Desert Raid

Vol. 8 No. 1 - 2001

Desert Raid

by Leslie Calvert

The edge of the Desert is still, and calm.
It's dark, and we're blest with a peaceful balm.
But our anxious sleep has opening ears,
As what we're waiting and listening for nears.

The dread drooning hum of a distant plane,
The quick waking voice, "They are here again!"
Then a sudden "WOOFF!" That's a big gun's bark!
And a 'WHINE!' and a "POOPH!" There's no more dark.

The Bofors are beating a merry thud
Like galloping horses on hard firm mud,
And shafts of white light are searching afar
In the dim night sky, to the clouds that are.

Hiding the cunning, and deceptive foe,
Who is closing in by the sound we know.
There must be a plane behind that cloud there!
Yes! Look! He is caught in the searchlight's flare,

Hark now! A terrific gun barrage comes
Like loud thunder over a thousand drums!
He's banking, and bobbing, and dodging now,
To 'get out', he is using all his power.

But From our ack! ack! he cannot get rid,
Again he rides on the light's pyramid.
A silvery speck in the sky afar,
A sinister flip, not a phantom star.

But what is that coming up from behind?
The one in the lights is only a blind!
Look out!! Get down! He's coming straight here!
Lie Flat! CRU-UNCH! FLASH! BANG! HELL must be near!

There's a crimson spray beneath the white,
Dear God! What a sight for a desert night.
But they're on him! Those sturdy guns aground.
Find it looks like they'll bring that bomber down.

The moon will be gone, and then he will be
In icy waters of the deep blue sea.
''Think of the battered Battleships of yore!
Exhausted sailors swimming for the shore''.

But still they come in from many on arc,
And they drop their flares to lighten the dark
The imprudent few are caught in our flack
Inducing their comrades to stay well back.

For on hour, or two, or it may be three
The sky is arrayed in sparkling glee.
Till at last a lingering pair remain,
They too Fade away, and 'tis quiet again.

The indifferent desert is still, and calm,
And dark, and we're blest with a peaceful balm:
And our sleep may be long and "O" so deep,
But in this land no one is sure of sleep!