This is a place of remembrance. . . . . . .
* Manning McWhorter
He is wrinkled and his hair is white as snow
Eighty plus years he has seen come and go
A true southern gentleman,not the kind for show
Always shakes your hand like he`ll never let go
He likes to talk and has alot to say
Talk goes from life to funerals gone before
And through the forties and the big war
He said 'now I`m headed toward December
And when the day does come I do die
I hope my obituary does remember
To include I was awarded a Bronze Star
I`d like it known when I`ve gone on
that I was proud of what we done
away across the ocean over there
World War Two is long ,long gone
It was just in our orders there to roam
though lots of us never did come home'
He straightens his shoulders
as remembering with a sigh
all those who had said goodbyes
and I glimpse in his sharp clear eyes
just like a glitter of precious gold,
the steel still in this old warrior`s soul
©Faye Sizemore December272002
*Manning Mcwhorter is still with us, and
in his own words 'all a vet wants after all,
is to be remembered'
i sit here alone tonight, i watch the rainfall and hear the wind blow.
My family asleep, i walk from room to room to watch them sleep
i hear their breathing, i go from bed to bed and kiss each cheek
My family is my life my reason for Life, there is no other
i walk out on the porch and i listen, i listen to the sounds of the future
i hear the sounds of drums beating and sabers rattling and i shiver with fear
i hear the sounds of bugles blowing and i hear the sound of Taps , a tear falls
i hear the sounds of voices in despair and children crying , more tears
i see flags waving and soldiers marching, i see explosions and men fall , more tears
i see flag draped coffins and weeping wives and mothers, tears fall like rain now
i see the past and i weep for my losses, i weep for your loss, for your souls
In my past i watch as my Father dies in Laos , i watch my Daddy die 30 years later
i watch as they die for a cause called freedom , as they give their life for me and you
i watch as they die in a place of jungles and jungles of the mind , Viet Nam
The sounds of war are closer now, much closer and I am afraid ,afraid of the future
Will i be asked to give again? will i be asked for the men of my family again?
Can i give my brother, who is husband to Sky Eyes and father of three small babies?
i have already given Grey Eagle to Viet Nam, He who is their Grand-Father.
What will happen to the Children of this War? They have already given so much.
Must I give the Gods of war their father as well, do they hunger still?
Can i give my brother who is father to four daughters, what will happen to them?
We have already given Grey Eagle to the Gods of war, Do you want his son too?
Can i give my beloved husband, my life, my future, my reason for breathing?
Can i give him to the Gods of War? Can i give my future for yours?
i have already given Three Elks and Grey Eagle to Viet Nam.
Must i give my beloved as well, must i give the Gods my soul?
They will go if called and they will die, they will not come home, this i have seen.
They will sing their death songs and they will die as Men and as Apache and
If give them i must, then it shall be so, my life will end with their death, i will have no
Children, i will have no future ,i will exist only to die when called home .
When this war is done as all wars must. We shall be no more.
We will have given all that we had and all that we loved
Our Clan will be no more, for they will all die on a foreign shore
They will die for a word called Freedom in which they believed
We will not be remembered by anyone , except our own
We will have given our blood and our souls, we have no more.
You have already taken our fathers and uncles
You will take our husbands and brothers and leave us alone
No memorials, no processions , no rememberance at all
Just cold freezing winds thru the deserts will blow
In the winds you will hear the snapping of a tattered old flag
The flag covered in our blood and wet with our tears
And in the winds you will hear the crying of our souls
And the rain will be our tears for our beloved now gone
This we give to you , Our Native Mother Land,
Our Native Lands in which we are despised,
We cannot answer Freedoms next call ,
We will have no more to give, you will have taken it all
©Rebecca Walking SparrowDecember282002
"In the rigging of our ship of dreams....the birds of hope,... rest,
.....and then they fly away!"
I PROWLED THE DARKNESS
OF DEEP SAIGON
I GAINED HER ASIAN BREASTS
AND THE SWEET DARKNESS
OF HER EMBRACE.
.......AND WE HELD EACH OTHER
FAR ABOVE THE NOISE
OF POVERTY AND DESPAIR,
OUR CIGARETTES BLAZING,
........GAZING AT THE WAR
ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS OF OUR LIVES,
AND WE HELD TO A SMALL DREAM
THAT WE KNEW
WE WERE JUST.......
TWO BIRDS UPON THE RIGGING OF A SHIP,
UPON A STORMY SEA.
Binh- Thien -Ha!
Binh- Thien- Ha!
©CALIBER ............12 29 02
Sex In Saigon
I'm sitting in a bar in Saigon, wearing civilian clothes.
If one ignores the fact that all the women are Asian,
I could be in a GI bar almost anywhere in the world.
Well, that, and the loaded .45 tucked in my waistband
behind my belt. Aside from that reminder, in here, the war
seems far off. It's easy to let the mind slip away; I've been
in many similar bars.
A young lady slides in beside me and begins the ancient,
time honored, professional seduction - for want of a better
term, since I'm hardly being seduced. We argue amiably
and desultorily, first over the price of the Saigon Tea
and then over what I maintain is an equally exorbitant
price for sex before I give in and accompany her.
We enter a huge room, and here, the familiarity ends:
The room is filled with rows of precisely aligned cots
covered with white, gauze-like mosquito netting. Dimly
seen figures are gyrating under the netting in the timeless
motions of 'love.' I undress and climb onto the cot under
my own netting with the girl, slipping the .45 under the
pillow, unobtrusively, I hope.
But it's no good...too surreal...the rows of ghostly, white-
shrouded beds make me think of a casualty ward, or worse.
The gun, inches from my hand, adds to the unreality of
the scene. Coupled with the occupied, spectral cots on every
side of me, it's too disconcerting. Eventually, I give up and
start to dress again, which is quickly done, since I don't
wear underclothing, in deference to the climate.
This time, I make no effort to conceal the gun as I tuck
it back under my shirt. The girl only offers a token
protest; she's undoubtedly glad for the respite. She remains
there under the netting as I make my way back past the
ghostly files of shrouded cots and out to the street. The
next day, I'm back on Trang Sup, and it is all like a half-
„ 12/29/2002 Thurman P. Woodfork
Fly away little dream
Never to be seen again
A foreign picture of milk and honey
Not for me in this distant land.
Fly away hope and wonder
Never to find your way home
A cool stream to cool my feet
Never to feel at peace and always alone.
Fly away love and compassion
Never to be felt in the heart
A kind word or thought could work magic
Finding none I move on.
Fly away hate and anger
Never to stick in ones throat
A flash of gunfire, its all gone
Lying down I am now going home.
©David R. Alexander
December 30, 2002
All Rights Reserved
Why Do I cry
A soldier has fallen somewhere
A soldier somewhere has given all
It wasn`t my father
Nor my brother
Not my nephew or husband
But it was someone`s
And I cry because
I could have been
And I cry for that someone
that my tears allow me to become
If only it lessened their pain
but tears have no gain
And the way of the ages
Seems not to change
©Faye Sizemore December302002
Are we at this place again
where our grief does begin
Here we stand, all humankind
Looking, looking for the signs
No good omens can we see
of the future times that will be
Coming war will reign
Is there no dawn,
only dusk falling...
traveling on into night...
©Faye Sizemore December312002
Unless You Can....!
Ask the forgiveness of the dead,
and remember your own fear,
...that you might be among them.
Unless you have felt the hot tears
that you cannot stand, upon your face
Unless you ask memory to go away,
....ask yourself the hard questions,
ask your God
face to face,
You shall remain outside of Liberty,
and all the sacrifice
that Freedom requires.
The jewel is America
......... to be free.
The price is very high.
©LJKlaiber12 31 02
I wonder how many Viet Nam vets there are like me who seem to have escaped the mental trauma of having served in that nastiness? True, I was a technician who remained in the relative safety of a camp but still, something feels amiss: why dont I feel more than I do about Viet Nam? Its not that I want to feel unhappy; its just that I cant help feeling a little guilty at times for having seemingly returned relatively unscathed.
When I consider that it was certainly like no other period in my life, surely I should feel something more about it, some deeper emotions, or, at least remember more about it than I do. Ive never had a flashback, hell I never even have any dreams about the place that I know of, but thats not strange, because I dont seem to dream about anything anymore.
Well, the truth is that I do dream, its simply that I never recall what the dreams are about. And I usually dream in color, which should at least make the dreams more vivid and memorable. When I consciously think of Viet Nam, its without rancor or hatred. I bear the Vietnamese no malice, although some of them did most assiduously try to shorten my time here on Planet Earth.
Even so, Im more likely to recall something that was amusing rather than something ominous. I seem to remember more about the much more tranquil parts of my military career than I do about the turbulence of that year I spent at war. It doesnt seem logical.
In Viet Nam, I was much more aware of my surroundings; my senses were more sharply tuned, surely I should remember more of what they recorded, but I do not. I can watch a movie or read books about Viet Nam without any emotional involvement, but I have not been in a movie theater since I left the Philippine Islands in 1969. My tour of duty in Viet Nam was over in 1967.
I remember the pain when my brother died - the person I loved most in the world. He was nineteen and I was seventeen. Forty years passed before I wept for him. Maybe, once again, Ive just buried the unwelcome thoughts somewhere in my subconscious mind. Perhaps I just have four more years to wait before Viet Nam begins to rise up. I dont think so, though. I didnt love Viet Nam.
„ Thurman P. Woodfork
1 January 2002
Headlines: Found, Friend
Where has he been?
When asked the question, the man frowns and then swallows.
"I never knew I had him," the fellow said
I sure though he was dead.
"You see we knew each other only briefly
While both were in Vietnam," he said gruffly.
Oh, we spoke and nodded, as we would pass
Neither of us wanted to make a friendship that might not last.
So as days grew into months and our lives seems to intertwine
We came to know each other and respect the other as if by design.
I being from the country and he from the city
We had little in common it would seem to those so witty.
We learned to depend on each other as soldiers often do
Cause there is little else to depend on except for you.
We were moving across a bridge of a fashion
We had to move swiftly because our platoon needed help with a passion.
Joseph, as he insisted on being called
He was my RTO, and a good one as I recall.
Half way across the bridge a machine gun fired at the two of us
The last thing I heard was Joseph cuss.
The bridge was blown and we both fell into a ravine
By the time I came around Med-a-Vac was loading Joseph, what a bloody scene.
Never heard another word from Joseph although I tried to find out
All I heard was he was sent to Da Nang and then there was no route.
Stayed my tour and others also were lost,
Its not that you dont care its to dwell on one was too much of a personal cost.
Seems that Joseph was shot in the chest
Sent to the world for healing and some much-needed rest.
He has spent the last thirty some years
Searching the country for his former piers.
After reading the paper today
Found the address and phoned just to say
I`m glad to know your are all right and this phone call won`t be the end.
This story ends with the title, Found: Friend
©David R. Alexander
January 2, 2003
All Rights Reserved