Armistice centenary

We split up yesterday to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. Haiku Husband and I were in Wellington (where the weather was absolutely, positively gorgeous) and Haiku Son was in Tauranga.

I went to a LitCrawl session at the National Library: The Eleventh Hour on The Eleventh Day, where writers young and old – and including two teenage Syrian refugee brothers – responded to the topic.

Haiku Husband headed off to the National Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and came back speaking of it in glowing terms, and with an official programme.

armistice wreath - Copy

The cover of the beautifully produced programme.

The inside back cover records the plant material used to make the Wreath of Remembrance: Olive, pohutukawa, Turkey oak (Quercus cerris), northern rata, a native fern (it doesn’t specify which one), Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia), eucalyptus, kōwhai, rosemary, and mānuka flowers.

sprigs of rosemary
something about the tea urn
makes me cry

– Beverley George, from Pearl Beach Village Hall April 25, 2006, a haiku sequence (Blithe Spirit 16.2, 2006).

Haiku Son was minding the hacienda and went to a Tauranga screening of They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson’s compilation of documentary footage from London’s Imperial War Museum that has been cleaned up and colourised.

It doesn’t start or end in colour, instead it’s only when the soldiers get to France that it becomes colour. He described it as informative, thought-provoking and very moving. (I’m going tonight.)

In case you have an interest in reading about Haiku in the Great War, please click on the link to visit a 2015 article I wrote on the topic.

Des croix de bois blanc
Surgissent du sol,
Chaque jour, ça et là.

– Julien Vocance (1878-1954), read more of his haiku (in French).

white wooden crosses
bursting from the soil,
each day, here and there 

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