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Poetry Magnum Opus

Aged Raid


fdelano
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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

 

bombs.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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."

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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.

Paco

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