My little book of Frost's poetry (see picture) is very precious to me, having found it as the poem relates. And living so close to where so many of these young airmen served (and died), I thought a meld of Frost and my own impressions may work.


Robert Frost in a Pocket


So cold here in the rear turret:
flying high, over the channel; out
bound for Holland and Germany.
Confined by himself, and with
somewhere else hed rather be.

Going out to check the pasture:
farm boy away from Tennessee;
going out to fetch the little calf
thats leaning against its mother;
a past life thats now cut by half.

Less than an hour to the coast, so
cock the levers fire off some rounds,
for nows, the time to test his guns;
still, it leans against the mother, so
young she licks it with her tongue.

First blossoms come over Utrecht;
when soon the escorts peel away
going to clean the pasture spring,
and turn the grass once after one;
mowing in the dew before the sun.

Flying on into the Reich skies,
as fighters now arise like flies,
to torment, then staying to kill.
The dews gone his blades keen,
his twin fifties cut into the scene.

A sleight of hand, ready to fight,
hell show how his weapons work.
A speck, now rearing into sight;
coming now racing in, he pulls
the trigger and death comes out.

The ship next to his gets a hit,
broken-winged, spiralling down,
pray quick for any trapped inside.
He then remembers, for no reason,
barrelled apples picked in season

At the Essen marshalling yards,
they drop their load to fall beneath;
the weight gone they can now rise free.
Banking for home, how could they see,
the cattle trucks packed with refugees

On the home run the worst comes,
the crew now tired and exhausted;
with one-o-nines and one-nineties,
incoming again and still again,
falling from the sky like black rain.

Such a maelstrom of explosions,
as bits of aircraft come falling;
past the line of his guns sights,
a human body comes rolling,
with no chute holding his knees.

Sweat in his eyes the cordite smell,
his arms aching, guns are his art:
designs of darkness to appal,
such things not meant to till the soil;
instead, mens bodies blown apart.

Fiery tongues of flame, exploding
through thin metal walls - a shard of
shrapnel cuts through into his chest.
He feels the wetness down his side;
gloved fingers probe his Mae West.

The intercom crackling from the front,
just checking that hes still alive;
he knows his role he wont be told;
his long scythe comes whispering down,
to lay the swale in such nice, neat rows.

P-47s come now to save, so now
he can at last rest back on his seat;
back where his life was in staying,
at an old house renewed with paint,
inside it a piano softly playing.

Below, he sees the coast recede;
the sun is warm, but he is chill;
dressing now staunching the bleed.
In his pocket, the little book hed
tucked away that he may yet read.

Now, sixty years on, he recalls,
after reading some of the poems,
hed swapped it for tootsie rolls.
After that he guessed it just got lost,
but hed liked the poet Robert Frost.

This little book found me on a stall,
in a Norfolk village church hall.
Its story may or may not, be true;
though, being once in a pocket,
I only hoped he came through.


D G Moody 2021







Poetry by D G Moody The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 116 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2022-01-17 at 16:34

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email (requires login)
dott Print text


Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Well done, Dougie. Congrats. :)

Language: 4
Format: 4
Mood: 4
Overall: 4
2022-02-01


Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
Your poem has been chosen to be featured on the home page of PoetBay. Thank you for posting on our poetry website!
2022-01-31


Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
I marvel not only at the imagery, but at the cadence, construction, and subtle rhyming, of this poem. An enviable accomplishment!
2022-01-18


one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
Wonderfully readable, imaginative, searing, horrifying and delightful all at once. Masterful!
2022-01-17