Other New Poems

Dancing Leaves or Air-brakes

Invisible Nourishment

Looking Inside the Wicker Coffin

Open Air

Served You.......?

Some Facets of the Inside Out

Song of an Astonished Peg



Some Facets Of The Inside Out

Death. Death. The reality
Came into me, over me
Very early with Bombs!
Bombs! Bombs!! Bombs!!!
Exploding all around my house.

Inside the early Monday Morning
Torquay Golf Course mist
A shaking huge sombre circle:
Sobbing parents staring
Around a battered, hated Hell's angel
Fokker Wolfe
Who sixteen hours before had delivered
DEATH!!! Death to their crushed infant children.

I'd never seen grief before. Worry? Yes. My Mum
Always Worrying…neck-red-worrying…Fokker Wolfe
Nose buried...Swastika tattooed-tail high up, hanging
From forty-five degrees sloping crumpled
Twisted body fuselage.

What every crying adult hated was my angelic
I hadn't been crushed under the crashing church
But released from crippling torture.

When I slightly stroked a piece of crumpled wing
I whispered 'thank you'. My mother hadn't heard!
(She'd joined the wailing circle).
I felt swamped in strangeness.
I didn't know who those people were
Crying and crying and crying. Some partly hidden
By the shifting
Six A.M. late May sea
Mist...or maybe cold dew?

I didn't feel loss. Then. Now I understand
How gutted they were feeling.

My five year old mind thought and thought
The completely finished, shredded Fokker Wolfe was
An angelic response
To my prayers to Hitler
Pleading for my loathed daytime school to be
When no one was there.

And exactly on time Karl Laue
Bombed my hated school. But
By mistake he bombed my church! Twenty-one children
Three Sunday School teachers---mashed!
Crushed under crashing down old Anglican church.

Karl Laue's Fokker Wolfe became his battered coffin.

I missed dying that Sunday afternoon—at three p.m.
30th May 1943 by being with my Mum
At her Mum's, on my Mum's
Birthday. Fokker Wolfe. Fokker
Wolfe. Fokker Wolfe Fokker Wolfe
Fokker Wolfe Hell-makers over Babbacombe Downs
Scything across Sunday-strolling Mums and prams.
Howling Fokker Wolfes Fokker Wolfes Fokker Wolfes
Fokker Wolfes Fokker Wolfes!!!!! Yes, five downed!
Including insane killer Karl Laue's Fokker Wolfe falcon!
Doom came to Karl and his flattened victims
When his Fokker wing crashed the eight foot metal Cross
On top the Catholic spire!
Panicking he dropped his lethal load
Which unintentionally hurtled down
Into the children packed Sunday School in front!

That Catholic nunnery-100 yards behind- remained in tact.
Whilst my old Anglican St Mary's Church
Utterly destroyed ! Now wildly out of control
Karl's wing-damaged Fokker Wolfe screamed
Down Hartop Hill after flattening my hated school
Then splatted into the golf course near Teignmouth Road.

Gone! Gone! My hated school was GONE!
When I'd over-heard this being told I screamed
With delight. The Fokker Wolfe angel of death
Had answered my prayers. (I was shouted at!!!
Hated for cheering by everyone at Gran's). Hartop
Infant's Church School was a torture chamber
To which my mother dragged me every screaming
Terrified, howling morning. Cry-baby! Cry-baby!
Every miserable morning crying! Miserable morning crying. Crying
Crying. Left crying in the playground. Crying to go back
Home. Bullied! Laughed at! Cry-baby! Cry-baby! Cry-baby!

Hooray! Hooray!! Hooray!!! Hooray for Hitler!!!
He answered my prayers.
Hooray for Hitler! Hooray for Him sending His Fokker Wolfe
School destroying Angel.

But I felt I was a traitor to my Dad who was a fighter-
Plane mechanic. Much loved by me and Spitfire
Pilots. I was torn up. I didn't want him to die!
I didn't want to be bombed! I didn't want my Mum
To die! If she was killed I prayed that I would die
At the same time. I couldn't imagine surviving
Without her. Even though she cursed me and beat
Me 'black and blue'…every day.

Yes, the sickening fear of dying was born
Early in my panic stricken chest. Breathing
Panic. Panic-breathing. Panicking Mum. Panicking me.
Spitfires!!! Panicking Fokker Wolfes Staccato gun firings
Blasting past our house. Fokker Wolfe hurtling on fire
Into Summer's gentle, red cliffed Babbacombe Bay.
Staccato Rat-tat-tat-tat Staccato! STACCATO!!!
Machine gun dog fights overhead.

I can't sleep. Can't sleep. Cant sleep! Banging
My head…and shouting out LOUD strange
Sounds…foreign chanting. My infant head banging
Side to side whilst swinging
The brown shining Bakelite
Ball-like switch
Hanging from twisted golden coloured flex.
Bang! Chanting. Bang! Switch swinging. Bang! Driving
My frantic Mum's dark red 'turkey neck' more RED! More
Frantic! Wailing air-raid SIRENS! Woke up! Mum
And I are sat under the stairs in pitch black. Sat
Together on the vacuum cleaner's big box
(Like a long black wooden coffin). Sat waiting
To be hit
Or missed!?
Hit! Or missed? Hit! Or missed !?
I was trying to work out why
One house or cluster got bombed
And why others like ours were (so far)
missed Were bad people bombed? Good
Kids missed? I didn't know if I was good
Or bad? Was I really as bad as my Mum
Kept screaming "you're very BAD! Ugly
As sin! Cursed was the day you were born!"
She'd scream and scream. "The flags will go up
When they send you away!" "Don't let them
Send me away!" I kept screaming. Crying nights
And days. 'Cursed was the day I was born'? Born?
Dead. Born……dead. Born……dead! I? I? I
Was so confused. Perplexed! Petrified! Beaten
For Cheering. Beaten for cheering. "You wait
Until your father hears about you cheering for Hitler!"

So when we passed the flattened Hartop School rubble
I learnt to cheer the Fokker Wolf 190 angel
(It wasn't that hard learning to shout 'Hooray! Hooray!
HOORAY!' inside my frightened infant mind).

So, having that hell pass through me then, and now
Nearing eighty, I can feel that distinctive flavour in the present
Prescient atmosphere. It compels attention to uncertainty. An old
Ambience indecipherably spliced with new occult notes
Is now wafting
Through my mind.

It's a new old air I'm breathing. That one
In which constant trembling fear dictated
My stage-fright days.

Yet this new old atmosphere is almost
Consoling. Con-souling. (With souling). Yes
This enveloping air can be felt with soul.
An ensouling air. As the still healing air
In Fra Angelico's Francis. Assisi air.
A see-see air. A seeing air. The seeing air
Embalming every crucified heart
Taken down from the rejuvenated cross.
(Re-juvenile-hated Cross)

The same healing air.
The same blue air blessing the intelligent
Opening heart.
A blessing from sky blue innocence.
The healed mind feeling honoured, blessed
Whilst breathing in deeply……dwelling upon
The silent angelic meaningful singing
In Piero Della Francesca's miraculous