Saturday, September 08, 2012

Apache Blues

T'was a balmy summer's evening,

Stars were gently weaving

Webs of brilliant beauty

Across the Asian sky.

We lay dark and faded,

In combat that we hated,

Asking for forgiveness

And wondering when we'd die.


Guns, in the distance, rumbled,

The earth lay torn and crumbled,

Hushed with hesitation,

We knelt upon our knees.

Shells began their pounding;

Echoes, then resounding,

Torrents of hot metal

Shredded through the trees.


Through it all, we wondered,

Artillery flashed and thundered,

Gunships dived above us,

Their guns barked in the night.

And then we heard the screaming

In the jungle, hot, and steaming;

An enemy had fallen,

Near death, he cried in fright.


With our weapons, blazing,

Boldly, gunships hazing,

We crawled upon our bellies

The way we had been trained.

No longer 'fraid of dyin'

Amidst those screams and cryin',

Hopin' if you get it

You die and not be maimed.


Emerging, weak and weary,

From the jungle, stark and dreary,

Choppers in the LZ,

They come to fly us back.

In war, there is no beauty;

We went and did our duty.

Don't talk to us of glory

'Cause we've been where its black.

Don't dwell on thoughts of glory;

War is coldly mean and black.


John Clifton Bartlett


A fisherman, a hunter, a father, a brother, a husband...a poet. A warrior. My dad was many things...I miss them all.


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