Aircraft Carrier Deck Plans: Britain.

Aircraft Carrier Deck Plans: Britain.

Firestone Tyre Company Kids’ Christmas
Party 1955: a red-and-white plastic carrier
with tiny grey planes you could pull off
the deck, fighter cover, the eyes of the fleet.
Illustrious (G.B.), one hangar, two centre
lifts, fifty-four aircraft: Chief Petty Officer
Yeoman of Signals Holman on watch on
the bridge, Sakashima Gunto April sixth
1945, flak like petals, cherry blossoms, black
death blossoms — Kamikaze! Yokosuka Suisei
like a burning comet flies at my father,
explodes on the flight deck, bomb hits
the water, a skull with an eyeball spinning
on forever: post-traumatic stress disorder.

(From FLY BOY, Steele Roberts, 2010).

Tuesday Poem


About paparoa

Writer and researcher.
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2 Responses to Aircraft Carrier Deck Plans: Britain.

  1. harvey says:

    The childhood liking for war toys and the juxtaposition of actual combat – the impact of the explsion. I liked it when I first read it in the context of its poems with similar subjects. I like it on its own – a test of a poem. I gather your father was on the carrier.
    What those men went through.

  2. Paparoa says:

    Hi Harvey
    Indeed he was – I will email you a picture. The D4Y3 was coming straight at the bridge (they aimed for there, or the lifts, to get inside the carrier), and his mate on there had binoculars on it. They dived for the hatchway. He got a shrapnel splinter in his buttock, the plane glanced off the superstructure and hit the deck, exploding. Its bomb had been knocked off when a Bofors gunner hit the plane, and it fell in the water, exploding there. The photo I will send shows this. I wonder at the wonder of my presence on the planet – he had no other flesh wounds in five years of war. It was the spiritual and emotional damage that lasted.

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