Spring has sprung ….

Didn’t spring just creep up on us … I am sitting here musing for my post today and thinking just how far we have come from June last year when we started up this wonderful project.  How many new people we have met, how many wonderful stories we have been privy to … and feeling incredibly humbled by your “call to arms” for poppy making.  It’s fair to say that this type of craft is a traditionally woman’s domain and so the majority of our contributors are women … however, there have been a significant number of men contributors as well as children.  The ages of our contributors range from 2 to 102 (at least that’s the age ranges I know of … there may be some outside of this) … and from all areas, interests and walks of life.  When I was asked recently in a television interview just what I thought this project was about … my answer was community and connection.  5000 Poppies has been a way for many many thousands of people who may not have otherwise connected in any way, to be a part of something so much bigger than any one of us as individuals,  and to show our service men and women and their families through the generations that we are grateful for their contribution to our way of life.  It is not about the glorification of war … it is about honouring their courage and their sacrifice … and I can’t help but be excited about Anzac Day next year as we work on the design for our display.

image-1.jpegFaye's Poppies

In the last week or so on the facebook page which many of you will not see … we have had a sharing of the most incredible poetry … obviously the 5000 Poppies project has touched the hearts of so many and some have put their thoughts and feelings into poetry.  I have shared a few of these poems below for you … such stunning beauty.  Thank you.

By Teresa Ellum

The slip knot secure on the knitting needle
I begin—adding stitches as contentment & warmth builds
Bright red wool, softly runs through my fingers
Rows added, the shape slowly appears
Thoughts run deep, whilst hands are busy
Remembering brave men, fighting for our freedom
Wool as red and thick as blood
Symbolic, as another row is completed
Sons, fathers, uncles, brothers, lovers
Many died, but not forgotten
Nearly complete—a centre of black, as we mourn for them all
A few scraps of green, to show new life, the gift they gave us
The finished product—A beautiful RED POPPY–made with love

The slip knot secure on the knitting needle…………………………

by Meredith Atilemile

Through Polygon Wood

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(In dappled shade of leafy trees
thick undergrowth of fern and bush)
I saw the bare and jagged branches reaching for Heaven.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(The damp path well-defined and solid)
I smelled the stinking, hungry mud.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Green and yellow light
Sweet scent of hidden flowers)
I tasted the searing poison of gas.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Birds twittering
and calling to each other)
I heard the screech of shells, roaring explosions, cries of pain.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Gentle breeze passing through the leaves)
I felt the sighs of a generation lost.

by Marg Wilson

The blurred faces of people unknown
dreamed into her sleeping mind,
crowds marching, amassing and rushing,
up embankments and hills they climbed

bugles played in the distance
as ghostly horsemen galloped by
nurses, stretchers; a soldier young,
cradling his mate as he died

She’d researched her father’s uncle
Who’d survived the first world war
Despite shrapnel wounds in Belgium
He’d made it home to Australian shores

Thanked by his town in a homecoming
He’d responded in the words of the brave
“I only wish I could have done more, and
lets honour those resting in graves”.

how she wished she could have known him
and just how can you thank them enough
for protecting their country and loved ones
in the grief of battle, the mud and the blood

she saw through the haze of emotion
the poppy she last night had knitted
with her words of dedication pinned to it,
“For Arthur”, so tenderly written

She picked up that blood red Poppy
And felt humbled with the pride that it gave,
And pledged to knit countless others
In honour of our Anzacs so brave.

Lest we forget

by Elizabeth Riordan Evans

The blood, the guns, ring the bells once again
For tonight has been the death of some fine gentlemen
Cry and pray say the ringers of the bell
For the gentlemen who gave their lives so well

For the country they say
It is all a lie
What’s so glorious about going that far to die?

The gas, the disease, the death & blood
The hurt, the dead, the cold unfeeling mud

The bodies so mangled that you can’t recognise them
And other bodies lined up in front & behind them

Ring the bells ring the bells ring the bells once again
For tonight’s seen the death of some fine gentlemen

This was a 12 year old’s view of the war – in which her great grandfather fought (at Gallipoli) for the Royal Welch Fusileers.

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2 Responses to Spring has sprung ….

  1. Dear poppy Head quarters,
    we hope you have received our first shipments of poppies from ACH Group in Adelaide.
    We have had a wonderful response to our poppy project and gathered poppies from our customers who live in our nursing homes, participate in our services and live in our retirement villages. Legacy and War widows groups in SA have also become involved and all up have contributed 3500 poppies. half are being used for our art exhibition and the rest will be contributed to support 5000 poppies.
    We displayed Poppies as part of our South Australian Living Artists (SALA) exhibitions through ACH group in South Australai during August to cooincide with the 100th Anniversary of the out break of World War 1. Poppies in all shapes, hues and forms arrived for the exhibition and are continuing to come in; they multiply!

    The poppy project touches every one affected by war and is a beautiful antidote to sadness; they bring life and give the opportunity to share hope and memories. We have compiled a booklet on the dedications we recieved and displayed them with an example of the poppies that arrived with dedications. It has been a very moving aspect of our exhibition. Congratulations on starting this movement and allowing us to get involved. We will send more poppies to you and we hope to share our plans for remembrance day and Anzac day here in Adelaide too.
    We will continue to be a collection point for you in Adelaide with pleasure.

  2. 5000poppies says:

    Thanks for the update Lenore … you have been incredibly busy and very productive … glad to see. Cannot wait for Anzac Day next year … we are certainly on a countdown here … and just started work in earnest on the display which will be amazing. So excited.
    Look forward to seeing pics of your display … and your poppies delivered in due course.
    Take care and keep poppying.
    Lynn

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