The Starlings

brds s riz tre 3

Photo by Richard Fogg

 

…the starlings are chattering, quarreling and laughing,
whispering and quietly enjoying themselves,
when suddenly a blustering as of ten thousand pairs
of sharp-edged scissors
passes through the republic of the plains–
it is as though an alarm had sounded,
heard as an echo over the muffled traffic.
Soon the darkness of night will fall.
But the starlings up there won’t stop talking,
they move together, push one another, chatter and flit.
~ Jesper Svenbro

Always Somewhere

Toll 8

Photo by Richard Fogg

 

Somewhere always is an everywhere
Where the mountains and the snow grow down
In time, until, in winter’s deep sleep, time
Grows balanced, and in quiet you can climb
A mountain and the snow no one can own
Because in afternoon sunshine, time’s there.
~ David Rothman

Before the gods that made the gods…

horsies 007 M

Photo by Richard Fogg

 

Before the gods that made the gods
Had seen their sunrise pass,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was cut out of the grass…
~ G. K. Chesterton

Stand sleeping in the cold

frst tre brn

Photo by Richard Fogg

Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
~ William Carlos William.

Snowy Bridge

frst brdg

Photo by Richard Fogg

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled—marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling.
~ Robert Bridges.

 

Editorial Review: Tales from the 359th Fighter Group

Tales final working version Feb 17 frontA fascinating insight into life as a fighter pilot during World War Two. Highly recommended.

This superb book looks at the ups and downs – pardon the pun – of life in the 359th Fighter Group during World War Two. Put together from wartime records, journals and reports from the time, it is a glimpse into a different world, a world at war where a young pilot never knew if this day would be his last.

There’s a lot going for this tiny bit of military history. For a start, it’s not just from the POV (point of view), of the author, but the POV of lots of ‘authors’; the authors being the men who battled in the sky over England, France and Germany. It’s not overly technical, and often the narrative is overly simple. But, of course, this reflects the men’s different writing ability.

I very much enjoyed the diversity of the book. The pilots were all very different with a different story to tell. Personally, I enjoyed the story of the pilot who escaped capture by sleeping under an apple tree. I also chuckled when I read a Major’s thoughts on East Anglia: When God created England He must have had a bad day when it came to East Anglia…a more desolate, barren, cold and damp, flat and uninviting terrain could never be devised.

All in all, this is a captivating read. It’s always fun to go back in time and to try to understand what it was like to live back then. A book of this nature helps you to do this. Sentimental, yes. Sad in parts, yes. As I’m guessing 99% of the authors of this book have now left us. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anybody interested in military history, in particular World War Two and the role of the fighter pilot.

~ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review

 

Red-winged

rw bb sf

Photo by Richard Fogg

almost evening
sun-horizon-brilliance
matched with the spread
of bird-wings that fold
their dark to voice
~ Grant D. Savage.

A Lyric of the Dawn

Hark—
   That rapture in the leafy dark!
Who is it shouts upon the bough aswing,
Waking the upland and the valley under?
What carols, like the blazon of a king,
   Fill all the dawn with wonder?
~ Excerpt from A Lyric of the Dawn
by Edwin Markham
Longs 13

Photo by Richard Fogg

Little Finch

lil bd lnd

Photo by Richard Fogg

little finch
escorts us on walk
morning lyrics
~ PJO haiku no ku

To a Butterfly

lil wht klos 16

Photo by Richard Fogg

I’ve watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! – not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
~William Wordsworth