Sunday, June 12, 2005

Young men

Young men combat reasons and feelings

Somebody tell me a story

I did it for the GTO's
I did it for the blondes
I did it for rock and roll
I did it for the brotherly bond

I did it for the chocolate malts
And the slow dances where I held her tight
I did it for the blue jean jackets
And those times I howled into the night

I know there are the bigger issues
But sometimes those simple things
Lifted up my heart
And let my spirit find its wings

To places where's there was bar b que
To back yards where there was beer
To places where there was laughter
And friendly voices I could hear

Sometimes it was those memories
That kept me driving on
That were as much of a light to me
As the sun coming up at dawn

But mainly we had each other
And the training we went through
Plus all that crazy on the job training
To focus our attitude and view

I can still see them now

And how we all shared
The silence heart aches and tears
And it always feels the same
Some time knows no minutes

Hours or years


Yeah I hear ya

Somebody tell me a story
Somebody tell me a joke
Tell me how you got to the beach
Even though you were broke

Tell me how that girl saw you
And walked right up to you
And smiled like heaven's mysteries
Was whispering low

Her sweet and secret clues


Yeah I hear ya
Somebody tell me a story....

8:51 pm
transcribed this time
11:41 am

Memorial Day

Memorial Day….it’s always personal

Guns up, baby!
Guns up!

Sometimes the tears fall
And I remember the rain
Sometimes the blood fell
And I remember the pain

Sometimes the sun went down
And night came at you hard and black
Sometimes you didn't know where they were
Front or side or back

Sometimes you laughed
Because the gunner was funny and cool
Sometimes you listened very carefully because
He was a teacher in the life and death school

But you always learned you answered
When you heard the guns up call
I never met a nicer guy
I never met a guy that had more balls

And sometimes I remember
And I hope he's doing alright now
I hope he made it back
I hope they're all doing ok somehow

2:12 pm
usually I don't use any explicatives
but I've been drinkin and it is memorial day
and you know.....sometimes Marines actually
talk like that..

transcribed this time
11:39 pm

Excuse the Hell out of me

Well excuse the Hell out of me

If when Born in the USA came out I as a Viet Nam Vet took it as a patriotic song and that it somehow identified that re-adjustment, or fitting in, or being back home, what ever you want to call it was some what rough.....

And even rougher when I look back on it and see that I just came back and tried to keep going on right where I left off...
Like nothing happened...

It took me years....and every now and then I still get to wake up in the middle of the night with another sweat drenched epiphany.


Yeah just excuse the Hell out of me if I misinterpreted your song Brucie Pooh as having any real compassion for me or anybody in my squad or unit who never came back or was wounded or found it also difficult........coming home.


Just excuse the Hell out of me if I still can feel your music
But some how know you can't feel this heart of mine
And that that is just another burden I get to carry
For another fake tough guy slidin by inside freedoms lines

12:10 am

That's real big of you

That's real big of you

Vietnam Veterans

And when the Spoiled and Soiled Brats say:

We blame the leaders...not the soldiers.

Just like we do now.


I say
That's real big of you

Are all soldiers just automatons

Just obeying orders as they
Carry out their consciousnessless deeds
Do you think that's what get's them through
Dancing with death risking being the one who bleeds

Do you think even a one of them
Believe in their family their duty this nation
Or are you kindly not blaming them as they
Walk lock step mindlessly through the situation

Do you think a squad of Marines
Might ever have honor cross their mind
As they get ready lock and load
And step up to the line

Do you wave off their participation
Generously with a wave of your hand
Do you sweepingly dismiss their responsibility
For being brave enough to take a stand

Are all soldiers in all armies the same
Are all just pawns on the board of life
Have you looked into the heart of anyone
Who's carried his nations issued gun and knife

Could there be the slightist possibility
This theory is to make it easier on you
Than it necessarily being about them
Or anything that they might do

Because then what would that say
What if they are not what you say they are
What if they're not robots or poor babies
What if it's you not measuring up to the bar

What if they are seperate individuals
Who have taken an oath to defend
What if they actually know this dangerous
World isn't all intellectual or pretend

What if they are brave and daring
Long suffering and pushin to follow through
What if they are honorable and just
Then what would that say

What would that say about you

10:41 pm
transcribed this time
11:32 pm

Viet Nam Veterans Opinions

Vietnam Veterans Opinions
Are important

They go along with you
If they come to the same conclusion
If their politics take the same view

If they fall in behind
With the "Current's" party line
With the correct assesment
As only you outline and define

And other than that
They don't matter much at all
The rest can be dismissed and ignored
The rest don't stand as tall

Vietnam Veterans opinions
Are valuable

They march along with you
If they carry the same signs
If they do what you want them to do

If they talk the same talk
If they see it the same way
They're the Voice of Experience..

Then you'll listen to what they say

And other than that
They don't matter much at all
The rest can be dismissed and ignored
The rest don't stand as tall



Viet Nam Veterans Opinions
Do count

And not
Just the ones you can use
For predetermined answers
In your manipulating interviews

8:25 am
This is something I wrote in
counter to a little alternate weekly
magazine although I like to call it an alt weakly in the knees
rag o zine. The San Antonio Current. The San Antonio Undercurrent
is more like it. Talk about a rag.....strictly put out for the
wuss commando brigade of losers, who want to parrot out
whatever Bill Moyers' pablum express puts out. where as honestly
I don't think real parrots
even want something like that at the bottom of their cage.

The only thing they had to say was
quotes from the "Viet Nam Vets Against The War" and yeah...
the same bone headed ones from way back then! Tha same ol tired rhetoric
same ol lame brain blame america first whining...

All so they could sell out this generations stand
up and be counted young men serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and
anywhere else in the world where they are needed.


Viet Nam Veterans

Vietnam Veterans

Hate them all
Blame them all

In the burdened carried
Of never quite being able
To completely
Come home

Wrap yourself up
In the comfort
That you yourself
Will never have to be alone

By being of
The correct moral measure
Of what is good
And wrong and right

And that somehow you
Are pristine clean
When it comes to that
Era's struggle and fight



Ths selective focus on horror
That protects you and keeps you warm
Safe and reassured the expression
You've chosen is the correct form

To maintain the status perspective
The acceptable definition of tragedy
And thus avoiding all those other details
And inconvenient complexities

Like what happened to one million
Cambodians when the US departed
Or was it just in the movie The Killing
Fields that one should feel broken hearted

And certainly there are many many
Others we should avoid as well
Especially ones involving brotherhood
And the utter faith shown in the face of hell

That could have never happened there was
No comraderie in the mansoons pouring rain
No one ever carried the wounded to dust-offs
When they were bleeding and in pain

There were never any massacres of teachers
Up in the city of Hue
During Tet of 68 that was never
Done by the maruading NVA

No one was ever murdered in villages
To make sure no one would talk
Or tell the passing Marines where
It was safe to walk

Who cares whether the M-16 worked or not
Wasn't that just a passing incident
Instead of some whiz kids micro managing
Not calculating in lives were going to be spent

Ramming a rod down the barrel
To clear a jam that should never have been
Come on let's open up this clear channel
Vein into pain

Or is sensitivity
Not what you intend

5:14 pm
in response to why some people
bring up My Lai
transcribed this time
11:14 pm

My back yard jungle

My back yard jungle

Is starting to come up
The bananna trees are getting their leaves
The vines are beginning their climb up
The tall grasses are blowing in the breeze

The dead tree is still dead
But it has a bird living in it now
She's always popping in and out
Alert and attentive simultaneously somehow

The elephant ears have exploded
Out of their vibrant bulbs in the ground
The fire-flys are lightly lighting up the night
While the cicadas make their distinctive sound

The morning glorys seeds are just starting
To make their bid for the sky
To spread out their purple and blue wonder
In a phantasmic displayful array for the eye

And it's nice to just sit out on the porch
Or walk the trails between the river reeds
And then there's always those surprises
From the volunteers that spring up from

The wind blown seeds

3:57 pm
also titled..
Helmets and Bamboo
in honorable memory

Hanoi Jane

Hanoi Jane

Jane Fonda is nothing


But the model for the picture
That goes on a urinal cake
Is nothing but a complete fraud
An out and out traitor and a fake

She should have gone to jail
She should have done time
She’s only a legend to those
Who don’t use their mind

She’s pimping her lousy book
She’s an opportunistic whore
She’ll say whatever she has to
To take in another score

She wants to make all nicey nice
Like it’s all about live and let live
But as a Vietnam Vet I remember
And I’ll never forget

Never forgive

9:13 am
transcribed this time
11:10 pm

This is addressed to

This is addressed
to the pain warrior

If you have a writing
That you would like to share
Lay it out here in the open
Let it be as you dare

But one other thing
Not to make a big fuss
But maybe it was a dream
Instead of the dream

Since you're still here with us

That you lost
Lord knows when and where
Just know that no brothers in arms
Of mine carries any burden

That I would not also bear

1:16 pm
transcribed this time
11:07 pm

I found a young man's name

I found a young mans name

On the wall that I helped
Train in late 67 early 68
I never knew until now
What had been his fate

He died in Quang Tri from
A barrage of rocket rounds
Earning a Bronze Star
Before they took him down

He was bright and intelligent
Always had a ready smile
Always striving to improve
Every ready to go that extra mile

He taught me
With his willingness to learn
He had a spark of life in him
That you loved to watch burn

Last I saw him the sun was out
And shining down on his face
And we were laughing about something
And you know how that always helps

To make it a better place

9:14 pm
transcribed this time
11:02 pm

Ann Margret

I saw Ann in Vietnam
Somewhere around 65 or 66

I think I even have a picture of her

She was just a far off figure on a stage
But you knew it was her for sure
There was that aliveness and energy
That was and is her special allure

But our unit was leaving
We had orders to go
We all kind of milled around
Tryin to make it deliberately slow

Not that that doesn't get you
Yelled at in the corp
Somethin about us bein sh*tbirds
And not takin anymore

We all got into our 6 X
And I was the last to get on
Gettin in one last look
And knowin then we'd be gone

Something just came over me
And I half pretended to fall or slip
Right flat off the back tailgate
All for that kitten with a whip

Splat right out there in the dust
The truck slidin to a halt
The driver yellin everybody lookin
If you're hurt it's your own stupid fault

Not that it felt real good
But hell I was a young man
Doin something dramatic
For some reason I didn't understand

You could've got killed
What the hell's wrong with you
That was ironic even for a 19 year old
Considering what we were volunteering to do


I didn't know a lot about foreign policy
But I liked malts and GTO's
And man that was Ann Margret
And I at least got a glimpse of the show

And I just had to mark it
Mark it in an in country way in my mind
In some way that would stick with me
No matter how much longer the time

Man that was Ann Margret
I said with a grin
And we rumbled off down the road
To someplace else where we'd be diggin in

That was

Ann Margret

3:06 pm

Saddle Up

Saddle up

Saddle up was a comforting sound
It meant I'd become a man
I was part of a covenant
That's hard to understand

If you're on the outside
Of wait a minute vines
Of jungle snakes and leeches
Of seeing barely in time

A trip wire across the path
A man coming down the hill
The explosions of artillery
The body parts of a kill

Saddle up meant moving on
A term when men rode horses
Into fields of battle
And clashed with opposing forces

Saddle up

Meant canteen water and rations
Ammunition in bandoleers
Everybody pullin together
Everybody admitting to fear

It meant a flare going off
in triple concertina at night
A scream of grenaaade
A flash of brilliant light

Hands looking for your rifle
Fingers numb from shock
Shrapnel through your cover
The Gates of Hell unlocked

And sitting there
Wondering if you'll make it
And yes it's your life to live
But there are those who'll take it

It meant a sky filled with stars
Twinkling out their light
Existing in utter contrast
To the viciousness of a fire fight

Saddle up

Meant going home
As much as a hill can be
Called Razorback in 66
But it was one to me

And a company of others
Who baked in heat shook in cold
Filled up sandbags forever
And then went out on patrol

Who cooked on heat tabs
And ate lima beans
That were older than we were
Because we were the Marines

In I Corp area
Stationed there with some Roks
Who didn't take many prisoners
Whether or not they talked

Was how the rumor went
And we thought that was cool
If you're going to
To Hell with limited engagement rules

Saddle up

Meant going home
And I didn't like leaving them there
And I can still see them
From that copter in the air

That took me to Da Nang
Where the took my rifle away
Like they had any right..I earned it
And I still feel that way today

Saddle up

Meant going home
But I didn't like leaving them there
And I can still see them
From that copter in the air

About 1995
transcribed this time
10:44 pm