I was avroze when I left my bed to aggy.
The hens, peckin’ at their dewbit, were joppety-joppety
and I woz leery as they kept me from my furmenty.
Eggs slipped through my avroze fingers ’cos I woz too hasty.
What a blather, but ’twoz too late to blether.
I woz flummocked and did bibber next to the mixen.
I felt a noggerhead, nay a nirrup,
and yearned for any maggoty excuse.
I told Granfer and Grammer a haggler, leading a hag-rod marten,
daddered the hens, making them crousty and the eggs cracked.
’ Twer a caddle as the haggler fled over the knap ’cross the cowlease.
But Grammer spied the yoke and shell on my fingers.
She did ballyrag me, called me a footling
and Granfer tanned my hide ’cos I lied.
Dorset Dialect Glossary
Avroze: frozen Aggy: to gather eggs dewbit: the first meal of the morning joppety-joppety: nervous trepidation leery: hungry furmenty: sweet spiced porridge from hulled wheat blather: an uproar blether: to bleat flummocked: frightened mixen: dung heap noggerhead: blockhead nirrup: donkey maggoty: fanciful Granfer: Granfather Grammer: Grandma caddle: muddle daddered: bewildered crousty: ill-humoured footling: beneath contempt caddle: muddle haggler: itinerant dealer knap: knoll, rising ground cowlease: an unmown field ballyrag: to scold hag-rod: bewitched marten: a barren heifer
A hundred miles to Bletchley Park
as the weather whips up a storm.
My precious cargo: Dad
a frail veteran braced to perform.
Windscreen wipers squelch a beat
as I drive through the gate
only to be brought to a halt
by an SS officer conjuring up hate.
Stern faces encased in helmets
brandish machine guns and Lugers.
Why is the German Army camped
at the secret lair of code-breakers?
Body language screams “You shall not pass”.
They force a slow, wet shuffle
through puddles; tough for an old
soldier unable to move at the double.
Bedraggled, Dad collects his thoughts
shaking inside the meeting room
as his Parkinson’s disease gets
worse in the gathering gloom.
Did Dad decipher endless Morse code
beside a remote Scottish loch
only for heartless turncoats to
agitate him years later at a road block?
What a cruel joke to play
on that silver-haired conclave
of clever men who shortened the war
and defeated Hitler the knave.
Dad addresses his brothers in arms
using comedy as an antidote
to stubborn weekend Nazis.
Steady now, he strikes just the right note.
To mark Father’s Day today I wrote this poem about Dad’s close encounter with the “German Army” when he joined fellow Second World War veterans for an annual reunion at Bletchley Park, the secret lair of the code-breakers.