Foolscap’s Verse

Songs and poetry relating to the RFC and RAF or aviation in general.
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Foolscap
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Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:38 pm

On the subject of fan fiction...

No longer untold

A tentative word, then a sentence is formed
(And hidden from family and friends)
You've followed their exploits as far as you can,
And yet, as the storyline ends...
Although you have read every word of each page,
You want just a little bit more;
To tell of the scenes which are just out of sight;
The future; what happened before.
To fill in the gaps and to flesh out each form,
Expand every detail on view.
Tease conflicts and settings and motives apart,
And gently rebuild them, anew.
Add colours and contrasts, turn worlds upside down;
Zoom in on a gesture or look.
Spend days on a moment, let decades flash by,
Head sideways, or go by the book.
Add characters, challenges, places and times,
Fantastical tales or plain fact.
Climb up to the epic, heroic, great heights
Or down to a simple small act.
Plot brand new adventures, new pathways to walk;
Delight or despair on the way.
Invent new relations, new comrades, new foes;
Decide who will go, who can stay.
~0~
So...
Gather your words upon paper and screen;
Let fates, fears and friendships unfold.
And share them with those who are eager to read
Your stories;
No longer untold.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:43 pm

Worth

He turned, saw the landed Defiant,
And a gathering crowd.
He sensed the unbearable silence,
As they stood with heads bowed.
He ran to where airmen were lifting
A boy from the plane;
He could see at a glance any medic
Would be summoned in vain.
No point in regret at assigning
The gunner his place;
Instead he was focused upon
Whispered words; ashen face.
There were those with the devil's own luck
When they took to the skies;
And those where the Fates were less kind,
Like this lad with grey eyes.
There he stayed for those few fleeting minutes;
His last ones on earth.
Well aware just how much
Every brief, precious second
Was worth.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:44 pm

Less is More

The briefest of glances; a touch on the shoulder;
The glint in a monocled eye.
A moment of stillness, a jest sparked in peril;
A swift and sarcastic reply.
The clasp of two hands, squeezing tight for a moment,
When one who was missing is found;
The tension, on facing a difficult landing,
Dismissed when the wheels hit the ground.
The painstaking care of the wounds of another,
Whilst blithely ignoring one's own;
The unspoken trust that the darkest of demons
Aren't meant to be conquered alone.
The instinct to stand side by side when it matters,
Regardless of what it may cost,
And to follow on through past the end of endurance,
Though logic suggests all is lost.
~0~
No overblown praise, few displays of emotion;
Just comradeship, steady and sure.
When describing the strength of the bonds forged between them,
It seems fair to conclude...
Less is more.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:45 pm

Here is a Leader...

No classic, conventional, storybook hero;
A slight, unassuming and highly strung youth;.
Who moved from the schoolroom to aerial combat
A year under age, "reinventing" the truth.
All boyhood illusions of honour and glory
Soon shattered by battle in bullet-traced skies.
A witness to horrors beyond comprehension;
A world weary pilot with unquiet eyes.
~0~
Not flawless, not faultless, but fallibly human;
At times prone to recklessness, heart ruling head;
Acutely aware of the days every airman
Clung on to this world by the slenderest thread.
And yet…an instinctive, innate moral compass
Held steady despite all the chaos of war;
The trust that through loss and regret and betrayal
Some values would always be worth fighting for.
~0~
A keen sense of justice, a sure set of standards;
The wit to consider his foe’s point of view;
Not slow to admit to omissions and errors
Or bending his rule book to see a task through.
No friend is abandoned, no mission rejected,
No offbeat solution is left unexplored;
Impatient to be in the thick of the action,
Where wrongs can be righted, and balance restored.
~0~
He never quite reaches the end of endurance;
Persisting, it seems, by his sheer strength of will.
If the cause or the case or the need is sufficient
He'll somehow hang on beyond reason until
The deed is completed, the evil plot thwarted,
The villains defeated, friends out of harm's way.
A stalwart and loyal and tireless companion
Who sets the whole tone: deadpan humour, fair play.
~0~
So, here is a leader who others will follow,
Undaunted by prospects of danger and death;
Inspired by the depths of regard and devotion
Which quietly endure to the very last breath.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:46 pm

Waiting

He waits...
As he has waited
For so many days before.
He's the one they all rely on
To fall back, and mind the store.
He accepts the role, as ordered,
Though he'd like to be assigned
To the front line with his fellows;
Not the one they leave behind.
~0~
If he mans the London office,
Matching file to paper clip,
He worries as he ponders on
The hazards of their trip;
Or, if waiting at some godforsaken,
Windswept aerodrome,
He is anxious for the signal
To transport them safely home.
~0~
He thinks about them often,
And he's keen to play his part;
As he checks their route a thousand times
And updates every chart.
He's shown his worth in countless
Daring exploits in the past;
And now he's sitting, waiting,
Till they get in touch at last.
~0~
But...
He knows the point of waiting;
Deep inside, he knows it well.
There are missions which go smoothly;
There are those which go to hell.
And his friend who gave the orders
Knows this too, without a doubt.
He could pick no better person
As the one to get them out.
~0~
If marooned, or trapped or captured
In some far flung, distant land;
They have one enduring constant
In their second in command.
He will act in times of crisis,
Leave no stone nor rock unturned;
And will not rest until
His missing comrades have returned.
~0~
So...
For now, he yawns and stretches;
Warms his feet by coal-lit flame;
And checks the radio once more,
And plays the waiting game.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:47 pm

Dust

Small particles of dust ingrained
In clothing, skin and hair;
An accidental souvenir;
A thin, persistent layer.
Some blows away on country lanes,
Or clings to leaf and stone;
As one determined traveller
Treks on; head high; alone.
Some settles onto farmer's fields
Where light footsteps have been;
A young resourceful scavenger
Who gathers food, unseen.
And more inside a railway hut,
A shelter for the night;
And smudges on the tracks close by
Where nimble feet take flight.
A further tiny trace upon
A taxi's leather seat,
And also near a runway
Where two lifelong friends first meet.
Some swirls around a cockpit:
Rescue mission; urgent haste.
A lot of what remains is left
In ragged clothes; now waste.
A microscopic fleck is mixed
With toolshed straw and soot;
Disturbed in struggles...life or death;
And trampled underfoot.
The trees and bushes takes a share,
Brushed off at frantic pace,
As loyal comrades claim their own,
And enemies give chase...
~0~
An autumn day, an aerodrome
In sunshine, bright and clear.
The last few specks of coal dust
Catch the breeze, and disappear.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Unique

A member of the upper class,
Who joins the airborne forces.
A veteran of the racing track,
At home with hounds and horses.
A monocle worn constantly;
A man quite unashamedly
From blue-blood aristocracy,
Who joins the airborne forces.
~0~
A hunting, shooting, fishing type;
Of neat, effete appearance.
But underneath the surface gloss,
A steel-cored perseverance.
A fancy vessel can contain
A sharp and enterprising brain;
Alongside oysters and champagne
And neat, effete appearance.
~0~
The season spent in sport amongst
The Monte Carlo players;
Regarded as the "idle rich"
And honest toil betrayers.
They see the "fop", the "silly ass"
And miss the gentleman, alas,
Whose exploits will, by far, surpass
Those Monte Carlo players.
~0~
The folk who judge him have no clue
How much they are mistaken;
He's never let a colleague down;
No friend has he forsaken.
And those who criticise and scoff
This softly spoken, high-born toff
Discover, when the gloves come off,
How much they are mistaken.
~0~
A staunch companion, through and through;
Unique, first-rate, courageous.
A skilled, inventive pilot who,
At times, is quite outrageous.
His friends, it cannot be denied,
Regard his quirks with baffled pride;
Relieved that he is on their side.
Unique, first-rate, courageous.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:51 pm

Revision

A lifelong allegiance to homeland and culture;
A fierce dedication to all he holds true;
A ruthless response in defence of his country;
A steely resolve to see everything through.
~0~
Complete condemnation of all that might threaten
The cause at his centre; his motives and worth.
The thorn in his side who has foiled his endeavours,
From conflict in France to the ends of the Earth.
~0~
The skilled exploitation of any foe's weakness;
Low tactics employed as the means to an end;
Advantages gained over "softer" opponents,
Who would risk all they had for the sake of a friend.
~0~
A rising contempt for those men he must work with;
Who glory in violence and cruelty and greed.
The rate of erosion of values he cherished,
Enhanced by each new and dishonourable deed.
~0~
A growing regard for his "opposite number";
The steady devotion he somehow acquired.
A covert respect for his methods and morals;
The teamwork and trust he has never inspired.
~0~
A painful nostalgia; no home to return to;
His focus reduced to those few he holds dear.
The hopes of restoring an empire now shattered;
The prospect of death or disgrace drawing near...
~0~
The bleak contemplation of years of hard labour;
Then rescue by one he'd long battled instead.
Revised expectations on finding safe haven;
His enduring philosophy turned on its head.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:53 pm

A pause...

A pause...
No movement;
Nothing heard;
No tension eased...
Not yet.
More restless pacing round the room.
Another cigarette.
No swooping shadows patch the skies;
No sign; no longed-for sound.
No engines roar, no wings sweep air,
No wheels touch solid ground.
And muscles imperceptibly
Draw tight;
Strain eyes;
Clench jaw.
And thoughts and fears remain unvoiced,
Of comrades lost before.
And minutes tick unendingly
From future into past,
Till silence breaks;
And hope returns;
And all are home
At last.
-~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:54 pm

Split Second

The moment when everything stops;
A split second.
The moment when nothing else
Matters at all.
An aircraft on fire
And the dreadful conclusion;
Fierce flames will consume him
Or death in the fall.
~0~
The world narrows down
To one scene
In slow motion;
A pilot poised calmly
To jump from a plane.
A spine-chilling,
Heart-stopping,
Blood-freezing moment
All prayers...
Hopes...
Entreaties...
Are uttered in vain.
~0~
The world narrows down
To one scene;
One small figure;
A friend tumbling earthwards.
Malevolent fate.
A witness to tragedy
Grimly unfolding.
All pleas,
And regrets
Are too little,
Too late.
~0~
The moment when everything starts;
A split second,
As silk blossoms out
Round the airman below.
No words can describe
The full depth of emotion;
As breath which was held
For all time
Is let go.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:56 pm

Thinking particularly of ”Biggles in the Baltic” here...

They joined up together for King, Crown and Country;
A battle for Britain, a role they could play.
Each one quite prepared for the risks of air combat;
Their lives on the line for a cause, every day.
But...
King, Crown and Country aren’t truly what matters,
When caught up in conflict in bullet-ripped skies.
Their thoughts focus down to three planes and three pilots;
And whether, today, a close friend lives or dies.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:57 pm

And a little more on Ginger leaving home...

A rough, often difficult childhood;
The rod seldom spared.
A lad holding dreams for the future,
Though no one else cared.
A mother he could not remember;
A father bereft,
Bowed down by long years at the coal face;
No trace of hope left.
A bleak and predictable pathway
From schoolroom to mine;
Where any bright spark of ambition
Would struggle to shine.
A strong, irrepressible spirit;
Displacing despair.
A fiery and bold disposition
To match his red hair.
A choice, a life-changing decision
No longer denied.
A final, intense confrontation;
A father defied.
~0~
The sky stretching endless above him;
The world opened wide.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Spitfire666 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:56 am

Hoorah! I do so love your verse, Foolscap.
This is one of my most favourite descriptions of all time -
"A fancy vessel can contain
A sharp and enterprising brain;
Alongside oysters and champagne"

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Frecks » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:52 am

I am really pleased you have managed to save these and post them on the new Forum Foolscap. They are so special and very moving.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Tracer » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:50 pm

yes, so good to have these back.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:38 pm

Thank you:-)
Realised I left one out, posted elsewhere on the forum

Two Cousins

Two cousins;
Though no one recorded precisely
Which relative linked
One in blood to the other.
Two cousins
Transformed
Into comrades in arms;
Each constant,
And steadfast,
And close as a brother.
~0~
Two cousins
Who did not inspire
Such devotion
On awkward first meeting,
At parent’s behest.
Two cousins
Who cheerfully
Showed their true colours
When all they were made of
Was put to the test.
~0~
Two cousins
Who found
Their true place in the world;
Side by side
As the best
Of companions and friends.
Two cousins;
A firm
And unshakable bond,
From the first written word,
Till the last
Chapter ends.
~0~
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by kylie_koyote » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:14 pm

I like that one. :love:
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:17 pm

Thank you very much:-)

Ever read this poem by Rudyard Kipling?

http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_thousandth.htm
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Frecks » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:50 am

I had not seen the poem by Kipling before Foolscap. It is very appropriate for Biggles and Algy.

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by kylie_koyote » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:31 am

Ohhhh, I like that.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."

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Re: Foolscap’s Verse

Post by Foolscap » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:45 am

It does fit the theme well, I think.
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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