The Arch

Blow soft you strong winds over the rich dead

let bugles sound sad mourning strains

as we step slow march to the

rrrrum, pum, pum

of the kilties’ lament

on their pipes,

on their drums.

The scarlet lines were long and straight

blue pill boxes wrapped in gold

slow-marched in solemn dignity

as the drum beat gently rolled.


Slowly, silently, somberly

the scarlet lines slipped by

a thousand grieving Officer Cadets

under the Kingston sky.


Under the thousand pill-box hats

ten thousand teardrops flowed

to honour their fallen brethren

and the church bells softly tolled.



Hogarth, Honciu, Murphy, Salek

your oath

to the sword

and the scarlet

lived in your heart,

in your passing

survives in the courage of blood.


We shadow

your flag draped caskets

to the beat

of the drummers’

slow slide.

Mortal clay

uplifted by comrades

where youth, and valour reside.


Through the arch,

the fire and the scarlet

race wild

through our deep troubled veins;

reigniting the steel of our passion

to honour your young lives remains.


Chisled stone,

doorway to past memory,

foundation and conception of our lives

the meaning of your words still remembered

Death is life’s only true prize.


Blow out you bugles over the rich dead

There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old

that dying has made us rarer gifts than gold



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