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Viet Nam Remembered

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves for “Viet Nam Remembered”:

A few quiet moments,

Gazing at each name.

A moment of respect

In drizzling rain.

 

This polished black “V”

Gashed into the earth,

Names of dead recorded

Instead of birth.

 

As I stood there soaked

In beleaguered calm,

Recalling memories of buddies

In a place called Viet Nam.

 

I remember young faces,

Etched in grimy fear.

Muddy fatigues sagging,

Weighted down with gear.

 

Orange blossom napalm flashes,

Jellying up a hill.

Sweating soldiers cuss

While mustering their will.

 

Incoming rockets roar

Amidst bursting mortar shells,

No thought of Heaven

In this little piece of Hell!

 

Med-E-Vac choppers lift off,

Another wounded body gone.

Ashen-white face reveals

A friend left alone.

 

Maybe these inscribed names

Fit faces in my mind.

Scenes vivid and real

Forever enshrined.

 

Although it’s officially over,

Still there’s no end.

As I stand here quietly

With memories of friends.

 

Who has the answer,

Why we fought this war?

What did it accomplish?

What was it all for?

 

The answer now has become muted,

Grown hazy over time.

But you’ll never forget them

When you see their shrine.

 

Bronze at Viet Nam War Memorial

Bronze at Viet Nam War Memorial

Viet Nam War Memorial

Viet Nam War Memorial

 

 

What is Love?

This poem, which I wrote some years ago, comes from Autumn Leaves:

What is Love?

Is it the twinkle in a young puppy’s eyes?

Is it soft-spoken words of promise,

Bringing a pretty maiden’s sighs?

 

What is Love?

Is it the quiet, understanding look in a mother’s warm smile?

Or is it the sultry eyes of a temptress

Who seeks to beguile?

 

What is Love?

Is it two lovers locked in rapture’s sweet throes?

Is it devotion or poetry,

Emotion or prose?

 

What is Love?

I’ve searched long and hard, looking for the answer,

Piercing through volumes

Like a hard-charging lancer.

 

What is Love?

Everything I’ve read or heard reveals nothing conclusive.

The answer is existent,

But very elusive.

 

What is Love?

I don’t know the answer–I can honestly state.

If you know, please tell me.

It must be fantastically great!

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