‘WAR’: Poet Jeremiah Brown’s Response to the Gospel of St Luke Panel by William F. Woodington, 1862
by Jeremiah Brown
AND HE SAID UNTO THEM DO VIOLENCE
SO AFTER I DID DIRT OF COURSE THEY HONOURED ME IN CHURCH.
YOU CAN’T LOVE YOUR ENEMIES WHEN THEY’VE GOT GUNS
POINTED AT YOUR HEAD TOP. SHOOT BACK. END LIVES.
SHOW MERCY TO NO MAN. GRACE BEGETS BLOOD.
DON’T ASK QUESTIONS JUST BE CONTENT IT’S NOT YOUR OWN.
PRAY TO GOD THAT GOD AIN’T WITH THEM.
WAR IS WAR AND GOD BACKS BEEF
SO PRAY HE IS WITH YOU HOLDING MORE THAN A SHIELD
TO COVER YOUR HEAD IN BATTLE. HOPE
GOD COMES WITH A TISSUE TO WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR.
SEE THEM COVERED IN BLOOD. STEPPING OVER MEN’S BODIES
TO DELIVER VICTORY. YOU WILL WEEP.
AND YOU WILL SAY UNTO GOD:
NO MORE MEMORIALS TO MAN WHO BUSS GUN.
NO MORE GLORY WON WITH THE LIVES OF MY BRUDDAS.
About Jeremiah Brown
Jeremiah Brown is a Black British-Jamaican writer and actor based in Croydon. He’s a Royal Court Writers Group, Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab, and Barbican Young Poet alum, as well as a former Roundhouse Resident Artist. His debut solo show Likkle Rum with Grandma had a sold out run at the Albany in 2019 before a U.K. tour was cancelled due to Covid 19. Jeremiah’s commissions include Nationwide Building Society, St Paul’s Cathedral, Barbican and The Poetry Society. His Sugar Shots newsletter comes out every Wednesday.
Visit Jeremiah Brown’s website and find him on Twitter,
About the Monument
The Gospel of St Luke panel by William Frederick Woodington (1806–1893) takes as its subject the quotation that runs along the bottom of the panel: ‘And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.’ (Luke, 3.14). It shows John the Baptist preaching, while three Roman soldiers listen intently. The panel was one of three commissioned from Woodington to be placed on the walls of the Consistory Court (now the Chapel of the Order of St. Michael and St. George) as part of the commemoration of the Duke of Wellington, along with three further panels commissioned from William Calder Marshall. All six panels were relocated to the walls on the south side of the nave, where they can be seen today.