Beating, throbbing, mesmerizing my soul, to this very day
I hear drums beating densely insane,
O make them go away...far beyond far away
Tapping their fevered rhythms inane,
Far past where innocent children gaily play
Unvaryingly warning...foreboding fevered pain
Devotedly shouting of war, pulsating rhythms say
Very silence overwhelming, yet nobody else can hear
But old gray men on a 120 degree day
hear drum’s on fervid winds rumbling near.
Distant war wafts still on midnight winds
Past looming dark and dreary
Dreaming old dreams that cold bereavment rends
Manifestations grown weak and weary
Thick o’er crepuscular night
Throbbing sound of the devil’s fright
Old soldiers feel more than hear
Drums unflaggingly ceaseless with cruel bite,
Striking once more those inner chords of fear
Bringing wars of yore back to beleaguered sight.
Rhythms now and again with bold message trembling
Tremulously pass o’er us
Spawns of hell rapping...rapping
Nightly accompanied by the harp strings of Aeolus
Come perfumed in sweetness of night, all sanity transcending
Back as they’ve done a thousand nights before
Beating waves upon the shore
Throbbing, sonorous sounds dwelling
Come arising, memories of Vietnam’s distant lore.
Awakening again anxiety’s feeling
Their drum, drum drumming
From soft morning Permeating very being
Incandescent shadows into senses pounding
Till eventide’s illusions horrible I’m seeing
All other memories obliterating,
Sounding on the breath of capricious whims
War blotting out all thoughts other
Flailing about ashen seraphims,
God...my long past brother!
Warrior brothers pass review in nightly passing,
Before me brothers I’ll forget nevermore
Tempter sent on tempest tossed, the dead rising
Grim apparitions remembering velvet times of yore
Crescendo’s burned discordant, come numbing
Wringing Vietnam’s ghosts upon the floor
Bloodshot fiery eyes in brother’s burning
Embedded, staring into my bosom's core
Ghastly faces I’ve seen daily since that horrible war
Ungainly, gauntly ominously omnivorous carnivore.
Drums clash closer, louder, bringing conflict’s flare
Paralyzed senses in bleak fear numbing
Bringing the blackness of that “Thousand Yard Stare”
Black nightbird’s discordant resounding
Flogging incessantly the hating heart
War’s shadows in my sleep and in my waking cast
Cacophonous dins in me still boiling terrors impart
Questioning, why not I? bubbling back from the past
Roiling drums rumble their distant sigh
I wonder...can people from a telling drum beat die?
O’er me comes creeping cloudiness lingering,
War's justified killing, hiding Celestial sunlight
Prolonged from past moments bedimming
Bearing carnal anxieties fright
Chilling sounds whomp-whomp-whomping
Hateful sounds of war indelibly screaming
Dissonant noise borne in pain remember
Thunderous, killing noise, growing ever louder
Burned into each separate dying ember
Threatening to blow all civilization asunder.
Drums drum drumming seized with inharmonious bind
Wreaking on desolate souls vengeance no one can hear
Filling all sound, shaking the ground, wracking my mind
Growing bestially inside-the-gut fear,
Listening as drums of war again come near.
Yet, no one pays attention to my warning cry
Drums rumbling in my bones without seeming care
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” they sigh
Heard not in flamboyant noise above patriotism’s cheer
Discordant till very life too does die.
No one who was not there can appreciate the tolling
Which in my mind’s darkest silence tap me
Their guns with thunder rolling, rolling
Making me to weep a blue-green sea
The jungle drums know well my soul
I cannot defeat them, sounding on every side
Still sweating in the Nam part of my whole
Nor with haste will I escape them in my pride
Casting in their spell, a dissonant warrior's knell
The persevering drum’s foretell a living hell...
As I cringe, hearing once again our national lie
That once sent me to the jungle to do or die
A knowing lie gnashed through teeth to win support of war’s bias
To alter inclination’s judgment in this crisis
Lying rhetorically doesn’t matter, men platonically decry
Lying doesn’t matter, for the end justifies the means when evil is nigh.
Jeeze, can’t they see...we’ve been to war too many times before
So why should we now a good war deplore
Just buckle up for your country sky high
As they did in the past, send our young to die!
Lies give all to justify the lies preference
Told through Cheshire smiles to instill patriotic prejudice.
Yet even those who’ve survived war’s gamut, survived war’s past lie
Decry, that guy must have his values forgotten, that war-torn guy
With war’s bitter aftertaste, forever for lost values to cry
War’s fought for good reason, doesn’t he know why?
After all, it’s so simple...just take out the bad guy
Don’t worry about ethnic and traditional allies gone awry
Surely friends’ll sit still, let that bad guy be a fall guy.
If we do not punish him now, it’s our duties dereliction
It’s not like Arabs see it as an assault to their holy religion
Preemptive crusades will make them all Christian
The reason for this war, so simple to me,
We owe it to the future, to make him free...
Make him more like me.
Yes, men think the end justifies the means in lying fabrication
Influencing patriotic men to war, a little white-lie exaggeration
OK, OK, for to choose our right they give blatant distortion
So what, give facts a little abracadabra spin of falsification
To get people on our side we needed a little equivocation
So we employ a dipsey doodle dose in truth’s prevarication.
We’ll show’m what’s right, free from their tyrants dereliction
Desert nomads just have no democratic conviction
So make’m eat precepts of our constitution
They don’t know how good they’ve got it
So we’ll force-feed our democracy to them bit by bit
Why oh why won’t they accept freedom’s seed
We have so much to give...we know they need.
Death rides night air, mimicking the day's combat charades
Black as the heart of the ace of spades
In glimmered wings soft night blustering darkness
Spurs of gleaming stars look down on us lustrous.
Soldiers in their boots around fighting holes sleeping
Danger of life at bay keeping, in hoary throats leaping.
Shrouded by stirring jungled tiers, alive with winds dark sigh
Heaped and sprawling boys await the next day drawing nigh.
On soft breezes, whispering elephant grass sharpens its blades
Nocturnal sounds through a weary soldier's ear parades
Scores of angry men preoccupied with your dying, his sweet dreams sear
Fighting back lingering thoughts of death that upon him leer.
Prostrate threats peril, laid low its heroes
Listening for angered man, with a fear that comes and goes
Nourished hatred harsh, in blind killing hideous
Fearing Golgotha’s suffering curse grown brutish.
Each man together, alone in the gloom watching
Time spins so fast, yet there’s no time showing
Mid dreams and schemes of war’s shadowed game
Hovering between bravery, and death’s blinding flame.
Men hiding in dug-out battalions
Young boys, by war made lions
Curse the concealing overgrowth green with spring
Can’t see a blessed thing of death’s killing obscene.
Weary eyes watching periled way
Perimeters dug-in, warriors mute to advancing day
To the very core palpitating.
Afraid of awakening “proud and glorious” in hell
Life lost to cutthroats in its darkning swell
Losing their light in bottomless mud
Fighting holes filled with the brotherhood.
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