He Said That? 5/23/17

From Nam Vet 0331 Marine Grunt, on a comment on “My War, by Fleabaggs”:

Thanks Mike…Here are some edgy poems written in the early 70’s when the wounds were open and the memories still bleeding. I don’t know if Robert will allow the first one it has some profanity…I don’t talk like that anymore, but I did then, its a blunt raw poem about war. These have been locked away a long time.

Got to Pray…Got to Kill

Crossing stagnant marshes
leeches take turns with the mosquitoes
sucking our blood
flies are swarming
over spots of flesh
festering with jungle rot

a 155 booby trap blew Thomas apart
we just found his boot
with his foot still in it

monsoon season is here
patrols every day
ambushes every night
we hump in the rain
and sleep in the mud

sniper got the lieutenant
right through the forehead

got mortared again
lost three men

we fought all day
torched a vill
found an old mama-san
who was setting a bobby trap for us
it blew her hands off
we just stared as she bled to death
she just glared back

stepped over ole Luke the gook
burnt, charred and gooey by napalm
we call ’em crispy critters

watched the funeral of an eight year old boy
in the vill at hill 65
the V.C. had slit his throat
because his father had helped us

I’ve got the screaming shits again
Had to slit my cammies always squatting
Doc gave me some tiny white pills
told me to eat C-rat cheese
begged, borrowed and stole C-rat toilet paper
my asshole is a faucet…

dry season is here
it was 114 degrees yesterday
humped fourteen hours
seven dudes passed out

platoon got ambushed
purple hearts for everybody
lost half my gun team
and most of the squad
was hit tee tee
by a B-40
but greased their ass
payback is a motherfucker

second platoon was overrun
on no-name hill
gooks in the wire!
Most of the platoon
was K.I.A.
N.V.A. took Tex alive
cut off his balls
and sliced him open
Fuck the Geneva Convention

what’s left of the company
got three days R&R in China Beach
beer and steak
boom, boom and dope
more nicky new guys
back in the bush

on a patrol
lost one man
had a million dollar wound
but he died of shock!
he only had two weeks in country
can’t remember his name

big operation
buck, buck two solid weeks
105s, 155s, phantoms and Puff the Magic Dragon
saved our asses
played some heavy rock and roll
with my lady M-60

in country five months
out of the six I came with
I’m the only one left…

Hear back in the world
Jody has been busy
And the long hairs are rioting.
If I make it back
gonna kick some ass and take some names

Doors got a new jam
“It’s all over for the unknown soldier”
Blood Sweat and Tears got a new jam
“And When I Die”
It’s a rock and roll war

fuck it, it don’t mean nothing

on a four man killer team
we did the J.O.B.
get some Mac Marine
payback is still a motherfucker

Drew a bulls eye on the back
of my flak jacket
Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke
on my helmet I wrote
Kill First, Die Last, Burn and Destroy
so much for their hearts and minds

the company assaulted on line
swept through a V.C. vill
it was a “Search and Destroy”
but we got it reversed again…

the odds are crazy
don’t think I’ll make my twelve and twenty

company got hit
sweeping through Dodge City
Beacou Med-Vacs
more nicky new guys

I’m in my seventh month
getting close to being short

nothing to eat but C-rats
nothing to drink but river water
haven’t washed in weeks
got use to the smell
but my skin is crawling
dream of frosty vanilla milkshakes
and women with round eyes and big tits

on a patrol
it rained grenades
I got hit again
two weeks on Hill 327
14 nights in a hospital bed!
but they sent me back

during a “Search and Destroy”
all we found were booby traps
lost four men
my old buddies are gone
dead, wounded or crazy
got to saddle up
got to hump
got to dig in
got to stay alive
got to pray
got to kill

it don’t mean nothing.

The Casualty

I laid between the crisp white sheets
trapped in the folds
of the hospital corners
bleeding from wounds
no one could see
dreaming
sweating
floundering
in the surreal nightmare
of my fears, trauma and remarkable survival…
a scarred statistic
unconsciously mourning
his dead youth (Killed In Action)
and not really sure of anything
especially all
once held to be noble
staring up at the ceiling
hour after day after week
counting the cracks
in my mind

Who Was I … What Had I Become?

5 a.m. in Kennedy airport
sitting alone sipping coffee
in an almost empty terminal
staring blankly
trembling slightly
a few silent travelers hurry past
ignoring the slumped teenager
who stared at nothing
but felt everything

In a glass wall reflection
I saw a stranger
stiff in the uniform of his country
owning the heart of a frightened child
and the eyes of a ruthless survivor
a man-boy
caught in a whirlpool of emotions
drowning in a sea of blood
spinning…spinning…lost

The past overwhelmed the present
death and hate battled relief and gratitude
blood lust and gore haunted the survivor
nightmares smothered reality
(reality…what the hell is reality?)
pain mingled with confused fear
who was I…what had I become?

It was time to leave
a moment I had prayed to see for so long
and yet
an empty numbness ached
it was so hard to rise
a weight crushing, grinding me down
hailing a taxi
I headed home
nervous and worried
I had survived the war, but
who was I…what had I become?

All That I Wanted … All That I Found

I wanted to experience life
instead I destroyed it
I wanted to become a man
but became a guerrilla
I wanted to be brave
but became crazy
I wanted to be strong
but turned cold and hard
I wanted to follow my conscience and convictions
but lived by raw animal instincts
I wanted to help defeat my country’s enemies
but found my country didn’t care
I wanted to do what was right
and almost drowned in the wrongs
I wanted to be a hero
but returned a haunted casualty

from the rose colored glasses
of a teenaged idealist
to the sunken glazed stare
of a shell shocked veteran
all that I wanted
and all that I found
are questions screamed in my mind
that never make a sound

My Rage is Blind and So Is My Country

I am sorry
the grinning boy who left
returned such an angry young man
trapped in a gun barrel
impaled on the flag
dreaming with ghosts
and covered with scars
you could never see
never touch
never comprehend

My stolen youth
shattered ideals
broken dreams
and dead eyes
don’t belong anymore
to your pampered Pepsi generation
with their fists in the air
and their heads in the sand

It’s no one’s fault
your love couldn’t kiss
the blood off my hands
or calm the horrors
that scream in my sleep
or soothe the torment
of my betrayed patriotism
or hide your revulsion
from my private hell

I am sorry
your pained doe eyes
wept and pleaded
for the cold hard man
to put down his drink and leave
and for the grinning boy to return
but their innocence couldn’t see
he was killed in action
sent home
and buried alive
by his country’s hostile indifference

I am sorry
my back is to the wall
as my angry pen
spits out these words
but…
the war has stolen my tears
turned my heart into a rock
marooned me with my own blood lust
and left your eyes
reflecting a violent stranger
that scares us both

I’m sorry
your hidden romance
and rebound marriage
to my secret understudy
made it all seem
like a poorly written soap opera
but the show must go on!

Now I am where I need to be
alone
and a thousand miles away
from yesterday
fighting a war in my head
and healing slowly
so very, very slowly
there’s no other way
there’s no one to blame
my country is blind
and so is my rage.

The Unwritten Poem, By the Forgotten Man

Remember the night we first met
and I kept staring
you thought I liked your girlfriend
instead of you
but I didn’t

remember our first date
the picnic at the park
you pushed me in the pond
and laughed while I almost drowned
but I didn’t

remember the first time we made love
it just happened by itself
you were afraid
and thought I was using you
but I didn’t

remember that summer night
we held each other and cried
because we were so happy
and you thought we were being silly
but I didn’t

remember that big fight
and the things we said we didn’t mean
I drove away cursing
and you thought we’d break up
but I didn’t

remember our wedding day
and the joy we shared
we held one another all night
and kissed for hours
you said I fell asleep first
but I didn’t

remember when I answered the call
how brave you were
we talked about our plans
the children we would have
and the life we would live
when I came home from Vietnam
but I didn’t

 

 

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7 responses to “He Said That? 5/23/17

  1. Hey Robert, hope you and yours are well.
    Can I make a suggestion to make the title to the original article a hyperlink to the article.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on The way I see things … and commented:
    I wanted to post this on Facebook but I am banned for 7 days 😦

    Like

  3. Pingback: VIDEO How Much Hell Is War? – Truth About Memorial Day – Remember, Never Forget What Soldiers Do | Reclaim Our Republic

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