York psychology faculty member pens a poem for Remembrance Day

Red poppy

Frank Marchese, adjunct professor of psychology in the Faculty of Health, has written a poem in tribute to Canadian veterans. The poem, titled “November Day Remembrance,” addresses the difficulties faced by veterans who return from serving in the Canadian Forces to civilian life. “There has been much in the media as of late, in anticipation of Remembrance Day, regarding the adjustment difficulties of returning soldiers and personnel who have served in war zones,” says Marchese.

The York University community will gather today at the flagpole in the Harry W. Arthurs Common on the Keele campus to pay tribute to our veterans. Community members interested in attending the ceremony should gather in the Vari Hall Rotunda today at 10:15am prior to walking to the flagpole for the ceremony, which begins at 10:30am.

November Day Remembrance

Looking out upon the dark dank day
His friends await him at meeting house, AA
Yet there he stands at the window of his room
Weighed down engulfed in a perilous gloom.

And there beyond the confines of his life
As a band plays jolly-on with drum and fife
Legions of stalwart young assemble in green
Awaiting Bonnie Prince Charles and Camilla, his Queen.

For it is not an ordinary November day
The band makes music and mother’s pray
For those young lads and lassies in far off lands
How goes the campaign today, in Afghanistan.

And front and centre positions the Color Guard
In Toronto the good Varsity Stadium, a military yard
With bayonets fixed in covered gloved-shields
No trench warfare here just remembered dreams;
Of conflicts past and with those laid to rest
Who fought the good fight and yes we lost our best.

Yet, there he stands at the window of his room
He wonders how became so engulfed in gloom
For he can think of nothing, nothing, but his own plight
The day that weighs upon him proceeds into dark night.

And there beyond the confines of his life
The band plays on with drum and fife
While legions of stalwart young assemble in green
They’ve sighted Bonnie Prince Charles and his Lady, now seen.

O’ Courage could you not as well
In the lonely heart by the window now dwell
So as to bring his life redemption while he’s still young and strong
Displacing from his heart the despair he’s borne, alone, so long.

For it is not an ordinary November day
The band makes music and the mother’s pray
Not just for those in a far-off land
But for the tortured souls in our midst that have been dealt
a cruel hand.

“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” General Macarthur