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"I was twelve in 1944 and had returned briefly from evacuation to be with Mum just before she had my third brother. Dear little Royce Kenneth was born in a London hospital and they kept Mum in for two weeks."

During this time, I stayed with my paternal grandmother, and on the 5th June, we heard a thunderous noise and rushed upstairs to look out on the main Ripple Road. What a sight met our eyes! A seeming endless column of military vehicles carrying hundreds of men snaked before us, on its way to Tilbury Docks, and we yelled out 'Good luck' and 'Come back safely!' Gran's eyes were moist for her son, Uncle Bernard, aged 22 years old, had been missing since 1941. His body was never found, but she refused to wear black, living in hope that 'One day he'll return.."

IN A FEBRUARY SKY (1941)

Alien 'birds:' gargantuan
spewed fire - sent seagulls
scattering to hover low -
to chill their white underbellies
on the grey, choppy waves.

War confuses, muddles facts...
Did our young airman:
tall and blonde as a Viking
breathe his last on 'that' day or
"On escort duties in a Blenheim 4"
which failed to return?

Left behind were a balsa wood
Spitfire dangling from a
bedroom ceiling,
a hooked rug under a bed
and a budding romance, all
half-finished.

"Missing" became "Presumed Killed."
An iced birthday cake remained uneaten:
its candles unlit.
Death's hand is decisive no matter the date.
Many pillows and eyes drowned...

(My father's brother, Bernard, served in the Royal Air Force and was the youngest of five sons.
He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.)

 

PHOTOGRAPH 1918

A blue-serge-clad, fresh-faced youth:
'broom handle' back,
swaddle-legged -
standing "At ease" proud -
gazes at me, unseeing,
from his sepia world.

Blue eyes filled with
anticipatory excitement:
he flies in fancy with the stars
by night - gazes with ardent longing
on the winged air-borne phantoms
silhouetted against the moon.

No clairvoyant messenger
foretold the future.
How could he have known that
in but two decades,
he would, again, experience the horrors of war;
be captured for posterity in similar stance?

The burning question remains unanswered:
What to do with tyrants?
A dichotomy...
Could genetic engineering one day hold the key?

Meet The Author...
Joy Lennick
Who Am I?

Most important 'jobs:' wife and mother to three sons. Hooked on reading and writing from a young age (wrote a simple play in junior school: acted on the stage). Joined the library at seven and that was it; the love affair continues...

First worked as a junior secretary, then secretary. Favourite job: A publishing company, Kaye & Ward in the City of London.

Apart from the odd poem, letter and article in magazines, and one poem read on Bournemouth radio, had various poems published in anthologies and won a few prizes. Ran my own Poetry Club for a while. Published: Celtic Cameos & Other Poems.

Factual books published: Running Your Own Small Hotel, & Jobs in Baking & Confectionery (Kogan Page Ltd., London), Updated two other author's books. As Biographer:Hurricane Halsey (True adventure), Memoir: My Gentle War; Faction novel: The Catalyst. Several short stories published in WordPlay anthologies (one winning lst prize through 'Writing' magazine as the best writing circle anthology of 2012 in the UK). A Group Leader for Creative Writing for the U3A group in Torrevieja, Spain.
More 'marinating...'

More From This Author...


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