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Best New Zealander Poems

Below are the all-time best New Zealander poems written by Poets on PoetrySoup. These top poems in list format are the best examples of New Zealander poems written by PoetrySoup members

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The Best New Zealander Poems

Details | New Zealander Poem | Create an image from this poem.

Ramsay Roe

I am Flight Sgt Ramsay Roe, and my memories have faded,  
Of my experiences in Burma, and their chronological order, 
But into my memory’s deep recesses i have dug and waded, 
Although the exact sequence of events may be in disorder. 

When i was just due for home leave on my twentieth birthday
On May the 18th in 1945 when I’d done 300 flying hours
I’d been stationed at Jessore in Bangladesh, the Indian way
With the 358 Special Duties Squadron who flew Liberators

I was an Air Gunner/Dispatcher, prepared equipment to drop, 
I was lucky to have survived since so many had passed on, 
Along with the Japanese, our enemy was the weather, flop, 
The monsoon season saw us avoid cumulus nimbus, won. 

It was mountainous terrain, but our skipper who was Phil Adams
Had trained as a native New Zealander in their mountains craggy
And on 28th May i was asked to do one more mission, no qualms
With Flying Officer Harry Smith, one of the crew was new, shaggy

I put all my belongings in order, my kit box and my money box, 
And I left a note stating i had a uniform that was at the cleaner;
And then I met the crew, Jack Draper, Pool, and Harry, the cox, 
Woods, Bill Pugh, Peter Benchley, and Bill Pinckney, gunner. 

“Curly” Copley was a rear gunner, Parsons, and three agents
John Gildee, McCarthy and Naporalski; and a special person
A special agent Reid Moore; so we took off then as regents
At about five past midnight headed for the intended drop zone

Just at about 06:15 hours, when we reached ourselves the target
Near a small village, Klong-Pai, nine Japs appeared from nowhere
Shot us down in a noise and clang that would drown thunder’s fret
Killed Pool, Draper, Pinckney and Brenchley dead, the war to bare

Their bodies were transferred to a war cemetery in Thailand
And all the rest of us were injured, treated in a Japanese hospital
Taken to an internment camp but treated not to badly, tho’ not grand
Because Japanese POW camps were better than the Nazi’s rebuttal

I can’t remember getting out of the plane after the massive crash,
Only that the other survivors were amazed, startled i was alive;
I had shrapnel wounds and burns right down my left leg, ash, 
But i was mobile, and all of the nine of us loved the skipper’s dive.
I got to know the Americans mostly in the concentration camp 
Paired up with one, a Taff Thomas, who was small, unlike me
And we attended the first reunion of our squadrons, did tamp
Forty long years later, when I could thank Harry for saving me

Copyright © Rhoda Monihan | Year Posted 2016