Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

Aged Raid


Recommended Posts

The Aged Raid



They come


at me on the run,


every other one


with toting stick raised


above his head. They will


kill me, beat me to bloody


pieces, anger from within


almost sending sparks


from their eyes. I rise


far above the madding


crowd, so far that


they disappear


into the Old Man’s


Trail below the karsts


dividing the land.



From safety and superiority


I ready my colossal weapons


and release them to burst


upon the angry young boys


still thrashing the air


with thick sticks of burden,


struggling over mud


and broken bridges,


determined to deliver


supplies to comrades


in the tunnel storage


sites of the south.



I take another pill


and a sip of wine


in the middle


of the night,


these forty years that


have flown past


on eight-engine


wings, brought


from my bed


by long dead boys


still ready to fight


with sticks against


my block-buster



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is fascinating knowing some of your history. Ghosts of the past perpetually rising to fight against your “safety and superiority” with their sticks in the night. The first stanza in particular could almost stand as a poem in its own right; engaging the general frustrations that come with advancing age. Taken as a whole narrative it leaves me thinking that war has such long fingers. It claws out from the past and draws in further victims to its clutches. Like a toxic substance which once exposed to, can return much later and poison the unsuspecting workman, who did his job in good faith. G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David W. Parsley

Hi Franklin, I must say that Ben stole my thunder. A very good write, I could hear the turning B-52, the lock of safe-and-arm.


- Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank E Gibbard

I commented on PC too. Recalls for me "Under Milk Wood" and nightime visitation by shades from a tortured past rendition of the old kind, sympathy to you for this graphically detailed manifestations pre-PTSD comprehension.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only served in peacetime (82-88) but then spent 24 years in the military-industrial-complex. I had to quit the best paying job I will ever have (March 2012) over these wars, but I have nothing to bring up that is so personal and (I think, for you) torturous. Thank you for sharing, and we wish you peace. Benjamin has it correct:


"...the unsuspecting workman, who did his job in good faith."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thanks to all who had thoughts on this piece, which is so similar to others that I have written in the loneliness of escape from too real dreams. Especial thanks to Geoff (Benjamin) who knows some of my my background. There is nothing glorious about anything in war except that some truly fight for what they think is right. There have been millions of us, most deluded. I have had some fleeting thoughts of trying to publish a chap book of poems about PTSD, but have doubts that I have doubts that it would make any diffence in modern thinking and culture. Some few and most of those affected by this twist in the brain would understand, but words seldom, if ever, heal. I consider myself so very fortunate when I can find my way to visit Walter Reed and a couple of nearby VA hospitals. Most people have no concept of these wrecked lives. My thoughts now have condensated to "don't send people to die unless you are ready to explain to them and their loved ones your reason--in plain terms. I know I have no grounds to whine; I have been, then and now, just another poker chip in the pot.


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.

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.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.