The Sopwith turns its thin skin skywards
Visored for war
Wood and cloth, a mite of steel
And helmeted in this flying womb
A man, a boy no more

Like Pegasus on melting wing – trouncing gravity
wears thin
The miracle of flight, once tranquil clear
Now just a trick
With wars to win

Once someone’s son, now blithely facing
What will come
His ascension in the tongs of fate
No time to muse
on right and wrong

Searching left and right and up and down
He sees just sky
An empty, untold void that harbours – who?
Undefined, unseen
Eludes his weather eye.

Then from above, the dissonance he’s
come to fear
The screeching of a plunging plane unseen
Outsmarted, outmanoeuvred he concedes
The end is near

Frantically he twists and turns yet fails to find his foe
Still out of sight
He hears the rattle of the rapid fire
The final shots
Then day is night.

The sea is cold so late in Autumn’s gloom
He doesn’t know
The Camel floats but he is in oblivion
Drowned in a sea of bullets, sunken now
Where poppies cannot grow.

Remembrance Day, November 10th, 2017