No cheering for German planes here that I can see, Pat but a fascinating poem. Reminds me of 'Poor Doc Daneeka' in Catch 22, whose death is lamented because he is on the flying list when McWatt crashes his plane deliberately into a cliff after accidentally slicing pontoon-standing Hungry Joe in half with a too-low pass in his plane. Doc bounces around, pointing out that he is still alive and that the list had been forged to boost his flying hours. No matter; to Yossarian et al, he is a dead man.

Can it be true that your continued existence is due to this quirk of fate? 

Thanks, Max, too, for reminding me of the Slough poem, a beauty.


> On 23 Jan 2015, at 10:27 am, Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Bill I found it !!not easy in my 400 or so poems 
> Published in 'Jigsaw'
> First day 
> I saw school, I did not like it!
> I screamed and screamed, and screamed
> my mother was summoned, to take me home
> second day 
> I saw school, I did not like it!
> I screamed and screamed, and screamed
> again my mother, was summoned
> later in disgrace, big disgrace
> headmistress's office, big and cold
> my mother was told, told off!
> never have we allowed, a child
> a child to go home, on his second
> his second day, it's disgraceful!
> sort him out, bring him back tomorrow!
> or there will trouble, a lot of trouble!
> later I sat snug, with biscuits under
> under the counter, at my mum's job
> safe in the hairdressers, all cosy
> I remember nothing, nothing more.
> over over forty years later
> my mother so ill, so ill said 
> said, all drugged and confused
> I want, to tell you something
> I do not want to upset you, but
> but do you remember, remember
> on your second day, at school
> when you made your second, yes 
> second big scene, and was disgraced
> and the headmistress, was outraged
> and, I took you with me to work?  
> soon after, the school was bombed
> many children, and teachers died
> on the radio, they read out sadly
> read out the list, of those killed
> your granny heard it, heard your name!
> they found your card, by your desk
> we decided not, not to tell you
> also you had a sister, Margaret
> who lived, lived just three days.
> pmcmanus
> 413
> Published in Jigsaw
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Poetryetc: poetry and poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Max Richards
> Sent: 22 January 2015 15:47
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: come friendly bombs
>> On Jan 22, 2015, at 9:22 PM, Bill Wootton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Find the poem, Herr Pat or re-write it. What a hoot!
>> Bill
>>> On 22 Jan 2015, at 8:08 pm, Patrick McManus
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Enjoyed this warm tale oops nearly wrote tail -and to think that I 
>>> was a top speller at school -(long long since) I lost my grandmother 
>>> early on was devastated for years-I remember but probable can't fine 
>>> a WW2 poem about us together-where the aircraft I was cheering on 
>>> were actually German and I got hauled back into our air-raid shelter! 
>>> Cheers P
> Slough
> Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
> It isn't fit for humans now,
> There isn't grass to graze a cow. 
> Swarm over, Death!
> Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
> Those air -conditioned, bright canteens, Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned
> milk, tinned beans, Tinned minds, tinned breath. 
> Mess up the mess they call a town-
> A house for ninety-seven down
> And once a week a half a crown
> For twenty years. 
> And get that man with double chin
> Who'll always cheat and always win,
> Who washes his repulsive skin
> In women's tears:
> And smash his desk of polished oak
> And smash his hands so used to stroke
> And stop his boring dirty joke
> And make him yell.
> Slough
> by John Betjeman (1906 - 1984)
> John Betjeman published his poem about Slough in 1937 in the collected works
> Continual Dew. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and some housing
> conditions were very cramped. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman
> urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald
> young clerks. He really was very fond of his fellow human beings. Slough is
> much improved nowadays and he might be pleasantly surprised by a stroll
> there.