Poetry Corner

Discussion in 'General' started by Oggie2620, May 4, 2010.

  1. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    From the Bomber Command Assn newsletter...

    By R Bailhache in memory of his father Flt Lt Bailhache who died recently (and his crew)
    50,000 telegrams, fallen from the sky,
    50,000 telegrams on a desk piled high,
    3 lines for a young man's life is all there is to show,
    It seemed so little, perhaps they're right, our children shouldn't know.

    d-rum, d-rum, d-rum, sound bursts of light, as death comes flashing by,
    tap tap tap, the vain response, comes hammered out reply,
    dac dac dac, a writhing mass: typewriters in the sky.

    We know you didn't like them, boys, those jobs you had to do,
    We've forgotten that we sent you to fan blazing skies from blue,
    Theres nothing more to give you now, we hope you understand,
    That what you did, though vital then, now lies wilted in the hand.

    50,000 telegrams, fallen from the sky,
    50,000 telegrams, on a desk piled high,
    3 lines on a telegram, for a job they can't describe,
    Tap tap tap for a young man's life, typewriters in the sky.

    My dad has moved along now, to join his crew at rest,
    Wonder what he'll tell them, that they did their very best,
    3 lines on a telegram, to pin onto a chest,
    That's all that I can give you, boys, for your sacrificed test.
    Tap tap tap for a young mans life, typewriters in the sky,
    I'd like to give you more, boys, than confetti 3 miles high.
    We all did our jobs, boys, at least we did but try,
    War's a dirty game, boys, so sorry you had to fly that night, so sorry you had to fly.

    And form paths of power, comes still that pitiful refrain,
    That's all we can give you boys, a telegram for the pain.
    We've forgotten that we sent you to fan blazing skies from blue,
    That what you did was vital then, essential to carry through.
    There's nothing more to give you now, it just happened, or was it planned,
    That order to thousands every night, became inconvenient to understand?
    For war's a dirty game now, not all deserve the same,
    While some dirty jobs get credit, others pass without blame.
    That's all we can give you now, undone and not re-wound,
    Tap tap tap for a young man's life, buried in the ground.
    3 lines on a telegram, piled 50,000 high,
    Tap tap tap for a young man's life, typewriters in the sky.

    I thought this was really beautiful so I thought you guys & gals would appreciate it too :)
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    In my mail box and am, as requested, passing it on.


    When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

    Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri .

    The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Assoc. for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

    And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

    Crabby Old Man
    What do you see nurses? . . . . . What do you see?
    What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
    A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise,
    Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?

    Who dribbles his food . .. . . . and makes no reply.
    When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
    Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do.
    And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

    Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
    With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
    Is that what you're thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
    Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me.

    I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
    As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
    I'm a small child of Ten . .. . . . with a father and mother,
    Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another.

    A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
    Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he'll meet.
    A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
    Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

    At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
    Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
    A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
    Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

    At Forty, my young sons . .. . . . have grown and are gone,
    But my woman's beside me . . . . . to see I don't mourn.
    At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
    Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me..

    Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
    I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
    For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own.
    And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I've known.

    I'm now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel.
    'Tis jest to make old age . .. . . . look like a fool.
    The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
    There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

    But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
    And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
    I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
    And I'm loving and living . . . . . life over again.

    I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
    And accept the stark fact .. . . . that nothing can last.
    So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see.
    Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . see ME !
  3. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Sarah Churchill:

    Whenever I see them ride on high
    Gleaming and proud in the morning sky
    Or lying awake in bed at night
    I hear them pass on their outward flight,
    I feel the mass of metal and guns
    Delicate instruments, dead-weight tons
    Awkward, slow, bomb racks full
    Straining away from downward pull
    Straining away from home and base
    And try to see the pilot's face.
    I imagine a boy who's just left school
    On whose quick-learned skill and courage cool
    Depend the lives of the men in his crew
    And success of the job they have to do.
    And something happens to me inside
    That is deeper than grief, greater than pride,
    And though there is nothing I can say
    I always look up as they go their way
    And care and pray for every one,
    And steel my heart to say,
    "Thy will be done."
  4. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    An Airman Grace
    Father John MacGillivary, Royal Canadian Air Force.

    Lord of thunderhead and sky
    Who place in man the will to fly
    Who taught his hand speed, skill and grace
    To soar beyond man's dwelling place
    You shared with him the Eagle's view
    The right to soar, as Eagles do
    The right to call the clouds his home
    And grateful, through your heavens roam
    May all assembled here tonight
    And all who love the thrill of flight
    Recall with twofold gratitude
    Your gift of Wings, Your gift of Food.
  5. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Silver Wings
    I have seen the birth of dawn and the sunset die
    And rode my steed, the thunder; across the sky.

    I have lived among the towering heights
    and known a thousand; Nay a million endless,
    wondrous delights.

    And beyond the swirling mists on high
    I have rolled and zoomed far above
    enveloped in the golden glory
    of my one, my love.

    So how do you say, good bye to a pair of silver wings,
    a sunlit sky and oh, so many things?

    After all these joys I have known , how do you say adieu?
    I know not my friend. Do you?
  6. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    High Flight
    John Gillespie Magee Jr.

    Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things.

    You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace,
    Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
  7. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Number 33 Squadron song

    There is an RAF Squadron, it’s called thirty-three,
    Existing on sand storms at Mersa-on-Sea.

    We rise every morning the last star to see,
    Then nip away smartly to skive and make tea.

    ‘Duff gen’ is our motto – another move near,
    Then we all get blotto on “shandies” and beer.

    Far out in the desert, way out in the blue,
    Existing on sand storms at Mersa Matruh.
  8. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Bomber Squadron song (Greece)

    To Valona, to Valona
    Every morning just at nine
    Same old kites and same old Squadron
    Same old target, same old time.

    North of Corfu dawn is breaking
    And the sun begins to shine
    Macchi-hundreds and G fifties
    Waiting for us dead on time.

    Do four runs up says the CO
    And make every bomb a hit.
    If you do, you’ll go to heaven,
    If you don’t, you’re in the grit.

    On the way back, same old fighters
    And the gravy’s running low.
    How I wish I could see Larissa
    Through the snow storm down below.

    How I wish I were in Athens,
    Drinking cognacs by the score,
    And I need not ever go back
    To Valona any more.
  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  10. vespa100

    vespa100 Member

    This is a poem my great granddad wrote in Ww1 and to his local paper the Birkenhead news.

    Lynchy 2.6.15.JPG
    Fred Wilson likes this.
  11. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    My Verse for The West Yorkshires . My dads Regiment in Burma WW2

    A young boy answered his countries call
    And went to train to go to war
    On board a ship so crammed in
    To arrive at Deolali all tired and hot
    A trek through the jungle with 70lb
    Burgens strapped to their backs
    Arrived in Dimapur so hot and weary
    Stayed a month for jabs and more training
    Then thousands of men marched off to war
    Their war had begun but not what they thought
    As Malaria, dysentery, typhus, and malnutrition
    Killed a third of the men
    They finally arrived at their Theatre of War
    The Arakan was where they were going to give their all
    Hand to Hand combat, shells flying overhead
    Many men killed in the forgotten war
    They beat the japs in their first big battle
    They buried their mates where that had fell
    Then the West Yorkshires got word they were needed
    Their mates were surrounded at the Admin Box
    Off they went to help their mates and for 26 days they
    held the japs off . Hand to Hand combat was nothing
    new, these were battle harden soldiers of 19 years old
    The noise of the shells, and artillery bombardments
    were the norm of the day
    The battle was won and the japs all dead
    And what was left of the West Yorkshires was ordered
    To march to a place called Dozahari where Dakota's
    Were waiting to fly them to Khohima
    The West Yorkshire's did what all good soldiers do
    They fought with their colours, with pride in their hearts
    and helped chase the japs right out of the war
    So this year on Rememberance day
    Honour the dead of the forgotten Army and all of the
    Soldiers of all the wars but lets not forget those that
    Survived and came home to live with the horrors of war
  12. BereniceUK

    BereniceUK Well-Known Member

    This is on display in Lissington Church, not far from RAF Wickenby.


    Now where is that?
    Not heard of it you say.
    It's just a tiny village
    Near Lincoln.
    Tucked away among green fields.
    Where nothing ever happens
    Except the clouds drift by.
    And country folk get on with life
    As the world just passes by.

    Some who live there
    Can recall
    When it just wasn't so.
    Their fields were taken over
    To house the "Boys in Blue,"
    And huge Lancaster Bombers,
    Painted in matt black,
    Shattered the calm of that sleepy village.
    Many did not come back.

    One thousand and eighty very young men,
    From this one place alone,
    Were destined never to return
    To the place that was their home.
    The men who came back
    return each year
    To honour their comrades, who died
    So that Wickenby could become again
    Just part of the countryside.

    Anne Crowson, 1985


    Attached Files:

    Charley Fortnum likes this.

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