The following poem was written by Vietnam veteran, Curt Bennett © 2003
War at night
Has a special beauty,
There is nothing anywhere,
That can quite compare.
Perimeter flares slice/arc the black,
Then bob and slowly weave to earth
Causing shadows to dance and weave
And stretch your world’s reality.
As streaming red fifties tattoo,
Clashing with sporadic VC green,
Harmonizes with 81mm quick-flashes.
Distant artillery white blinks
Splits the nearby tree line shadows,
As it cracking thunder
Streaks screaming through the sky.
High on his sky-throne
Spooky pisses his tracers in a gentle flow,
Moaned from multi barreled Gattling guns
That disappear and melt into the blackness below.
Nape at night is out of sight!
It splashes in yellowish, red syrupy splash,
That laboriously floats up, out then down
Smothering the earth and licking it clean.
Bombs are quick and ruthless,
Fast silver-white flashes in the black,
But cutting iron, not flash, kills,
And their mission is grim.
Rockets flash like zipping gangbusters,
Streaking a fiery sparkling tail
That skims into the black void to disappear,
Then resurrect again in detonation.
The sounds of war are different from others,
Not too unpleasant, but distinct,
The eternal crackle and chatter of radios,
Filling the air like white, background noise.
The sights and sounds of war at night,
Are unseen and impersonal,
Without authorship or responsibility,
Somehow removed, to be viewed from afar.
One unpleasant reality of war
Is the smell, the cordite burn,
The acrid sweet smell of sweet pork,
From burning, human meat.
Somehow that and the screams
Of the unseen dying somewhere
Out there, tends to diminish
The beauty and fun of it all.
Copyright Curt Bennett © 2003