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Guam


fdelano
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I walked that hallowed

jungle hell grown to cover

where my brother fell.

 

I passed earth ruptures that will

never heal and sensed a nearness

no one else will feel.

 

I saw gashes torn in wide-spread

embattled ground and uprooted trees

lying without a falling sound.

 

Guam (Revised)

 

I walked that jungle battle

site over-grown to cover

where my brother fell.

I passed earth ruptures that

never heal, sensed a nearness

no one else can ever know.

 

I saw gashes torn in embattled

soil, uprooted trees lying still

without a falling sound.

 

I smacked my fist hard into

his passed-on catcher's mitt

still soft with Neatsfoot oil.

 

His promised Jap's helmet

never arrived, a Bronze Star

instead somberly bestowed.

 

 

Edited by fdelano
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Somber and dignified, Franklin. I'd characterize this as an elegy. And as I've said to others who have done the same, it takes courage to compose something this personal. Very well done.

 

The rhymes (two in each verse) are placed at just the right intervals to maintain the poem's pace. And I couldn't help but detect the haiku-like 5-7-5 meter in the first verse. Was it intentional? I think it reinforces the South Pacific/Asian theater setting.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Somber and dignified, Franklin. I'd characterize this as an elegy. And as I've said to others who have done the same, it takes courage to compose something this personal. Very well done.

 

The rhymes thrown in (two in each verse) are placed at just the right intervals to maintain the poem's pace. And I couldn't help but detect the haiku-like 5-7-5 meter in the first verse. Was it intentional? I think it reinforces the South Pacific/Asian theater setting.

 

Tony

 

Thank you for your apt words, Tony. I have even tried to write haikus, but in this case, hardly anything was intentional except trying to put the reader there. I'm generally not a rhymer, either, but a couple were accidental and I forced the others. I know (from a close friend) that the meter is off in the final verse, and that a fourth stanza about Marvin (my brother) would be fitting. I'll work on it and either post a revised version or just take it down.

 

Sorry for giving you so much more than you likely expected. In 1967, I did a 6-month's stint, flying B-52's out of Guam to go make toothpicks in the jungle of VN and Laos. I have a history of the Sixth Marines, so as soon as I had some time off, I located the battle field area where Marvin died on top of a Japanese grenade. I walked around wandering exactly where he died, (as if that mattered). No doubt an invention of my mind, but I thought I could sense him there. He had just turned 18 at death; my father had been tortured that he signed the papers to allow Marvin to enlist at 17. Real life is always stranger than fiction, according to someone long ago.

 

Anyone who cares to jump in with suggestions is welcome. Perhaps this should be moved to Workshop?

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I love the 'bones' in this one. I want to wait and see if you make changes before I say too much, but even if you leave it as is, it's a great piece. Short, compact and though far, far from sloppy, the emotion does eke its way to the surface and the sadness overlays your work.

 

I'll watch to see where this one goes, if anywhere. Very different for you, the rhyming, but I wouldn't say give up on that, either.

 

t

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You probably intended this, but when I think of Guam, as a history buff, I think of world war II. This characterized, for me personally, the effect of WWII on the pacific area, in terms of not just people but also the land itself. I agree with Tony as well, this poem almost has that choppy, profound line structure found in Haikus. Thank you for gracing us with this offering.

GBrenton

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rosschandler

so rich and succinct. awesome!

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so rich and succinct. awesome!

 

Thank you Ross. I was taught to judge art by its own merits, not by comparison, but on the same page, Forest Red and Forest Black stands like a Monet next to a kindergartener's finger-painting, Guam. Two different worlds for sure, yet there seems to be that single thread that connects the two works. I wish I could interpret what I mean.

fdh

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I loved this poem, fdelano. "uprooted trees lying without a falling sound." - This line is very strong.

 

The feelings of the narrator is reflecting on the readers, as well. Very powerful.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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I think I know what you're talking about here. I'm going to suggest something which might seem almost rude or else may seem to be cutting across your sense of grief. I don't know how to put it ....

 

OK -- stay away from adjectives!

 

War and every other show of violence and break in the normal pattern of the world is essentially indescribable in apocalyptic terms. Ordinary grunts or squaddies cannot describe what they've seen. If you've been in the military on active service you know that yourself. Only cool and distant language can spotlight the cracks, how really [expletive removed by moderator] the whole thing was.

 

I'm not sure if this is a good way to write a polite crit on your poem. Probably not. Apologies.

 

Slán anois, aka, cheerio in Irish,

dedalus ... (Brendan)

 

PS - I was in Okinawa in Oct 2008 and went to the war cemetery. It was chilling to see a list of fallen soldiers with my own surname ... distant cousins, who knows? Dead now. Fighting for freedom at the time. Look around at the modern world. What was that they died for?

Edited by tonyv

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I think I know what you're talking about here. I'm going to suggest something which might seem almost rude or else may seem to be cutting across your sense of grief. I don't know how to put it ....

 

OK -- stay away from adjectives!

 

War and every other show of violence and break in the normal pattern of the world is essentially indescribable in apocalyptic terms. Ordinary grunts or squaddies cannot describe what they've seen. If you've been in the military on active service you know that yourself. Only cool and distant language can spotlight the cracks, how really [expletive removed by moderator] the whole thing was.

 

I'm not sure if this is a good way to write a polite crit on your poem. Probably not. Apologies.

 

Slán anois, aka, cheerio in Irish,

dedalus ... (Brendan)

 

PS - I was in Okinawa in Oct 2008 and went to the war cemetery. It was chilling to see a list of fallen soldiers with my own surname ... distant cousins, who knows? Dead now. Fighting for freedom at the time. Look around at the modern world. What was that they died for?

 

Thank you, Brendan. Have posted revised version. I was in Okinawa in 1967 and went to the bars. Kobe beef was excellent. Lots of freedom there then.

Edited by fdelano
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Less freedom on this forum it would appear ... one uses <expletives> largely as punctuation, I think; anyway, a nice counterpoint to what I was saying!

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Less freedom on this forum it would appear ... one uses <expletives> largely as punctuation, I think; anyway, a nice counterpoint to what I was saying!

 

It would appear ... to one unfamiliar with the site rules: Members will refrain from using profanity in other members' topics which do not exhibit content warnings. Profanity used in topics that do not have content warnings may be edited or deleted. Had Franklin's topic exhibited a content warning, your brand of punctuation would have probably been okay. But even then, the site administration (in its sole discretion) would be the final arbiter of what shall be deemed permissible to post.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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As I was saying ... You read ALL these things, Tony? :rolleyes:

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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A deeply personal poem which brings home to the reader a universal abhorrence of war and consequence. Your words exude great feeling expressed in apt language. Thankyou for sharing this and also for your ensuing comments. Geoff

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A deeply personal poem which brings home to the reader a universal abhorrence of war and consequence. Your words exude great feeling expressed in apt language. Thankyou for sharing this and also for your ensuing comments. Geoff

 

My thanks to you, Geoff. Means a lot.

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