Recently, said a well-meaning friend who constructively pled
Use your head...
Why canít you thoughts of that evil war eschew?
Thereís so much else you can do
Than spend time back-there in Namís sweet-and-sour dew!
Why canít you just get over it?
Why do you spend all your time just thinking about it?
No, I donít want to discuss it!
How can you really bear even thinking about it?
Why choose to remember that awful war good men abhor
Which shouldnít consume one minute of your precious time
Mucking about in grime and blood good senses malign
Thinking about it all the live-long time should be a crime
For it will skew you out of step, out of rhyme!
Donít you know these thoughts are not healthy?
Why do you to the good life show enangered apathy?
Dwelling in the far-away war downright filthy
Why, that warís no longer even newsworthy!
You choose ... to fill yourself with warís empathy
Bringing you troubling mental neuropathy.
You are what you choose to be. Itís your own fault
This sullen assault on morose senses default
Itís up to you. Just out of this wearisome pit vault.
Donít let it bother you. Why canít you just get over it?
Why do you spend all your time thinking about it?
Know you not, you boys of summertime
Death freezes the soul to biting wintertime coating rime.
Why are you emailing me at four in the morning?
You need not about the glum long-ago keep mourning!
You know, donít you know you need your sleep?
Surely thereís nothing that will not till morning keep
Why do you let moody moldy doldrums oíer you creep?
You know, itís all your choice!
You can pity yourself, or with the world eat, drink and rejoice
Get on with your living ... leave horrible thoughts behind
Banish abominable thoughts of a destructive kind
Roust melancholic thoughts of evil that bind.
Oh my naive friend, I say ... donít you know:
Iím forever lost in my thousand yard stare...
Remembering brothers who fought and died back there
Horribly bloody in deepest despair.
It was back there I killed my first man
Fading light in his eyes left a feeling Iíll never understand.
I still live filled with warís violent fare
Raising beaucoup memories fair and square
How can I forget fear still filling my soul in Namís vapid air
Days turning cherished values upside down devil-may-care
Constant sounds of artillery still rings in my ears from back there
Forget damnable hell pouring out that I must now share.
I still regurgitate long hidden memories of warfare
Of a sweet-and-sour time when I bore the brave lionís share
Coming only now out of shadowed time lost in grieving
Stinging. Conceiving. Remembering...
Betimes neither here nor there
Where Vietnamís broken bodies fill memories raw and bare.
Iím still abandoned and so all alone in warís crosshair
Mentally beating myself for the killing once so rampant oíer there
Berating guilt derived from Namís killing fields so fair
Visiting that hallowed wall and seeing that vacant chair
Tears stream from down deep from a silent place unaware.
Why do I continue weary life to persevere?
The Namís pain
Will always in my soul remain
You can't wash it out
You can't tear it out
Beat it out or wear it out...
Remembering brave brothers who gave all
Wounded egregiously in a time of back-flashes pall.
Unbidden rivers-of-tears my heart still ravaging tear
Leaving unseeing eyes in that thousand yard stare
Covering with a scare verdant bloody jungle everywhere
Plucking at heart-strings from within me swear
Remembering Nam's sweet-and-sour staining gall
Wondering why my name's not beside brothers on that wall
Red sticky blood calls this poor boyís soul tall.
Remember ... that heated September
Back in that Vietcong lair
Silently crying out in deepest despair
Where lies the pit of my soul
My young being whole
Impair my very fear ensnare
Eulogies given when bloody death rode sweet-and-sour air...
Remember ... Part of my soul lies forever there.
Brave Americans rise this beloved land to defend
Prepare to shed very blood till very life does end
Defending God-given right on our sacred shore
Protecting bounteous blessings galore
To valiantly instill precepts of God-given liberty
To share sweet democracy to prove us purely free
Sustaining lifeís qualities making very honor be...
Patriots did alight freedomís rare light in rocketís red glare
Bearing charity, love and mercy in sweet homeland air
For in liberty patriots breathe
Sharing all values free men can conceive
Sharing the greatness in this land they believe
For them give a hearty cheer
For dear precepts of liberty in freedom they hear.
Americans flounder in toiling sacrifice in thick bricky mud
Where painstakingly we shed heroes red blood
Humping beside brothers in verdant crawling crud
Omnipresent sweat rolling down a furrowed brow
Stinging patriot eyes in a war dinky dau
Surviving in fright one more night in a foxhole curled
Trying one another to help a brother back to the world.
Search corkscrew jungle shadows for men they fear
Abiding hatred living precariously near
Fighting white knuckle during the short-timerís year.
Teeth to teeth brawling with liberties foe
Trying to keep together lingering body and soul
Hand over hand keeping the body countís toll
Laughing and grinning they ignore the grim reaper
Sagacious faith straining by the eternal spirit keeper.
Click dove for Vietnam Poems index, each poem with more action, graphics and Pictures!
CLICK TO VISIT... Through pictures and poetry take a walk in "the park" with the 1st Air Cavalry on combat patrol. Experience the chilling reality that will give you the taste of "the Nam" on your tongue, leave the pungent smell of "the Nam" in your nostrils, and imbed textures of "the Nam" in your brain as though you were walking beside me in combat.
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