ANGELS WITH BROKEN WINGS

In this the Centenary year of the Royal Australian Air Force, this poem is dedicated to the approximately 300 RAAF aircrew killed during training at flying schools and conversion units in Australia during World War II

 

TIME HAS LONG SINCE PASSED YOU BY, IN TRANQUIL SLEEP YOU LIE
BENEATH SUN BLEACHED HEADSTONES, AS CATTLE GRAZE NEARBY
SINCE MAN FIRST WALKED UPON THE EARTH, HE’S HAD THE DREAM TO FLY
DEFYING NATURE’S BARRIERS, BY CONQUERING THE SKY

 

KINGSFORD SMITH AND HINKLER, THOUGH HEROES OF THEIR DAY
THIS NATION WAS OBLIVIOUS, TO THE TERROR FAR AWAY
THE WORLD STOOD BLIND AND SILENT, TILL THE JACKBOOT MARCHED NORTH, THEN WEST
CIVILISATION AS YOU KNEW IT, WAS PUT TO A DEADLY TEST

 

FLYING SCHOOLS AND UNITS, SPRUNG UP ACROSS THE LAND
YOU REALISED ALL TOO WELL, IT WAS TIME TO MAKE A STAND
YOU JOINED THE MANY THOUSANDS, WHEN YOU HEARD THE NATION’S CALL
LIKE YOUR PARENTS GENERATION, YOU VOWED TO GIVE YOUR ALL

 

BUT WAR WAS NOT THE NEMESIS THAT TOOK YOUR LIFE SO YOUNG
CUT DOWN BY FATE OR FURY, BEFORE YOUR MISSION HAD BEGUN
AN EMPTY HEART, THE LEGACY, TO THE ONES YOU LEFT BEHIND
VICTIMS OF WAR’S FOLLY, THE CURSE OF ALL MANKIND

 

THE GHOSTLY WHISPER OF THE TREES, WILL SOOTH YOU AS YOU SLEEP
MOST COMRADES HAVE, BY NOW PASSED ON, FEW ARE LEFT TO WEEP
THE CROWS STILL CAW YOUR REQUIEM, A DISTANT MAGPIE SINGS
FOREVER CONSIGNED TO HISTORY’S PAGE, AS ANGELS WITH BROKEN WINGS

 

By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
12 September 2020

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FILE PHOTO: A Vultee Vengeance MkIV general-purpose dive bomber at RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW, circa 1943. AWMP00448.191

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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