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  • John M. Campbell

Turkeys Running Wild

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I spent most of my career in engineering with a company called TRW, Inc. before it was gobbled up by Northrop Grumman (pun intended). People often asked us employees what TRW stood for, so instead of saying the truth (Thompson, Ramo, and Wooldridge, the company founders), someone came up with a whimsical alternative. I used that whimsy as inspiration for this poem.


The TRW Anthem


Beware the turkeys running wild, We're running wild and free. Though turkeyness may be reviled, We're birds of destiny.


Remember that the turkey is Franklin's noble bird.

We beat the eagle any day, in case you haven't heard.


With scrawny necks and beady eyes we're nothing to be feared.

Because we're mostly engineers we're used to looking wierd.


So what, if our ungainly forms are painful to the eyes?

We're only in our element when taking to the skies.


We use our unappealing looks to catch opponents napping,

As we swoop in to steal the prize, our wattles bravely flapping.


You'll find true beauty in the sight of turkeys in formation.

You'll get a shiver of delight in our coordination.


We fly with skill, aplomb, and grace: precision is our goal.

We swoop, we dart, and then perform the perfect turkey roll.


We're turkeys living wild and free; our confidence is showing.

We're not domesticated breeds, like Raytheon or Boeing.


And as the skirling bagpipes fill their enemies with gloom,

Our gobbling cries are striking fear in every conference room.


The fool who tries to challenge us, not only is berserk, he's

The fool that gets a trampling if he's running with the turkeys.


Beware the turkeys running wild,

We're running wild and free.

Though turkeyness may be reviled,

We're birds of destiny.


John M. Campbell

December 2001


Next Poem: Big Shoes to Fill

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