Perhaps Colonel Ben Kelsey, a P-38 test pilot, summed up the war bird’s legacy best of all. “(That) comfortable old cluck,” he said, “would fly like hell, fight like a wasp upstairs, and land like a butterfly.”
The P-38 was the most successful USAAF fighter in the Pacific War. It served with four separate air forces, spread out from Australia to Alaska. The most successful American Ace of the Second World War, Major Richard Bong, scored all 40 of his victories flying the P-38 Lightning over the Pacific.
The 11th Air Force was allocated the task of defending the Aleutian Islands, in the far north of the Pacific. There the extra reliability provided by the twin engines of the P-38 was essential, with missions being flown over long distances and in poor weather. The first P-38 victories of the war fell to pilots of the…
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Whilst attempting to categorise the zillions of poetry in my iPhone notes section I came across the following ditty. It made me smile and feel a touch melancholic at the same time as it feels like such a long time since I was last able to breath in sea air!
The Salty Sailor
The Salty Sailor said few words
His hands did all the speaking
Besides his tipsy vowels were slurred
His holey boots were leaking
And naval rum was his best chum
They‘d weathered life together
Life out at sea could be humdrum
So glum when you’re in tethers
The Salty Sailor’s face was tanned
A red-brown bag of leather
Now that he had returned to land
He hoped he’d stay forever
But as the salt came to a holt
His landlocked legs grew idle
The Salty Sailor made a bolt
Back to a life more tidal
Frailty the stuff of life where burdens lie, and people bury
Unsung songs, misery, and grave hardships twice we carry
Bruises moving like brown tadpoles in a dry southern creek
Voices shallow telling lies like traitors when they dare speak
My heart is broken by daggers thrown from a vengeful voice
Choosing kindness gifted in golden threads is an angel’s choice
Tenderness lies bound upon my shoulder like a wounded thing
As bitter words fly with angry winds and birds that cannot sing
Oh my unrepentant friend,
don’t think you are good
for not one person . . .
does as they should.
That hate that you have,
embedded in your heart
will keep you and God
distant and far apart.
Oh, my tolerant friend,
don’t you be deceived
for everyone by sin
is sick and diseased.
By your liberal thinking,
you are being lead astray
the road you’re now on
is not the narrow way.
Oh, my progressive friends,
for you it’s not too late . . .
to turn back to the truth
leading to the straight gate!
Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate, and broad
is the way, that leadeth to
destruction, and many there
be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.
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Winter does not empathize
with withered branches or
displaced birds fleeing waves
of frozen breath
Her howling wind is a laugh out loud
and she hasn’t the grace to cover her mouth.
A tease of holly and evergreen flicker
at the curve of her billowed boughs
glistening folds and hallowed mounds
drift in other worldly sighs
ensnared by her exquisite binds.
art by Karol Bak
The city of Roanoke, Virginia, located in the southwest region of the state, is referred to as the ‘Star City of the South’. How does that city get that name? Well, it is the home of the largest mad-made star in the world. It sits on top of Mill Mountain and overlooks downtown and the Roanoke Valley. The great thing about Roanoke is that it is a big railroad city with the main line going through the heart of downtown. It was the hub for the Norfolk and Western Railroad and for the Virginian Railroad, and it was a hub for the Norfolk Southern Railroad. It was here at the shops where the Class J locomotives were built, and it is where the Class J Norfolk and Western Number 611 makes its home at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Being…
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A couple of weeks ago whilst walking in the heavy rain, I began connecting to my resilience. All sorts of powerful images were coming to mind and I couldn’t wait to capture them into the notes section of my phone and write a poem. Just at the point of completion the raindrops on my phone jammed the delete key and my whole poem was erased! I returned home deflated and then decided, in the true spirit of resilience to write the thing again. It came out differently and yet I still felt happy and, more importantly, expressed!
Thrash me hard into the walls against the storm raged pier
Smash me down, I’ll take it all, and still I’ll reappear
Scrape my legs against the rocks, push my head in the sand
My soul has seen a thousand knocks, each time I fall, I stand
Engulf me with your reckless…
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God’s gift of hope,
is heaven sent . . .
for He sees how often
we’re tired and spent.
So He sends to us,
hope each day anew
so our faith in Him
we can daily renew.
God’s gift of hope,
is ours to hold onto
the closer to Jesus . . .
we press into.
For He knew we’d need,
His love and grace
so He gave us hope
to finish the race.
Hope is God’s gift,
to all of us . . .
when we place in Jesus
our faith and trust!
If in this life only we
have hope in Christ,
we are of all men
King James Version
Deborah Ann Belka
~ to GOD be the GLORY ~