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Roy Wells

of

Chesterfield, England, UK

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Oh Father of Mine

by

Roy Wells


Oh father of mine
be proud of your son
as tomorrow I`m tested in battle
and think of me not ranked along
with the slain though many will sound
the death rattle.

For I enter this contest
secure in the knowledge
that a soul blessed with faith cannot fail.
So that cold steel and grapeshot
shall worry me nought
as I soar on the wings of a gale.

Tell mother I love her
and little Bo too and that I will be
home by the fall.
With crops to be planted and fields to
be tilled, why this wars not important
at all.

Our colonel he claims
that by Christmas at most
the Johnnies will all have gone home.
I think of it often.
A world without hate
and a nation united as one.

So I bid you farewell
my own father dear
and will write of my exploits in time
as with pride and with honour
my duty I`ll do
and if gods in his heaven I`ll do fine.

Private Darius Fenning. 21st Connecticut.
Killed in action at Cold Harbor.
May 29th 1864.



A Mother's Lament

by

Roy Wells


As golden leaves softly they drift to the ground
With autumn so newly begun.
I sit here alone all steeped in my grief
And I think of my dear absent son.

Twas just a mere boy so fresh out of school
When he did respond to the call.
Enlist! Enlist! Come and fight the secesh
Young warriors come one and come all.

So heavy of heart I watched him go forth
all martial and flushed with such pride
that long, summers day way back in July
as hope it diminished inside.

Quite often he`d write announcing some news
of great battles he`d fought and he`d won.
Of long, toilsome days ensconced within camp
With marching and drill to be done.

As the months they sped by and the war it surged on
With ne`er an end within sight.
One dark, sultry evening with dread I did learn
of my brave soldiers untimely plight.

It was at Malvern Hill where he`d met his ill fate
a young wounded comrade he claimed.
Courageous and daring he`d remained to the end
A hero all say he was named.

Of very small comfort it is that I take
in my poor sons magnanimous deed.
A mother`s sad loss cannot rightly be gauged
When set gainst a nations blind greed.


Primed and Ready

by

Roy Wells


The afternoon sun of a late August day
beats down from a clear, azure sky
whilst the Boscome Down crew try to eke out the time
as the minutes they tick slowly by.

From a gramophone player resounds Vera Lynne
which adds to the leisurely scene.
Young Webster and Updike engrossed in their chess.
It all seems too much like a dream.

Wings Taylor reclines in a plush, easy chair,
a newspaper spread on his lap.
With an ear finely tuned to the ring of a phone.
("Are your boys set to scramble old chap")

The ground crew mechanics they stooge round the base,
Their work for this sortie complete.
Whilst out on the asphalt the Hurricanes sit,
awaiting the chance to compete.

The squads lucky mascot, a collie named Rex
lays curled at the feet of Vince Lee
as young Tony Goodlad appears on the scene
with a pot full of steaming, hot tea.

Three hours they pass when the phone it rings out
and all heads they turn as of one.
Wings Taylor leaps nimbly from out of his chair
and across to the mess hall he runs.

Tension runs high, the whole crews on its feet,
the blood in their veins pumping fast.
"Relax boys, relax, it was just the M.O.
asking who used his bicycle last!"

As evening draws near and the sun bids farewell,
the command to stand down it arrives.
All pressure released, another day done
with no imminent threat to their lives.

A hot, soothing bath then out to the pub
is the schedule laid out for the night.
For tomorrow at daybreak they`ll be back on alert.
Once more primed and ready to fight.


Wilkommen zu Auschwitz

by

Roy Wells

A single star far up above
Illuminates our tomb
As a seething mass of humankind
Contemplates their doom.

I close my eyes, squeeze back the tears
and think of my dear home
whilst the cattle trucks in which we`re crammed
head for whereabouts unknown.

Deprived of water, food and air
we struggle to survive.
A shriek of brakes, a barking voice
hints of activity outside.

A soldiers boot or rifle butt
assists us down the ramp.
We stand in line in the chill night air
And gaze upon the camp.

My wife and sons from me were taken
to where, god only knows.
I groan out loud in disbelief
as we`re told to strip our clothes.

A barbed wire fence confines a sea
of staring, baleful eyes.
Faces haggard, pale and drawn
observe us trooping by.

A stench of death is in the air
as from chimneys stark and tall
clouds of smoke and sparks belch forth
their contribution to the pall.

We file in pairs within the walls
of a building dark and cold.
An engine whistle bids farewell
as the doors behind us close.


Theres a Dragon in my Wardrobe!

by

Roy Wells


Theres a dragon in my wardrobe.
I know this to be true.
She`s in there now asleeping
tucked snuggly out of view.

A scratching at the floorboard
informs me she`s awake.
Peeping carefully round the door
I stand with mouth agape.

A head so long and pointed
pertrudes from a frame
equipped with neatly folded wings
each finger tipped with flame.

Her scales all green and shiny
glimmer brightly in the light
emerging from my bedside lamp
as evening yields to night.

Each morn when she grows hungry
a breakfast I prepare
of meusley, fish and yoghurt
for which she shows a flare.

On Thursdays we go shopping
my sister, mum and I
thus granting her some time in which
to cast a baleful eye

across the jumbled contents
that constitute my room.
Quite often on returning
I sense an air of gloom

to linger in a corner
where she had sat alone
dreaming of a homeland fair
of golden spires and domes.

Some day I hope to help her
escape this stifling world
and make the trip if chance I get
into a realm unfurled

Where illness, death and suffering
I wager hold no sway
and if I`m tempted, who can tell
I may decide to stay.


The Garden

by

Roy Wells


Twas on a vibrant summers day
Within the month of June
I strolled amongst a garden fair
so lush and dense with bloom.

To smell the scent of natures fruits
I tarried for a while
as nodding heads of every hue
proceeded to beguile.

Tulips, roses, hyacinths
all shared the fertile soil
from bumble bees of no small size
each bud received their call.

High up above the swaying boughs
of sycamore, beech and elm
provided shade from which the sun
was banished from their realm.

Upon a branch a blue tit trilled
a song of birth anew
whilst butterflies of colours gay
flitted in and out of view.

To be at peace with mother earth
is simple to achieve
when time is spent within the bounds
of flower, leaf and tree.

The beauty of a garden fair
is heaven to behold.
With riches, fragrance, sight and sound
Tis natures crock of gold.