Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone. I had come down the chimney, with presents to give and to see just who in this dwelling did live. As I looked all around, a strange sight to see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stocking on the mantle, just boots filled with sand. On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands. Medals and badges, awards of every kind, a sobering thought came alive in my mind. This house was different, it was dark, it was dreary. I had found the home of a soldier, I could see that most clearly. The soldier lay sleeping silent, alone. Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. His face was so gentle, room in such disorder, Not at all how I pictured a U.S. soldier. Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, a floor for a bed? Then I realized the other families that I saw this night Out there lies the soldiers who are willing to fight. In the morning around the world, children would play Grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day But they all enjoyed freedom, each month through the year, because of soldiers like the one lying here.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: Read more
He looks out through watchful eyes Soaring through the brilliant skies Spending his day in quiet thought Looking for the peace he sought Gliding through the clouds so calm The wind carrying his gently sung psalm As he sings he looks down below Sees the things the world has to show And in his heart he knows his place Down there running the warrior’s race He was made to lead in the strife Placed there to help in life But for know he rests in the sky Sometimes he needs a break, needs to fly
The poetry which follows here was written by combat veterans. It was inspired by the anguish of just living or trying to stay alive in the midst of combat and the pitiful conditions of life in a war torn country that was thousands of miles away from home. Strong bonds of brotherhood were created under these conditions, along with many fears, pains, and visions not witnessed before… nor since.
Don’t read this stuff fast… it needs to be thunk about. Read more
In measured steps he makes in rounds. The click of heels the only sounds. He stands erect so straight and tall, With pride and dedication responds to the call. With deep affection his vigil keeps, Over those who forever sleep. Read more
In quiet dignity they trudge With only the slurping sounds Of jungle boots sucking mud As they carry their burden Of expendable youth at war. There is a poise about them, A quality not found in peers, A bearing common only To young men in combat. Read more
Each day of war takes us farther from all we could hope to be or do. We gain nothing but heartbreak, and lose everything we cherish. Our lives erode and diminish, our children see no future except a calendar of anguish and death. Our only hope for tomorrow is for peace now.
I’m headed to Iraq I guess I will see you when I get back I already miss you I just wish I could kiss you I will be back before you know it I hope you know I love you even though I don’t show it Now I am just a soldier fighting for what I think is right Read more
Asian moon Swims fathomless deep. Star-rivers course Boundless banks Of Stygian stream. Pin-prick flares Man-made suns, Spawn brilliant Glow, sigh, and slowly die In the black. Red embers, Green glows, trace silent Warplane’s Distant flight. Death sparkles Brilliant diamond Artillery flashes Dancing, darting, To distant drums.
These are the men that sailed with me In the Colonies clipper Mary Ambree .
These are the men that kept her going Through the fog and the ice and the big gales blowing: Skipper and bosun, mates and sails, Tough as leather and hard as nails, Wise in the ways of seas and ships, Soaked in brine to the finger-tips.
These are the chaps that toiled together In Trade and Doldrum and black Horn weather: Stood their trick on a beggarly whack Of junk and limejuice and mouldy tack, Scoured and holystoned, reefed and furled, Watch and watch round the whole wet world, Hauled and sweated at sheets and braces With the sun in their eyes or the sleet in their faces, Fought and fisted the frozen courses On footropes jumping like bucking horses.
These are the men that sailed and manned, Worked her and drove her from land to land, Most of ’em gone, as the ships are gone, For times must change, as the old words run, And men change with ’em, we know full well; For worse or for better? Time will tell. This only is certain – ships and men, We never shall build their likes again.