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Lay for the Day
26th April

1937: aeroplanes of the Nazi Luftwaffe and the Italian Fascist air force bomb and strafe the Basque town of Guernica, in an attack that registered immediately as a terrible harbinger of future warfare, paving the way for the widespread aerial bombardment of civilian populations in the approaching world war.

One for Sorrow

I would talk, if I knew the world, about you.
A garden in the town I’ve seen
turn gold and black, and once more green.
A pair of magpies, elegant as spears, flew
down through the golden leaves.

But there are yellow-coated trees in armies
on the hills, and a wide blue sea,
and deep woods across the sea,
and between stones and trunks in deep valleys
small birds change their voices.

I’ve seen winter coming into the city
gust between tall buildings,
I’ve heard news of killings.
On the tops the wind howls without pity,
blowing down broken walls.

I would tell the world if I knew the world,
and thought in their loss someone hears,
something of what a lover fears,
of the one death that means losing the world
in the millions of deaths.

John Gibbens
from The Smell of Thyme

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