A Poem for Veterans Day

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


He confronts me

Smiling shyly, head down

Embarrassed at the charade


I see by your jacket that you was in Nam

I was there too —

Shows me the scar to prove it —

How ’bout a quarter for a fellow vet

To get some wine?

He shuffles — niggaring —

Wincing at the expected blows of righteousness

I give him a dollar and say nothing

You see

We both have come

To the same



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  1. any and all veterans who have served now or in the past, whether enlisted or voluntary, no matter the conflict, and no matter if that conflict has come to be internal or external. You have given much of your lives towards the benefit of the citizenry of this country who, for the most part, do not understand or realize the commitment that you have made, for that I do extend my heart felt gratitude and reserve a special reverence for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    Thank you and Peace, Brothers and Sisters

  2. 20th Century experiment. We learned quickly what poor boys could be used for; soaking the trenches they dug for themselves with their own blood. It worked out well. A few million sacrificed, and nobody important was really harmed.

    Money was paid, and reputations were made. Many books were written afterwards calling it the Great War.

    For our modern sensibilites, we now have the designer war with Madison Avenue slogans like Shock and Awe:

    Reagan had Grenada; Bush 1, Kuwait/Iraq/Panama and rock n’ roll; Bush 2 Afghanistan/Iraq; Obama ? I feel sorry for Obama, I sincerely doubt he can stop this insanity.

    But the most I feel sorry for are the ones whose voices cannot be heard, the ones whose suffering and sacrifices can only be expressed through poetry.

    Thank You leftvet———

  3. and we’ll have had our own Hundred Years War.

    They say immigrants steal the hubcaps

    Of the respected gentlemen

    They say it would be wine an’ roses

    If England were for Englishmen again

    I saw a dirty overcoat

    At the foot of the pillar of the road

    Propped inside was an old man

    Who time could not erode

    The night was snapped by sirens

    Those blue lights circled past

    The dancehall called for an ambulance

    The bars all closed up fast

    My silence gazing at the ceiling

    While roaming the single room

    I thought the old man could help me

    If he could explain the gloom

    You really think it’s all new

    You really think about it too

    The old man scoffed as he spoke to me

    I’ll tell you a thing or two

    I missed the fourteen-eighteen war

    But not the sorrow afterwards

    With my father dead, my mother ran off

    My brothers took the pay of hoods

    The twenties turned the north was dead

    and we’ll have had our own Hundred Years War.

    The hunger strike came marching south

    At the garden party not a word was said

    The ladies lifted cake to their mouths

    The next war began, my ship sailed

    With battle orders writ in red

    In five long years of bullets and shells

    We left ten million dead

    The few returned to old Piccadily

    We limped around Leicester Square

    The world was busy rebuilding itself

    The architects could not care

    But how could we know when I was young

    All the changes that were to come?

    All the photos in the wallets on the battlefield

    And now the terror of the scientific sun

    There was masters an’ servants an’ servants an’ dogs

    They taught you how to touch your cap

    But through strikes an’ famine an’ war an’ peace

    England never closed this gap

    So leave me now the moon is up

    But remember the tales I tell

    The memories that you have dredged up

    Are on letters forwarded from hell

    The streets were now deserted

    The gangs had trudged off home

    The lights clicked out in the bedsits

    old England was all alone

  4. that I always struggle with Veterans Day…tons of mixed feelings. But the one ritual that always helps me make sense of my confusion is to spend a few minutes of the day every year re-reading Why do we honor warriors?

    Thank you leftvet!

  5. …to get here, to read this.  All I can say is a very hearty thank you, leftvet.

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