Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Small Reposting

Back in the very beginnings of this blog, back when it would take a couple of days for my hits to need two digits, I had a night of dreadfull insomnia. litbrit read this back then and left her own eloquent consolation (thank you darlin'). There are times when sleeping just isn't in the cards for me. The dreams come and remain. The memories stick and refuse to leave.

I tried all the usual remedies. I tried medications (both medical prescription and self prescription) without relief. Yes, I would appear to be asleep, but really, I would be back in the brutal streets of Hue, or the harsh tangles and hills of the A Shau.

Sometimes, by steeling my resolve to enter and explore these memories and dreams I can find a measure of understanding and peace. Most of the time though, it is something that only brings pain, grief, shame, and the sad realization that there were many fine lads, much finer than me, that are now gone.

This poem isn't about combat itself. It is about the aftermath. There was a helocopter that went down in the A Shau valley. A platoon was dispatched to to site of the crash. They never returned. My unit was told to go and see what had happened. This is what we saw. Remember, this happened. Realize, this is happening now.

Understand that Bush and his minions are calling for a wider, larger, bloodier conflict, without being able to explain a single positive benefit for our nation if they are given their way.

coming to the battleground far too late
i saw bodies flung down to death
broken toys of some child god

the enemy had taken their own
we began to gather ours
moving in the silence of the place

trying to match the parts and shreds
which was not an easy thing
when they were small

the carnage was both modern and complete
and close fought like the ancients
it only takes a little while

and war becomes primitive again
the smell was something i smell tonight
it remains without words to explain

slow moves were taken
gently lifting and laying down again
the burned lads especially needed that

the time they had lain was harsh
sun and heat were at work
in the tropics rot starts now

i remember thinking
this jungle drinks our blood
and grows

that horrid day amid all that brutal death
one thing alone made me cry
a butterfly

once bright and fragile
had landed upon the ruined
face of some shot up kid

wings touched in blood
unable to fly away
it died there



I mostly these days manage to find my peace. I even believe, some days, I am deserving of it. My deepest wish, my fondest hope is that my own beloved son will never know nights of his own like mine.

big brass blog

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8 Comments:

Blogger Tata said...

I respect you too much to offer you platitudes.

When you write these posts, I find myself searching the faces of the people around me. I am not sure what I'm looking for but I'm always surprised by the depth of the loneliness I see and, of course, feel.

7:49 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

(blows kiss)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

More than anything else, knowing that a new generation is experiencing this horror is what tears me up about this war.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

I have to echo what rez said. Every generation seems to have to learn about this shit anew thanks to idiots from a former generation who wasn't paying attention and didn't learn it in theirs.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

What's even more unconscionable is that the neocon "leaders" who began this unnecessary, foolish and dangerous war chose not to participate when it was their time. Guantanamo is too good for the likes of them.

Thanks for sharing the poem, MB.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have already told you in an email how I feel about this poem......

I fervently hope (& daresay?) that those who did not make it back would be glad to know you have a son to worry about in this manner........

- oddjob

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, MB.

-Creature

12:40 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we were just a bunch of people
doin' the best we could
just a bunch of people
doin' the best we could
you know, i think we did it
pretty up
and walkin' good


john stewart "mother country"

5:53 PM  

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