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SELECTED POEMS


The War Pony

Valhalla's gates are opened wide, it's portals ever bending,
To receive those men, the sons of Mars, whoses lives on earth are ending.
This land alone, for aeons past, receives that mighty horde,
The brave anbold of many lands who have perished by the sword.

There is little new to mark this right, this fate intended,
For fighting men to find a home of peace that's never ended.
There's no lament, no hue or cry - the past is all forgotten, Friend and foe are quick to forget the cause they cast their lot in.

What need to harbor grudge and hate? The fight was grim but just.
The men and arms were even matched - the victor too is dust.
And so it goes, as in ages past, the long thin lines ascending.
The warrior clan still wends it's way to the final rest that's pending.

But lo, the scene is changing now - I know not the reason why.
But the tranquil air and happy gait have vanished in the sky.
The marchers now angered much, their wrath they cannot hold.
Though hard to hear, the hate they spill would make one's blood run cold.

With silver wings and jaunty caps, but weary from retreat.
The vanquished German Air Corps strides, embittered by defeat.
The clamor grows, it's not quite clear, but this I get at least
The thing they hate and fear the most is not a man, but beast.

I harken close, my interest piqued - what can this be they fear?
The batt;e's done, that life is over - it cannot hurt them here.
Atlast I asked "What is this thing? This thing you loathe and fear?"
"The Mustang, friend," they all replied, "It's venom brought us here."

"This was a war on even terms and fair as wars do go.
Till that devil machine, the fifty-one, dealt its mortal blow.
What kind of craft is this," they said, "that flies for seven hours,
and goes so fast it picks the time and place to combat ours?"

"The bombing raids wee doomed to fail - the Forts were our fair game,
Till those Mustang escorts came along and shot us down in flame.
Our One -0-Nine had held it's own - the Focke Wulfs never feared.
But neither could hope to best the foe when that Fifty-one appeared."

"Damn that Schmued and damn his skill- he's the devil's own magician.
We'd send his Mustang straight to hell if we could pick it's mission."
And as they entered Valhalla's gates, a voice rang loud and clear,
"If God be just, and I know he must, then there are no Mustangs in here!"

--Buddy Joffrion
Reprinted from King's Cliffe Remebered
HIGH FLIGHT

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silver 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; hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sancity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

--John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 3 Sept., 1941


American Beauties of 1944

Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal
And Madeline Caroll is too.
But the loveliest thing of which one could sing
(This side of the heavenly gates)
Is no blond or brunette of the Hollywood set-
But an escort of P-38's.

In the days that have passed, when the tables were massed
With glasses of Scotch or Champagne
It's true that the sight was a thing to delight
Intent upon feeling no pain.
But no longer the same,nowadays in this game.
When flying north from the straits.
Take the sparkling wine - but I'll just make mine
An escort of P-38's.

Byron, Shelley and Keats ran a dozen dead heats
Describing the view from the hills,
Of the valleys in May when the soft wind sway
An army of bright daffodils -by Byron and Shelley
And yours in myrtle, friend Keats:
Just reserve me those cuties - American Beauties-
An escort of P-38's.

We're braver than hell; on the ground all is well
In the air it's a different story;
We sweat out our track through the fighters and flak
We're willing to split up the glory.
They wouldn't reject us, so heaven protect us,
And, until the shooting abates,
Give us courage to fight 'em - one other small item,
An escort of P-38's.


IN FLANDERS FIELDS


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
the larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields.

-- John McRae

More to come! Come back soon!





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