Death's Sudden Embrace
'Death's Sudden Embrace' is a love sonnet that ends
badly. The time is World War Two, the place is London.
The young WAC is a teletype operator attached to Army
Intelligence at Allied Headquarters. Her lover is a fly
boy who pilots a Lancaster bomber on nightly bombing
runs over German occupied Europe. There were many
such young women who did not know when their young
men flew out at night which ones would return in the
morning. And so love and life was lived day by day. This
is perhaps my favourite poem. You see, the young lovers
in this sonnet were my parents.
Ticker tapes ticking enhanced twenty-fold
Intel arriving bad news to behold
Blitzkrieg has started tanks roll over lines
Bombs fall on London the damn war confines
To cafes below peace can be gotten
But duty comes first success can be boughten
By lives that are lost they fly through the black
Then music and dancing the fliers are back!
That one special airman comes right on time
She lives for the daylight one day at a time
He enters the room it brightens her day
Her heart skips a beat love's funny that way
But this time he's gone, cafe's abandoned
Missing in action... His death was beckoned.
Worm Pickers' Delight
A poem reminiscing about a lesson learned during those
days between adolescence and adulthood. A time when I
was most desperate to grow up, get a job, my own place
and support myself. Oh, and a car. I needed a car! But
sixteen was not the age that these things would come.
“Worm Pickers Wanted”... Gave phone number only
The classified said, and said rather pronely.
The youth was searching desperate to find
Employment to help him out of a bind.
He needed a job to help with the rent
Lest he be moving from room to a tent
So he picked up the phone and dialed the number
Although the position was just for the summer.
“Come on right down!”... That thickened the plot.
He did right away... Was hired on the spot.
The motley crew scrambled into the van
None could speak English. The adventure began.
Elastic bands strapped tin cans to his ankles
So tightly they hold.... Oh how it rankles!
The lantern was strapped tight to his head
He's ready for work but what lies ahead?
Soon they arrived at work's destination
He scarcely could stand the anticipation!
Cube van's back door swung open to view
The job site's expansive, outside his purview.
A golf course it seems is where he would work
All through the night his sore arms would jerk
Like a chicken he's pecking the ground all around
Picking up worms from greens, they're fogbound
The back it is bent from dusk until dawn
While filling those cans with worms off the lawn
He wished the damn night wasn't so long
If only the rent could be paid with a song.
After suffering weeks of this horrible torture
While nothing was done to increase his stature.
Convinced that his back was eternally bent
Being paid by the can barely covered the rent.
So he thought of a plan to escape the long anguish
No longer he thought will he toil, will he languish
To college he'll go and get a degree!
Back to his parents and give them the plea
He'd learned his lesson and the heart of the matter
Life's really the pits at the end of the ladder
Education's the answer... A career after college!
They welcomed him home secure in the knowledge
He'd try even harder receiving good grades
Make his mark in this world... Success and in spades!
He's old now, retired and looks back on his life
Knowing all that he owes to that horrible strife
'Worm Pickers Wanted' how those words blessed
A lesson in life. Who would have guessed?
A valuable teaching from a job such a fright
On that golf course they called 'Worm Pickers' Delight'.