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Return to Boston

Memories joyful float on by, as noisy Merlins throb on high
Unlocked from mind released by gain, our wounded crew avert the pain

Indulge the flight and let them flow, as watching eyes do ever grow
Whispered low a soothing word, the upper gunner never heard

While 88's flash over sand, we gently touch his dying hand
Prepared through presence of the day, will we reach base 'No one can say'

Entwined until they next appear
Returning ship a touching tear.

John C Haywood Copyright © Poetry In Action



Coningsby's Winter of 42

We've spent most of two hours cleaning ice off, and our Lanc is all ready to go
It's snowing quite heavy around us, and moral is much lower than low

The fog has enveloped the runways, and the grass has turned crunchy and white
and I don't think this heavenly confetti will ease, least not tonight.

The weather is turning quite bad now, and Coningsby's covered in snow
still the C.O. insists it's a go'er, all this hardwork, and nothing to show

We all wait to hear for a stand-down, and think of a pint at the pub,
or a night at the flicks back in Lincoln, a log fire and a plate of good grub

I'm afraid what's to be never happens, were back in our billets quite late
and as for my girlfriend 'I'm sorry' I'll have to forgo our big date

I wake up and shiver with cold feet, my breath when expelled hangs around
quickly dressing I make for the NAAFI but the ice glues my shoes to the ground

It's hell in these brick huts this winter, it's warmer when flying by far
I'll have to sit here till it's daybreak, and try to keep warm with this char.   (Char=Tea)

John C Haywood Copyright © Poetry In Action



Search the Sky

We often chat,  We've never met,  Our fate awaits '
Controls are set'

The tensions high,  My crew are late,  It's danger fraught,  This evenings date,
,
Departure time,
  'The green says go'  Shall we return,  Who is to know,

'We're rolling now'  All checks look well,  What is in store,  They cannot tell,

Please step outside,  Through darkening sky,  My shadow now will pass you by,

I'll think of you while I'm away,  And pray we meet again some day,

With luck plus danger skill and fate,  We'll overcome for our first date,


John C Haywood Copyright © Poetry In Action




A Bombers Moon

Ascending left through darkening light, East Kirkby's lost by winters night
full muted sound of Merlin's roar, till fields all vanish with the hoar

Our craft leaves scudding clouds to play, and slips the shackles of the day
a bombers moon the C.O. said, while those below sleep safe in bed

But soon the coast comes into view, resplendent in receding hue
all enemy planes are out in force, distracting fire from our true course

High flack explodes with pungent smell, to leave our craft a fiery hell
set track is tight our bombs are gone, still tentacles of the searchlights shone

Entwined we dive and corkscrew right, two eighty eights dive out of sight
the Rurh won't claim this ship tonight, as Merlins muster force and might

We reach the heights where eagles soar, turn left then set the track once more
it's homeward bound and back to base, each airman taught with ghostly face

In rising sun and morning blue, relieved to know our rest days due.

John C Haywood Copyright © Poetry In Action


Flight Mechanic

Warrington, Padgate for training I went
engines at Blackpool, Squires Gate I was sent

Next it was Kermington, then Morecombe bound
and a trip to Southampton before my feet touched the ground

We then travelled to Hemswell, our first New Years Day
is this our new home now, how long would we stay

After years in the Air Force doing my job
it was back home to my family, and my demob.

John C Haywood Copyright © Poetry In Action




Flight to Hell


Midnight hour and all is well
I want to tell

Cold metal stings and hands are numb
I want to tell

Flight un-known with prayers calm
I want to tell

Wind and sea so dark within
I want to tell

Fire and flack the night explodes
I want to tell

Young boys turn old before their time
I want to tell

I want to tell before it's late of friends who met a cruel fate, and unlike me of tales to tell
they're resting now from flights to hell.

John C Haywood © Poetry In Action

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Outbound from Grimsby


Filthy weather lies ahead, not what our station met man said
a bombers' moon was read out loud, and now we have a thickening cloud

The lightning streaks accross our tail, as down below the sirens wail
It's suddenly changed to hail and snow the Master Bombers' colours show

My crew sit's tight and wait their turn, while through the clouds the fire's burn
flack explodes with cracks so loud, another Lanc heads straight to ground

A man is out, we see his chute, the pilot tries to tame his brute
all seven men at last appear, from tail end charlie comes a cheer

We've reached our target bombs fill the air, an F190's quite a scare
we're into cloud he's passed us by, 'Too many aircraft in this sky'

We head for home and stick to track, an engines feathered half way back
the fields in sight we're homeward bound, the Dunlops screem we touch the ground.

Copyright John C Haywood © Poetryinaction

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