May 23, 2011

Posted in Knick Knack Nook

‘A PILOT KILLED’ Poem for Memorial Day



For Charles Norton Hardman, A.R.I.B.A., R.A.F.V.R


They shall not blame the skilful alien airman

Whose gunsight had the last swift glimpse of you.

Centuries plotted your death.  A grand conspiracy of forebears

Toiled in the dark to bring today to dawn.


In the indifferent and selfish years

After that other war,

Within the magic circle of small things

We called our own (whose slaves we were)

We conjured this.


No one of us alive shall cry

That he is guiltless,

Blaming the old war criminal, World History.


I flew the fighter that destroyed your bomber:

I built the factory:  I fired the gun.

I sent you burning down the winter sky.


And when they ask who answers for the waste of you,

I answer, I.



Philip John Stead



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