Jump to content

Souvenirs


fdelano
 Share

Recommended Posts

Sharp steel of new moon scimitar

 

blades slash and scatter blood

 

and pieces of flesh, the bang

 

of the Japanese grenade following

 

the flash shielded by the hand

 

trying to throw the thing like

 

baseballs of his youth

 

just a year ago.

 

Relived sixty-seven years now gone,

 

a brother dreams the horror

 

of the intrepid act that covered

 

his platoon's withdrawal

 

that day in the sands of Guam,

 

soaking in the blood of one

 

so loved.

 

 

A Japanese family opens

 

an envelope posted from Virginia

 

by the brother who thought

 

they would want the blood-stained

 

book of prayers and the wooden

 

dog tag with rusted wire

 

once worn by their son and brother.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David W. Parsley

Okay, then, the ghosts are crowding 'round PMO, all right. You, Eclipse, and Tinker have a thing going here. Another one to bite the soul. Nobody wants to tuck me in tongiht.

 

Good one.

 

- Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larsen M. Callirhoe

there is a couple of ways to look at this. it is creepy very creepy. but also very melachonic too. i followed a quick steady pace till the last refrain last two or 3 lines is so touching. artifacts some might think there was no defiinite remains who knows how long ago but still it would seem like lifetimes ago even if it h0appen a few years prior. the emotion and the relief that there is closure and peace gives a array and mixture of emotions. maybe the amily makes peace and is not sad...

 

thanks for excellent read delving into a touchy subject most would avoid. excellent imagery especially first two stanzas.

 

 

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An unusual decades-later perspective. Interesting that the dog tag was wooden. The blood-stained book of prayers is extremely gritty and effectively conveys the horror.

 

Tony

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An unusual decades-later perspective. Interesting that the dog tag was wooden. The blood-stained book of prayers is extremely gritty and effectively conveys the horror.

 

Tony

 

Thanks to all who found something in this one. I'm sorry I cannot contribute or participate more, but life keeps getting in the way. I will visit when I can. Thank you for your kind hospitality.

fdh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Just last week I read Sadako and the Thousand Cranes with my 8 year old grandaughter. Sadako is a true story of a Japanese girl born in Hiroshima just before the dropping of the atom bomb. The girl lived a normal life until she was 11 when she died of the "atom bomb disease". (leukemia). The children's book doesn't say why or who just that the bomb was dropped and many of the survivors (especially children ) eventually died of the same disease. When I told Allexa it was the US that dropped the bomb she was horrified.

 

Isn't it interesting that when I was a little girl about Allexa's age everyone I knew hated the Japanese. They were the enemy even after the war ended. I remember my parents celebrating when they heard we had dropped the bomb. We were so happy the threat to our coast was over. (I know we also fought in Europe but here in California it was all about those "sneaky yellow Japs" ) The words are not meant to offend but to punctuate the general attitude and use the language of that time.

 

In Hawaii even now there is racial tension between the Japanese and others (Chinese, Filipino, Whites and native Hawaiians) About 10 years ago I served on a regional board of an international women's service organization. Our region included the clubs in Hawaii and we were constantly having problems with competition between those clubs. Easily the most prosperous and powerful club in Honolulu was all Japanese women. If you were any other race you joined the Waikiki club (it was a hodgepodge of races). It was a thorn in our side on a regional level and we were always having to mediate between the clubs. So dispite the high Japanese population and constant Japanese tourism in Hawaii, the racial wounds still haven't healed. And on an international level when we tried to regionalize the Filipino clubs with the clubs in Japan, the Filipinos adamantly refused and insisted on remaining connected to the Americas because of their hatred for the Japanese.

 

So reading this poem put much in perspective. Time is the factor here.... The prayer book, the dog tag were not something that soldier could have returned right after the war. War scars all of us and it takes time for those scars to heal. Only once healed ourselves we can look outward and offer healing to another.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Just last week I read Sadako and the Thousand Cranes with my 8 year old grandaughter. Sadako is a true story of a Japanese girl born in Hiroshima just before the dropping of the atom bomb. The girl lived a normal life until she was 11 when she died of the "atom bomb disease". (leukemia). The children's book doesn't say why or who just that the bomb was dropped and many of the survivors (especially children ) eventually died of the same disease. When I told Allexa it was the US that dropped the bomb she was horrified.

 

Isn't it interesting that when I was a little girl about Allexa's age everyone I knew hated the Japanese. They were the enemy even after the war ended. I remember my parents celebrating when they heard we had dropped the bomb. We were so happy the threat to our coast was over. (I know we also fought in Europe but here in California it was all about those "sneaky yellow Japs" ) The words are not meant to offend but to punctuate the general attitude and use the language of that time.

 

In Hawaii even now there is racial tension between the Japanese and others (Chinese, Filipino, Whites and native Hawaiians) About 10 years ago I served on a regional board of an international women's service organization. Our region included the clubs in Hawaii and we were constantly having problems with competition between those clubs. Easily the most prosperous and powerful club in Honolulu was all Japanese women. If you were any other race you joined the Waikiki club (it was a hodgepodge of races). It was a thorn in our side on a regional level and we were always having to mediate between the clubs. So dispite the high Japanese population and constant Japanese tourism in Hawaii, the racial wounds still haven't healed. And on an international level when we tried to regionalize the Filipino clubs with the clubs in Japan, the Filipinos adamantly refused and insisted on remaining connected to the Americas because of their hatred for the Japanese.

 

So reading this poem put much in perspective. Time is the factor here.... The prayer book, the dog tag were not something that soldier could have returned right after the war. War scars all of us and it takes time for those scars to heal. Only once healed ourselves we can look outward and offer healing to another.

 

~~Tink

 

Hi Tink. Thanks for your thoughts. By estimation, I figure I helped drop 1500 tons of bombs into the jungles and trails of Vietnam. No radiation, but a lot of death, regardless. Time weighs heavy. I served with the bombardier who dropped the first atomic bomb. Guess what? I can't remember his name and it doesn't matter. The plane was the Enola Gay, named for the pilot's mother-in-law. Tibbetts was his name. I guess he wanted his plane to be the meanest thing he knew. I was eight and my brother was a year dead on Guam.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This piece paints to us the ugly picture of war - as the images of the first two stanzas - and the resulting pain to the survivors (in reverse). The poem did not investigate if that same family lost a loved one killed by an American bullet. It's an effective autograph from one side of the fence of someone who is hurting.

 

It's not really Japanese against Americans or Filipinos or others. It is governments that wage war and politicians that drum beat war to sacrifice their young. We should distinguish governments from their peoples. This reminds me of Sting's song where he sang the lines, 'if the Russians love their children too'.

 

But, I've seen people who fought in wars live in peace together because they both embraced Bible teachings and recognized the fact wars are waged by government not necessarily by people of whatever race. I have seen these among Jehovah's Witnesses. They had overcome personal hatred of those who waged wars, including the Nazis, Stalin's regime, including their own governments where they lived, especially in African countries like Rwanda, Malawi and Mozambique. Citing them to show such hatred can be healed.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.