Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vietnam War: Four Poems (Gary B. Fitzgerald)

UH-1D helicopters airlift members of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment from the Filhol Rubber Plantation area to a new staging area, during Operation "Wahiawa," a search and destroy mission conducted by the 25th Infantry Division, northeast of Cu Chi, 1966. Source: Wikipedia

Body Count


It's over now so who, I wonder, is going to count

------the arms, eyes, toes and almost bodies?

------Who's going to plant flowers this year

------to grow in the craters like little

------valleys? Who

isn't too busy finding the members of his family

------(and will try to bury them as one)


------The tall defenders are going home.

Goodbye, Big Brother. We will wave goodbye

to you, smiling our thanks for your help

------as we sweat and bend,

------stooping with our little baskets, picking

up the remains of our dead.


------Disturbing not the victor who

is totaling the sum of broken,

destroyed and dead bodies, bled

of all fluids, white and cold like

clay---.---infected---.---at the sores

with necrophiliac worms, bacteria.

War is not half so bad, me buckos,

------as is the counting of the winnings.



Slaughter Your Dog-faced Sisters

Slaughter your dog-faced sisters,

-----shred viscera and slice livers.

Pool blood.

Sickening yellow lymphous over under leaves,

-----soak the soil with intestine juice.

Rid earth of them forever.

-----You are the zealous, but you're right;

-----your ways must prevail.

Butcher the human flesh

as though swine hung dangling on silver chains

in speckled abatoirs.

-----Your ways must prevail.

-----A threat to freedom cannot be


Rid the earth of them forever. And that leaves us

only you.



Woodstock: "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die," Country Joe, 1969


My Ears Have Ached

-----My ears have ached

-----with the thundering of bombs

-----& lifting, falling buildings,



-----the screeching of the rockets

-----at night

-----& the instant flash.

-----My brain has rocked

-----with the explosions of war

-----& the howling

-----of the torn and maimed,

-----but the loudest sound

-----to bear

-----is the silence following

the dawn.



I Saw the Lonesome Soldier

-----I saw the lonesome soldier

-----coming home from war at last,

----------to his luscious-green and

----------sleepy-eyed hometown

---------------(however humble) home

-----from war at last, to his boyhood dreams

----------and Mom & Pop. Home to

----------Alice down the street.

----------He was dressed in greenwood

-----with 10 Penny cufflinks

-----and when I saw him,

-----being lowered off the Santa Fe freight,

I thought he was a box of radio component parts.



From: Evolving: Poems 1965-2005, by Gary B. Fitzgerald, Copyright 2005.

Posted with permission from author.


No comments: