Brighton Launch “Voices of the Poppies”

by | Dec 15, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

I woke one Saturday morning
Not so many weeks ago
With the prospect of a drive to the South Coast
To a Book Launch we were to go
The journey we made without incident
Although the rain was ever present
Had we picked a sunny day
Most likely it would have been more pleasant
Brighton in Sussex our destination
Not knowing fully what to expect
At the venue at Jubilee Library
Perhaps meet a Lady of great respect
Finding a suitable place to park
As the rain kept falling down
Didn’t enhance our prospects
In this very busy Sussex town
Bu luckily after a circuit or two or three
Of the streets I came to know so well
I found a spot right next to the Library
Luck was with me that day I could tell
So into the palacious building we entered
Not knowing what we would find
Climbed the stairs to the Conference Room
To find Helen the Publisher reclined
Well actually she jumped up to greet us
And make us both welcome there
And introduced us to other Forces Poetry guests
With whom the afternoon we’d share
Light refreshments were available
As we waited for the honoured guest to arrive
Who was none other than Dame Vera Lynn
And she too had to make the long drive
As Patron of “Voices of the Poppies”
With Remembrance on her mind
Ever knowing as the Forces Sweetheart
A lovelier Lady would be hard to find
Now the time for the performance to start
Dame Vera with Mac the aisle walked down
Taking a seat beside Helen the Publisher
Who introduced this Lady of great renown
Then standing up Lady Vera spoke to those assembled
Words of wisdom and her purpose in life
To entertain and give strength to the Military
She was the Forces Sweetheart in times of Strife
Some Members then read their chosen verses
The effect of which was not a surprise
As you cast a look at the audience, and Dame Vera
You’d have noticed the tears in their eyes
Giles Penfound had captured it all
In his famous trusty camera lens
And then it was back to the tables, for book signings
Eagerly offering Dame Vera their pens
In their books to capture the signature of this great Lady
That the whole of the United Kingdom adore
Then walk away with a smile on their face
And know it’s in their book evermore
As a lad I remembered Vera as she was then
A”Dollybird” and Forces Sweetheart too
And here we were 60 years later
And it is Lady Dame Vera I’m asking who
Would attempt today what she did then
To travel the world unaccompanied by ladies
To entertain Britain’s fighting men
Not for a day or a week by the way
But month after month anyhow
Which prompted me then to say, Lady Vera
You’re still the Forces Sweetheart now
She took time to speak to young and old
No “airs or graces “there to see
Just a likeable, lovable English Lady
Which to me she will always be
For me this was an afternoon to remember
As our aims we were able to achieve
To promote the sales of “Voices of the Poppies”
And hope some Veterans suffering to relieve
By the funds of a deserving Charity
From the revenue earned from sales of the book
And give the Forces Poetry Website
Perhaps an enthusiastic future to look
To create more publications
And poets more poems to write
In order to achieve their eventual aim
to give assistance to War victims plight.


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