Tag Archives: white poppies for remembrance

Rest Me Naught

Rest me Naught

The partisans attacked
Shortly after sun dawned
Trapped behind the lines
Two days after the treaty signed

Under grey sky I consider
Am I the last one to perish?
Perhaps the final number
In a redundant skirmish

Papers signed inky in a rail car
I’ll never chance to see
Peace comes for some
But no solace arrives for me

The religious get their rites
Murderers given last meals
I’m ordered a shovel
And to get down on my knees

Night-flashes of lost loves
Forever gone forlorn
First flash of eye glance
Waking early on a first mourn

Distant desperate acts
Seeking a fleeting peace
Unadvised by the muddy
The needy and the weak

Boots and coats removed
To strip last identity
The cold doesn’t sting
As much as anonymity

Trenches are flooded
Mortar shells rest unused
Canteen still has drops
Munitions stockpiled to abuse

Grandmother will never know
When my corpus lays
Flowers will grow eventually
While a Legion prays

I am unknown to no-one
Forgotten by unborn kin
What counts as victory?
Who credits this a win?

No photo in a locket
Soggy letters long left to rot
Telegrams remain unanswered
No lover to forget me not

(All my years for naught)

Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63

Remembrance Day with Vasco's Bones

From an olden church and (otherwise vacant) cenotaph at Fort Cochin, Kerala, India, Dave O – acknowledging an extended medical and death related hiatus – discusses the local history of colonization by Portuguese explorers, Dutch traders, then British Raj in the context of the colonization leading to exploitation, conscription and war with no meaning to local populace. Plus the meaning of reparations and the conflict of peaceful resistance – evidenced my Mahatma Gandhi beach a stone’s throw away – contrasted with continued wars throughout the world, shadowed by disposable tourism, economic and racial caste systems.

Recorded Nov. 11, 2016, Released 11:11 Nov. 11, 2017

Gather Round for Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63  (37:11, .mp3, 192k, 58MB, stereo)

Also of note: Vasco da Gama’s bones, black knee-high socks, French generational losses, siege of Leningrad, Churchill’s mishaps, lost human potential of engineers, poets and lovers, MacArthur’s folly, Australia’s vulnerability, the emergence of regions over nation-states, Brexit for British Columbia + Cascadia, Catalonia and Scottish successions, work of raising a child, trappings of hubris, death by disease and guns, aggressive use of intelligence, forethought and diplomacy, and unfiltered view of sacrifice and life.

Cover art photo: By Dave Olson at Fort Cochin, taken by Lomo Sardine can camera with expired B&W film.

Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard #61

Vimy Rdge Diaires

On Remembrance Day in sunny, brisk Vancouver, Ian Bell (fresh from a CBC appearance “On The Coast“) joins Dave to read from Grandpa Mark’s diaries written in the trenches in WW1 as a young Canadian. From the library steps with a flask of scotch, they reflect on the costs and motivations of war, importance of friendship and the ethereal experience of going “over the top” and facing the terror on the other side, plus anecdotes about capturing Germans soldiers and discourse on the importance of personal documentation to pass forward to generations.

Sit awhile for: Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard #61 (38:00, 32MB, 128k mp3)

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Meandering Past Monuments of Remembrance – Postcards #49

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Meandering Past Monuments

Wrapping up the White Poppies for Remembrance series with a narrative late-night wander through Westminster, London, DaveO meanders past military monuments, victory squares, cenotaphs, palaces, royal parks, war museum, war chambers, riot fences, war protesters, churches, parliament and finishing at St. James park for a sitdown under a weeping willow to consider monarchy, individual rights and responsibilities, and the role of class division in waging war as London’s sirens, trains, and Big Ben fill the night.

Care for a stroll? Meandering Past Monuments of Remembrance – Postcards #49 (192k mp3, 34:19, 28MB)

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Peace to Soldiers and Strangers – Postcard #48

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Peace to Soldiers and strangers

Back home on the North Vancouver porch, Dave reads from Clay Mcleod’s essay Why I Don’t Wear a Poppy while sending peace and resistance towards the decent lieutenant Magnum in Iraq and the Philippines along with earnest comrades at arms and peaceful strangers in war torn lands. Plus he admonishes the Canadian Legion for blocking the sale of white poppies while banjo-ist Wm. Lenker sings from the woodshed and The Grateful Dead leave this Brokedown Palace… on my hands and my knees, I will roll roll roll…

Sit for a spell with Peace to Soldiers and Strangers – Postcard #48 (.mp3, 16:58, 13MB)

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Waiting (and Resisting) in Baghdad – Postcard #47

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Waiting Resisting in Baghdad
bunker photo by Lt. Magnum, USN

A story about Iraqi resistance fighters and their personal motivations by a young writer called Waiting in Baghdad is the crux of the next White Poppies for Remembrance episode – read from the homeporch with a Welsh mining lantern and firetrucks rolling past. Written by Chris K, a player on a dave-coached in-line hockey team in Olympia Washington in 2002.

Hunker down for: Waiting (and Resisting) in Baghdad – Postcard #47 (22:16, 21MB, .mp3)

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(Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Meta-physical environment

Taking a Remembrance Day respite to enjoy a conscious discussion with ‘Trigger’ at Vancouver’s New Amsterdam Cafe, Dave O listens to the consequences and conditions of space, in tangible and gestalt senses, and reviews the paradigm shifts of Vancouver’s downtown Eastside ‘four corners’ – once one of the grandest intersections in the British Empire.

Later, he wanders and reads Walt Whitman (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d) and Gord Downie (from Coke Machine Glow) to bring it ’round home for this part #7 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series.

Cross the street for: (Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46 (18:47, 26MB, 128k mp3)

Music by:

  • Drive-by Truckers “World of Hurt” via KEXP
  • Beethoven Sonata #14
  • Unnamed spacey something by Merlin (and/or Jahwah) via HempenRoad soundtrack

Continue reading (Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46

Awakening to the Dawn of Potential – Postcard #45

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Awakening Dawn Potential

Part 6 of the “White Poppies for Remembrance” series considers the opportunity cost of the lost human potential while at the Victory cenotaph in downtown Vancouver – along the way, troubadours sing about Providence, Joyful(ness) along with spontaneous percussion-scapes and city bus brakes.

DaveO examines the value of life with Gord Downie‘s swift deconstructions of existence from Coke Machine Glow, Henry David Thoreau‘s visionary stories of perseverance and the value of the mindfulness from Walden and a personal declaration of sovereignty and dignity from original Letters from Russia read in hospital to ole gramps.

Awake ye, awake for: “Awakening to the Dawn of Potential – Postcard #45” (17:51, 128k mp3, 25MB)

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Righteous Declarations for Humans – Postcard #44

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Righteous declarations

Part 5 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series continues with Dave at Victory Park, this time reading the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by General Assembly Dec. 10th, 1948) with riffs about tolerance, human relations, common understanding, and mutual respect – including a healthy sampling of articles on brotherhood, privacy, special treatment for mothers, plus a commentary about refugee status, and the illegal nature of torture and humiliating treatment.

Then brings it ’round home with a snippet from H.D. Thoreau’s Walden about sovereign man being the origin of the political state while accompanied by lively jazz (via bootleg cassette) featuring Joe Williamson and cohorts in Banff from way back playing about Peace to the Children of our Universe and Common Market offering up replenishing Refresh(ment) live on KEXP.

Declare your rights for: Righteous Declarations for Humans (128k mp3, 13:24, 15MB)

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Buddhas in the Trenches – Postcard #42

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach -Buddhas in the trenches

Part 3 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series (recorded Nov. 2006) features reading from the Dhammapada by Siddhartha Gautama while waiting for the Seabus heading towards Victory Square. Along the way, Dave talks about conscientious objection and military service evaders in Canada, mercy and the state of the downtown eastside.

Page France sings Chariot, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sings about Mercy, (both found on KEXP S.o.t.D. podcast) and Bill Janovitz from Here Comes a Regular score lays down some background groove – plus some Andean flute, soulful saxriffs and American Pie wisdom from Clayton the seabus busker along the way.

Grab a shovel for: Buddhas in the Trenches – Postcard #42 (128k mp3, 23MB, 20:21)

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