nor when I went into town this morning were the usual flower sellers there; no tin into which to place a donation, a personal 'thankyou'. Something is very wrong here.
I trawled my photo files for poppies to post; the first I found, amethyst-tinged and silky, paled into insignificance - and yet it is an 'Opium Poppy' far from the fields of Afghanistan where trauma must run rife amongst the brave soldiers.
And then I found this photo taken last year in France - fields of poppies though not in Flanders Fields. They seemed curiously orange, and so I looked at more shots in the 'Poppy' folder and found one of my Shirley poppies blowing in the garden a few years back. So red, the brightest of them.
And whilst I was searching, it brought to mind a poem I wrote in anger last week, hearing of the death of six soldiers in a single day, out there near what I guess may be eastern opium poppy fields (correct me, please, if I am wrong). I was going to post that poem on the day I wrote it, but it coincided with an horrific and unnecessary killing in the USA; I thought it would be insensitive of me to post about my anger on such a day.
And so I offer it now; for tomorrow, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we remember, stand in silence for two whole minutes and give thanks for all who sacrifice their lives for a more stable and peaceful world.
(One should never write in anger, and these words show that emotion overtook skill. I apologise.)
I realised that all my poppy photos were actually taken to create a collage, transferred to fabric and stitched, with the shapes of the seedheads standing proud. Alas, these too are the double version of the 'Opium Poppy', grown in our garden not for drugs but to utilise in works of art, the seedheads dried for decoration. Every object seems to have multiple uses, and words a double meaning.