Regrettably Gallybloggers have been unable to post a poem written especially for the site on Remembrance Day. I apologise sincerely on our behalf and with all possible good intention hope to be able to blog the poem as soon as possible.
In its stead, and without an accompanying image, Gallybloggers asked if I were able to post for Remembrance Day. I reluctantly agreed knowing I had nothing worthy of the occasion.
However, I had a poem available – albeit a poem with less brevity but penned with equal sentiment, regards and respect. The poem is slightly modified from one published on Dewin Nefol some time ago . Briefly for background, I occasion a cemetery close to the city where I live. It is a large graveyard and includes an area set-off from the main area where the graves of those Gone But Not Forgotten lie at rest. These graves belong to Armed Forces Personnel lost in service during WW2. A little further onwards and away to one side sprawling the length of a short path are a number of graves also of Service Personnel buried alongside family. It is to one of these graves that I visit whenever I am there for it bares the headstone of a Flight Sargent whose name is lost to time and weathering stone.
There are many reasons why I visit the cemetery, both personal and otherwise, least of all is the chance to find a little time for peace and quiet in a world that never stops turning. The Flight Sargent’s grave puts me in touch with a different period in history, a very different time and place that featured as legacy growing up a child wanting to fly.
There are those of us who are born to fly,
To reach dizzy heights way up high.
On wings of gold in clear blue skies
Escorting an Angel wherever she flies.
DN and Raven’s 12
~ Wings Of Change ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
Winds of change through fair autumn blow, rustling leaves whenever she goes,
Raising red roses in posies on cheeks, storms in the wilderness snows on peaks,
Nips on one’s noses and frost on one’s toesies, merrily the Maiden twists and poses
Whirls twirls turns gyrates bending boughs rattling slates,
Stirring fears gathering woes snaking through treetops hustling hedgerows
Rippling hot sands where no water flows, mercurially she races and never slows.
Early one morning when tiring of typing
I packed a notebook went out walking
With no intention of ever gawping
At toys the stranger was busily hawking
To crowds of shoppers sheepishly flocking
Stopping their shopping to gape and see
A golden marionette pirouette merrily,
Dancing and prancing very happily
Suspended on strings which I counted three, but
Knowing there must be one for each knee,
One for each hand and her head if you please,
Another hidden inside her where no one sees,
One string controlling her smiling tease,
A million dollar beamer painted as a frieze,
A smile never escaped from, one she never flees,
An enigma always with her, one worn with ease
For Love lies inside her, tenderness to appease,
The whim of strings pulling things always by degrees,
The Puppeteer who never sings, singing with expertise
Twisting and twirling his marionette whirling,
Swirling speaking fluet Puppetese!
Regards the Ankh…I shrank away to think and play…but…
To be quite frank I drew a blank when considering words to say,
And tiring of typing I went out walking, walking beneath skies of grey
Towards a haunt I know where few others go and peace reigns supreme,
Tis a graveyard I know just up the road where there’s chance to dream.
En route I passed the charity shop with time on my hands for me to stop,
To turn in through the open door walk across the crowded floor, and fully explore the riches within.
I should say I was ‘called in’ and whilst it was cold out, I followed my sense without any doubt,
Knowing as I knew somewhere in my view magic and enchantment was about.
Not the dear old deer who plays ‘our tunes’, but another dear deer serving country and blues,
I mentioned the music holding polite conversation, the radio playing her favourite station,
Whilst I busied and burrowed in baskets I furrowed until I could take no more,
The calling growing louder my frustration gunpowder, when then my frantic eyes saw…
A wing of gold, bold and rolled in every crease in every fold in every fold was rolled gold,
Sculpturing an auriferous Tie-Pin.
Although only one wing it was complete, in every way cast unique lovingly made and polished neat,
An Aviator’s accessory for those who fly, whose tie might come loose when they reach for the sky,
No longer tethered like you and I, these Fliers are unprecedented Mavericks upon high.
Whilst she reached into the glass cabinet, I reviewed my purchases: all were appropriate.
Two figurines of Shoaling Monks each wearing orange trunks,
Two copper trinket dishes both enamelled with Kiwi best wishes,
One Pembroke Pottery collectors’ piece, a peeling platter for fruitful fleece.
And last but by no means least, perhaps my favourite from the buying feast,
A crystal ring pot in butterfly guise, so delicately made it almost flies,
Where atop its top in base relief, the shape of a butterfly rests on a leaf,
Rests on a leaf to wait a while before lifting off encouraging smiles,
High in the sky for miles and miles, flittering and fluttering flattering styles,
Iridescent dream-coat with chromatic sheen, the Crystal Butterfly is like none ever seen.
She is faultless scintillating, nature’s kaleidoscopic dream,
Giddy and gilded and radiating, reflecting rainbows with wings beating,
Her flash rapid her flare fleeting, her tailored jacket gaudy and glinting,
And she unrelenting glistening gleaming, off out the door she was leaving,
Neither wrapped in newspaper nor enraptured by flight,
Insistent was she to head for the light: incessantly striving towards the bright,
And then out of the door and she was gone, caught on the breeze carried along,
Beyond the beyond and far away rising she’s climbing upon this day, and
With her my sorrows my tears my woe, the tiredness of my tired shadow,
The shade that plays in liminal ways that always has me cry,
Or leaves me hazy slightly glazy with mystical tears in my eye,
As upwards I gaze upon the sky to watch my Crystal Butterfly.
Had I lingered or lazed or idly made haste surely I would have missed,
A glint of glass flash pass so fast from out of the wilderness:
So quick so slick moving through air, I had no time to stop and stare,
It made me gasp until at last I caught my breath and followed dutifully,
Steering a course as best I was able, into the stable sable of cemetery serenity.
Glimmering and shimmering the glinting was winking, waiting at a grave,
One rolled and old badly unkempt: sat cold and lulled by darkness and greyed
Kept attended but unattended or tended by tenderness: the grave a mess
A mass of weeds and daffodils, spilled tears without frills or flowers,
Or pretty girls cockle shells or relatives who come and go: caring for the lonely Airman fallen into shadow.
I sat awhile in quiet thought and deeper contemplation:
Mindful in my musings and respectful consideration,
Reflecting on solitude of one stolen from their station,
Shot down defending a war-torn nation,
Gone but not Forgotten: buried in isolation,
And there silently he permanently lies, always gazing upon cloudless skies,
Forever upwards asking why: why he cannot fly or simply flash and flare,
Don the goggles fire the prop and into the dog-fight quickly rock, rapidly
Rolling twisting turning, machine guns blazing hellfire raging, nerve ends fraying voices praying
No not praying they’re clearly saying, ‘Look out! Gun in the sun!’
“But I was too late to turn too late to learn, I crashed and burned instead.”
“I felt the bullets bite as the Gun caught site of my feathered tail end,”
“Closed in for the kill with propeller roaring and guns pouring out hot lead,”
“Strafing and raking wings and fuselage with bullet holes large and red,”
“And those piercing Merlin’s heart brought me to the dead.”
Said I weeping an Airman’s tears, “what could I do to ally your fears?”
“Do?” said he, “what do you mean? I’m laid out forever, this is no dream.”
“I mean fly.” said I. “Would you like to fly again in the sky? Perhaps turn an old trick or two?”
“Really?” Said he, ‘what power have thee to enable me to rise from this tomb?”
“Rise from this gloom and not just rise, but take flight again in cloudless blue skies?”
I smiled a little, I may even have mused, as he talked to me sounding confused,
Bemused I think by bewitchery, amused I think by sorcery, the Dark Art in the heart of me,
The heart of me that no-one sees or needs to ever know:
Tis the heart of me at the very heart of me where nobody ever goes,
Until a channel opens and communication flows.
“Flow and grow and swell to expand, one string of thought will become a band,”
“A rubber-band of twists and threads, stretching tales into stories instead.”
“Stories that would otherwise never flow or have anywhere else to go, when buried deep down below,”
“With an Airman in uniform whose spirit still glows, eager to capture the camera’s pose,”
“The one with the helmet, the Top Gun pose, the one inspiring lyrical prose.”
“Lyrical in the sense that it is all seems to rhyme,”
“If not quite always then maybe some of the time?”
“Then this a time when it needs to rhyme, and needs to rhyme quite well,”
“For a second poem spun by his grave is enchanting Dewin’s will:”
“It is I the fallen Airman whose spirit excites his quill.”
Cobra Red Leader to the battle-front, tis time to join your regiment.
An Ace to fly high for his finest hour, so let spit and polish inspire desire!
Reach for the Skies in your dashing Spitfire: climb on board prepare for attack
Load munitions rack and pack, fuel the Merlin take up the slack,
Throttle wide open no turning back, adrenaline pumping no moment to crack!
When then down the runway I’m suddenly roaring, lifting away I’m suddenly soaring
Beneath pale moonlight I’ve taken flight en route to Germany!
A flight by night accompanied by starlight into the jaws of the enemy!
Navigating by stars alongside Lancasters, I’m wondering how long it will be,
Before hell breaks loose above the clouds: for glory of death and victory!
Still throbbing still turning my Rolls Royce was yearning,
Yearning for Merlin powering the prop, to weave his magic and never stop
Whilst faster and faster and faster we drop, descending upon our target spot,
Red blood bubbling boiling hot, engaging bomb-load, the whole damn pot,
And every bullet in every slot, the enemy below will get the lot.
Sliding-back the trigger cap, the crimson button is wide open,
I’ve only to press with deftest touch, and she’ll deliver her darkly omen,
Hound the Gun from iron skies, beat and fight Nasty lies,
Nasty flies and Nastier fliers, ordered by a Tyrant a dark-minded lair,
Ravaging Europe as harbinger of war: a leader who’d lead us to Death’s black-door.
Searchlights wander as roaming cones, desperately seeking those bombing homes
Reaching raking illuminating, dissipating darkness with the cloud cover above,
Broken in formation we were scattered patternation, mere dots against the dark,
When alone far away coming fast from the grey, two machine guns began to bark,
To bark and hark the enemy mark to hustle and hassle and heckle!
I was pebble dashed fore to aft when my Merlin began to wrestle,
Bullet splashed fore to aft in no fit state to tussle, I trusted to fate and began to climb,
Encouraging the enemy close behind, then topping out above the clouds to silhouette the Moon,
Whilst manoeuvring rapidly to face my foe< squeezing a little room,
For one good shot was all I got before the fates would seal my doom.
Merlin still roaring, the berserker still enjoying dancing with the Devil at night,
When cresting the clouds in a silvery shroud the enemy was in my sight,
With my thumb I pressed with deadly need and felt the bullets swiftly speed,
Racing pacing from my gun, and rocketing still hasting towards the moonlit flying Gun,
Gunning as he was coming on a vector head for me, a flight-path destined to end in tragedy!
But not for me on this second time around, for I already lay wrapped deep in the ground,
I was yet as a Phantom a vaporous drifting cloud, merely dust in a coffin the stain on a shroud,
A body given up and artfully embalmed: wept upon and mourned over in song and Psalm.
There was no fear of dying as we drew close together, my gun still firing hell for leather,
For vengeance and hollow victory, for the one hundred years stolen from me.
Red eyes blazing my fury raging my guns hammering out their wicked tune,
As closer we raced as quicker we paced in light of the Silvery Moon,
Flashing we were dashing hastening our game, ripping through canvas and timber-fame
Heading for chaos torn metal and pain, ripping open memories facing death again.
Agonising recall destroyed in free-fall, another Aviator for death to claim.
When then of a sudden at the last possible tick, I pressed forward the throttle pushed hard on the stick,
Tilting left with elevators to spin twirl and flick, barrel-rolling onwards going at a hell of a lick,
Guns still blazing for the sheer hell of it, emptying the chamber, the pent up anger, the hatred making me sick,
A century of venom toxic and thick, harbouring hatred hardened as brick. This was the moment to break free of it,
Submit with compassion Love’s elevated station, virtues for which war has no commendation.
Much to my merry surprised he paused a moment and deeply sighed, wiped away tears from his bone-cup eyes,
And turned to me and said, “with dread I feared judgement-day would come, the trial of my soul begun.”
“When to my wooden coffin-bower at the moment of my finest hour, Merlin would arrive to guide me on,”
“In heart and mind in body and song, on a journey to redemption through a dark night long
“On a voyage never-ending flying between Stars, further than Pluto way beyond Mars…”
“A passageway gilded and golden with Honourable Intention, one walked by this Maverick en route to Ascension.”
My quill went slack as I gently sat back against the worn and weathered headstone,
The inscription was bare there was nothing there, no flesh to flesh-out his bones.
No story to tell no tale to be told, for a Spitfire pilot praying for release from cold,
The moist womb of an earthen tomb where he’d stopped and stalled the Merlin,
The Rolls Royce once turning, the powerhouse once yearning, burning Spitfire over Berlin.
Where his memories survived in countryside in a Poppy meadow beneath high peaks
Where Falcons fly and Hawks sigh, Red Kites soar for weeks and weeks,
Where Raptors glare but only Eagles dare: dare stare at the glare of the Sun.
Where an Airman’s body shallow tucked: feathers missing cruelly plucked,
Wings all broken brittle bone snapped, torn apart by shrapnel in the last fateful act.
There was no further whispering sigh: already long gone, he was flying high,
Released from the coffin reborn to fly, mastering aerobatics in a clear blue sky,
He was a Flier once more, a pretty fly guy, with panache and appeal and a twinkling eye,
He was back from black as Maverick: new guardian of aerial route-ways,
Jedi Knight and Templar, Lord of all he surveys: an Officer and a Gentleman until his dying days.
~ Written for an unknown R.A.F Flight Sargent ~
‘His life was a beautiful memory, his death a silent grief’