BOURNEMOUTH’S Poet Laureate, James Manlow, has written a poem for this Armistice Day, a century on from the outbreak of the First World War.

On ‘Poppy Day’ – I kid you not –

I saw a blue forget-me-not;

And walking, wondered at the reason

That here miraculous it blew:

A yellow sun amongst such blue

Petals lonely, out of season.

That ghosted flower left behind

Now flutters each year in my mind.

Once war knew well each season’s place –

Spring offensive, winter ceasefire:

Humans gave it a natural face

To hide the bending of our nature.

So many flowers, many fields.

The mind thinks on, yet what’s not healed ’s

Reminder to us still of debts

We owe to others here no longer;

Knowledge that gnaws at our regrets

And sense of sacrifice the stronger

Felt in each new generation:

The men and women that live on

In our remembrance, whose lots

Went horror-humbling to make us wise;

Who died red poppy deaths yet rise

As thoughts of blue forget-me-nots.