reflections on the eve of the D-Day landings

We are now approaching Ford
(the next train is not scheduled to call at this station).
Children whining, exhausted mothers gathering up belongings;
We are now approaching Angmering.
“Just leave it there, do you want to stand up? Come on then.”
Hum of voices, sleepy June afternoon,
Sussex fields flashing by –
a million miles from the anniversaries of war..
D-day landings intertwined with Tiananmen Square,
one celebrated, the other denied.
This is Angmering, welcome aboard this Southern service to Brighton.
(Where is Angmering?)
The next station is Goring by Sea.
The old men are travelling to Omaha beach, Death by Sea 70 years ago.
No one is allowed to travel to Tiananmen Square.
“We do not have so-called dissidents in China, only law breakers.”
This train is the Southern service to Brighton. We are now approaching Durrington on Sea.
They approached the beaches in a thousand tiny craft; the army mowed down hundreds gathered in the square.
This train is the Southern service to Brighton. The next station is West Worthing.
(What makes a cause worthy?)
We are now approaching Worthing.
D-day was a worthy cause, one hundred years ago sending millions to their deaths was worthy.
The IRA were not worthy, nor the rescued sergeant who may have walked away from war in Afghanistan..
The next station is Lancing.
We do not lance our opposition now, that was 100 years ago. No, killing now is impersonal and effective (in civilised societies).
Nuke and drone, shock and awe.
Rape and pillage is for the colonies, legacy of imperialism.
The next station is Shoreham by Sea.
(What makes one ‘by’ or ‘on’ sea?)
The Tories strive to shore up the values of imperialism,
everyone knowing their place, each sector of society maintaining superiority over the one below.
Women and children and the sick last please.
We are now approaching Southwick.
Long live the South, the true blue south.
This train is the Southern service to Brighton. The next station is Portslade.
(The automated voice replaces a real human being, but the train has a driver. For how long, with Bob Crow gone?)
The next station is Hove.
Hove to lads, put your muscle into the cause.
‘What is the cause sir?’ ‘Not for you to ask questions lad.’
No questions allowed about Tiananmen Square.
This is the Southern service to Brighton. The next station is Brighton.
We are now approaching Brighton. Please mind the gap between the platform and the train.

This is Brighton, our final destination.

5 June 2014

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