Invasion Exercise at the Poultry Farm
by John Betjeman (extract)

Softly croons the radiogram, loudly hoot the owls,
Judy gives the door a slam and goes to feed the fouls.
Marty rolls a Craven A around her ruby lips
And runs her yellow fingers down her corduroyded hips,
Shuts her mouth and screws her eyes and
puffs her fag alight
And hears some most peculiar cries that echo
through the night.
Ting-a-ling the telephone, to-whit to-whoo the owls,
Judy, Judy, Judy girl and have you fed the fouls?
No answer as the poultry gate is swinging there ajar.
Boom the bombers overhead, between the clouds a star,
And just outside, among the arks, in a
shadowy sheltered place
Lie Judy and a paratroop in horrible embrace...

Painting: In a Bar by Frederick Elwell, 1943


News from Nowhere and Reed Wilson