Poem of the Month: April

Each month I intend to post a poem, not by me, but previously published by a poet.  The subject of each poem, not surprisingly, will be related to flight or to the military experience in general.  This month the poem is by John Buxton, a member of the British armed forces, who was taken prisoner by German forces in Norway in 1940.  He wrote this poem while he was a prisoner of war in Oflag VIIB.  It describes his impressions of hearing an RAF bomber raid while he was in a POW camp.

 

“The Bombers Drum Their Way Along the Night”

 

The bombers drum their way along the night

With slow tattoo, down an invisible track

Drawn on a map of Europe, which now lies black,

Huddled in silence.   So, at mountain-height,

They tread their level path beyond our sight

And pass relentlessly onward, flinging back

The tramp of engines moving to attack

Enemy cities, to set their streets alight.

And we lie listening, hoping to hear the burst

Of bombs in the crumbling houses, to hear the panes

Shivering in our windows.  We shall be first

To tot up the dead in the papers.  (Someone explains

That this is a partial list.)  We too have been cursed

By the bombs; we have felt their pulses in all our veins.