In the beginning,
it was as if barren logs
were thrown together in heaps

cautious steps

do you hear the bombs?

we are in belligerent land!

The Speaker is right

hazardous air hovers
air is vacant

a perilous scent lingers
my nostrils

South twitches!! To the left!

Barren logs
are not!

They are
Victims of explosive surgery,
nerves of Soldiers’ exposed;
an operating table…

God’s acre.

Soft, barren bodies
thrown together in heaps
for decomposition.

A few operative
are moved,
thrown together in heaps
for bandaging

sent home to their

with a perilous scent
still lingering
under their nostrils



22 thoughts on “Soldiers

  1. You are too good at this, Maggie Mae. You seem to feel the pangs of war….and you can make others feel it too. Maybe you can convince the ‘war planners’ to stop it…save the world’s boys

      • It is his story of him surviving Vietnam, coming home, not knowing what was wrong with him. He talks about our culture of violence, and how it was a Vietnamese monk – Thich Nhat Hanh – not the VA who helped him regain his grip on life. As he says everyone has their own Vietnam … If it’s not in your public library it should be …

      • oooh…I LOVE Thich Nhat Hanh…!! I will get that one. My dad was in Vietnam. I didn’t know him before he went. He came back all messed up, drug addicted, alcoholic. My family was homeless for awhile due to his drinking. He died young, when I was young, and he would never speak about Vietnam. I think this book might be a really great read for me to have some sort of possible insight. Thank you!

      • From what you say it is a must read. Claude Thomas came home the same way. My heart goes out to you and to him. Those who served in Nam came home to a nation divided. Check out Survivor’s Guilt on my blog I’ll send the link when I’m on my pc later.

  2. Your poetry is very humbling. It is beautiful, stark and rife with imagery that expresses every emotion through to the deepest, darkest trenches of the soul, and resonates there and beyond reverberating throughout my very being. Please don’t stop writing. It is a blessing.


  3. Thank you for reading my poem and this is the reply I posted on it to you ” War is so awful today, yesterday and tomorrow and we never learn. That is one of the reasons why I have chosen a Poetry challenge to write up a piece once a week ( every Sunday in fact) on a poem from the 30’s and 40’s war poets. I have learnt so may horrible and harrowing things I am stunned at man’s inhumanity to man. ” I just wanted to let you know how much there is to learn out there and how mad all this waring is. 🙂

  4. That’s brilliant, vivid, compassionate and pretty true, as far as I can work out, to soldiers’ experiences, especially in a war of open killing grounds like the First World War. Two things stick in my memory from reading about the American Civil War – an account from a Union officer looking out at dawn over the ground in front of a position that had been fiercely attacked the afternoon before, and through the mist, seeing the vague ground apparently shifting as if in small waves – then realising this was dying men crawling. In the same book, a photo of amputated limbs after First Bull Run, the first big battle of that war – and noticing that one amputated foot had a plaster on one toe.

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