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Tuesday Poet’s Club

November 18, 2014

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.”
― Philip Larkin

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48 Comments leave one →
  1. egg permalink
    November 18, 2014 7:39 am

    Langston Hughes, a US jazz poet of renown, is popular within Marxists circles.

  2. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 8:54 am

    I don’t remember if it was a telecaster or a stradacaster
    But I do remember that it had a heart of chrome and a voice like a horny angel

  3. Splatterbottom permalink
    November 18, 2014 9:17 am

    Larkin makes an interesting argument for original sin for on his analysis it all goes back to Adam & Eve.

  4. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 9:33 am

    it all goes back to Adam & Eve.

    Yea, but isn’t their “parent” dog?

  5. November 18, 2014 10:08 am

    Not poetry, exactly, but this from my dog-eared copy of Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince ..

    Chapter 14, A Prince’s Concern In Military Matters..

    “A prince must have no other objective, no other thought, nor take up any other profession but that of war, its methods and its discipline, for that is the only art expected of a ruler. And it is of such great value that it not only keeps hereditary princes in power, but often raises men of lowly condition to that rank. It may be noted, on the other hand, that when princes have given more thought to fine living than to arms, they have lost their states. The first cause of losing them is the neglect of this art, just as the first means of gaining them is proficiency in it.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince

  6. November 18, 2014 10:22 am

    Coleridges The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner would be my all time favourite poem. (It’s given us the metaphor/idiom of the “albatross around one’s neck,” as well as the saying “water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink”.)

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/151/151-h/151-h.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rime_of_the_Ancient_Mariner

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albatross_(metaphor)

  7. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 10:31 am

    The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

    I was sorely tempted tosy 😉

  8. November 18, 2014 10:32 am

    You might have heard this before, too: ” As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.”

  9. November 18, 2014 10:33 am

    “I was sorely tempted tosy ;)”

    I knew it, but couldn’t help myself. 😉

  10. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 10:36 am

    ” As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.”

    Yes, it just paints a picture with words doesn’t it.

  11. Splatterbottom permalink
    November 18, 2014 10:52 am

    I commend our very ownErn Malley, an obscure train driver who only after his death gained recognition from the cognoscenti as our greatest poet.

  12. Walrus permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:00 am

    I always like reading this by a pool in an exotic location towards the last few days of a holiday……………..

    I think Leonard Teale did a recorded version that had a great impact upon a very young Walrus many years ago.

    There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
    That the colt from old Regret had got away,
    And had joined the wild bush horses — he was worth a thousand pound,
    So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
    All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
    Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
    For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
    And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.

    There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
    The old man with his hair as white as snow;
    But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up —
    He would go wherever horse and man could go.
    And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
    No better horseman ever held the reins;
    For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand,
    He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.

    And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
    He was something like a racehorse undersized,
    With a touch of Timor pony — three parts thoroughbred at least —
    And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
    He was hard and tough and wiry — just the sort that won’t say die —
    There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
    And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
    And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.

    But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
    And the old man said, “That horse will never do
    For a long and tiring gallop — lad, you’d better stop away,
    Those hills are far too rough for such as you.”
    So he waited sad and wistful — only Clancy stood his friend —
    “I think we ought to let him come,” he said;
    “I warrant he’ll be with us when he’s wanted at the end,
    For both his horse and he are mountain bred.”

    “He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side,
    Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
    Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
    The man that holds his own is good enough.
    And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
    Where the river runs those giant hills between;
    I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
    But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen.”

    So he went — they found the horses by the big mimosa clump —
    They raced away towards the mountain’s brow,
    And the old man gave his orders, “Boys, go at them from the jump,
    No use to try for fancy riding now.
    And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.
    Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,
    For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,
    If once they gain the shelter of those hills.”

    So Clancy rode to wheel them — he was racing on the wing
    Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
    And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring
    With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
    Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
    But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
    And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
    And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

    Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black
    Resounded to the thunder of their tread,
    And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back
    From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.
    And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way,
    Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
    And the old man muttered fiercely, “We may bid the mob good day,
    No man can hold them down the other side.”

    When they reached the mountain’s summit, even Clancy took a pull,
    It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
    The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
    Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
    But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
    And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
    And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
    While the others stood and watched in very fear.

    He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
    He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
    And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat —
    It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
    Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
    Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
    And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
    At the bottom of that terrible descent.

    He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill,
    And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
    Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
    As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.
    Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
    In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
    On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
    With the man from Snowy River at their heels.

    And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
    He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
    Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
    And alone and unassisted brought them back.
    But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
    He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
    But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
    For never yet was mountain horse a cur.

    And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
    Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
    Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
    At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
    And where around the Overflow the reedbeds sweep and sway
    To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
    The man from Snowy River is a household word to-day,
    And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.

  13. egg permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:04 am

    Winston Smith had a mate, Ampleforth was a close colleague at the Ministry of Truth. His job was to “rewrite” old poems in keeping with Party ideology, but he fell out with the Thought Police and disappeared.

  14. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:13 am

    JERUSALEM (from ‘Milton’)

    by: William Blake (1757-1827)

    ND did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

    And did the Countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark Satanic Mills?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
    Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!

    I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
    Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England’s green and pleasant land.

  15. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:14 am

    Of course, the above is not where I was introduced to William Blake

    It came from further afield than that

  16. November 18, 2014 11:18 am

    Thanks Walrus. I’d forgotten how wonderful that story and A.B. Paterson were. 😉

  17. Walrus permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:22 am

    Just on Charlotte Church……………….apparently she’s stone cold broke I read somewhere.

  18. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:25 am

    apparently she’s stone cold broke I read somewhere.

    Then she’s a TRUE artist 😉

  19. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:28 am

    I’d forgotten how wonderful that story and A.B. Paterson were.

    They should make a movie.

  20. TB Queensland permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:40 am

    They should make a movie. Or two … 🙂

  21. November 18, 2014 11:42 am

    Another ripper from ‘Banjo’ …

    “There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber’s wall.
    Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;”

    http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/ironbark.html

  22. Tom R permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:48 am

    “There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber’s wall.
    Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;”

    The Young Liberals ❓

  23. TB Queensland permalink
    November 18, 2014 11:49 am

    LOL!

  24. November 18, 2014 11:52 am

    And another …

    “It was somewhere up the country in a land of rock and scrub,
    That they formed an institution called the Geebung Polo Club.
    They were long and wiry natives of the rugged mountainside,
    And the horse was never saddled that the Geebungs couldn’t ride;
    But their style of playing polo was irregular and rash –
    They had mighty little science, but a mighty lot of dash:
    And they played on mountain ponies that were muscular and strong,
    Though their coats were quite unpolished, and their manes and tails were long.
    And they used to train those ponies wheeling cattle in the scrub:
    They were demons, were the members of the Geebung Polo Club.”

    http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/geebung.html

  25. November 18, 2014 11:58 am

    This thread has inspired me to get down a Henry Lawson.book handed down by my grandfather.

    Our Andy’s gone to battle now
    ‘Gainst Drought, the red marauder;
    Our Andy’s gone with cattle now
    Across the Queensland border.

    He’s left us in dejection now;
    Our hearts with him are roving.
    It’s dull on this selection now,
    Since Andy went a-droving.

    Who now shall wear the cheerful face
    In times when things are slackest?
    And who shall whistle round the place
    When Fortune frowns her blackest?

    Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now
    When he comes round us snarling?
    His tongue is growing hotter now
    Since Andy cross’d the Darling.

    The gates are out of order now,
    In storms the `riders’ rattle;
    For far across the border now
    Our Andy’s gone with cattle.

    Poor Aunty’s looking thin and white;
    And Uncle’s cross with worry;
    And poor old Blucher howls all night
    Since Andy left Macquarie.

    Oh, may the showers in torrents fall,
    And all the tanks run over;
    And may the grass grow green and tall
    In pathways of the drover;

    And may good angels send the rain
    On desert stretches sandy;
    And when the summer comes again
    God grant ’twill bring us Andy.

  26. November 18, 2014 12:03 pm

    “”Our Andy’s gone””

    Andy Coulson?

  27. November 18, 2014 12:37 pm

    And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
    (And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
    ‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
    `Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.’

    http://www.wallisandmatilda.com.au/clancy-of-the-overflow.shtml

  28. Walrus permalink
    November 18, 2014 12:41 pm

    “Then she’s a TRUE artist”

    And no doubt converted from a Tory to a Labour voter.

  29. Walrus permalink
    November 18, 2014 12:42 pm

    Yep…………I love Henry too as well ToSY

  30. November 18, 2014 1:00 pm

    “And no doubt converted from a Tory to a Labour voter.”

    That’s the great fallacy of voting conservative, ppl think it instantly makes them rich.

    LOL.

  31. November 18, 2014 2:13 pm

    William Wordsworth.

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    and twinkle on the Milky Way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    in such a jocund company:
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    what wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

  32. November 19, 2014 7:32 am

    From the Hat come the Rabbit..

    The truth in those of evil scorn
    Is lies cast for themselves
    Blind faith belief betrayed to be
    Disguised as something else

    Around the truth the liar danced
    Amusing to behold
    While he fleeced your faith in trust with smear
    For promises of gold

    He moralised from judgments horse
    With one eye on the prize
    Then sells his soul in powers lust
    With hate faux outrage lies

    He made a deal for all or none
    To dance on puppet strings
    To win a cup he’ll never fill
    Destroying everything

    Abbott Habit speaks in tongues
    Twists truth to suit his ends
    Double speak in wilful lie
    No conscience no defence

    Without a script In freeform thought
    The true man is revealed
    The only mantra from his lips
    Is the idiot concealed

    The cult of Tony wakes in fright
    Those led by schemes opinion
    Dozers sleep in lazy thought
    Follow sycophants and minions

    So wake the nation Ring the bell
    Truth stir from bitter fog
    The lowest ebb when unworthy strike
    Turns discontent to mob.

    From the hat comes the rabbit medicine show
    Three word slogans intent concealed
    He’ll fix all we hate with evangelical faith
    As his masters grease palms and wheels

    One term Tony phoney failed of his god
    Broken promise No mandate all surprise
    Let history’s fury judge the unworthy men
    Elected on fancy’s flight and lies

  33. November 19, 2014 7:37 am

    Is this the god ?

    Last night I dreamed of spirits wind
    To stand of mortal coil
    In judgement doubt a life lived full
    Of ethics virtues toil

    When questions asked of spirit pure
    Of moral fibre be
    Before I lay my cross to bear
    What will be judged of me?

    Intentions cast in honesty
    No debt repaid to fend
    Love given unconditionally
    No motives, means to end

    Who calls to stand of conscience test?
    Blind faith assay decree
    Is this the god some stand before?
    Or just imperfect, inner me?

  34. Tom R permalink
    November 19, 2014 5:24 pm

    “Death To My Hometown”

    Well, no cannon ball did fly, no rifles cut us down
    No bombs fell from the sky, no blood soaked the ground
    No powder flash blinded the eye
    No deathly thunder sounded
    But just as sure as the hand of God
    They brought death to my hometown
    They brought death to my hometown

    Now, no shells ripped the evening sky
    No cities burning down
    No army stormed the shores for which we’d die
    No dictators were crowned
    I awoke on a quiet night, I never heard a sound
    The marauders raided in the dark
    And brought death to my hometown
    They brought death to my hometown

    They destroyed our families, factories
    And they took our homes
    They left our bodies on the plains
    The vultures picked our bones

    So, listen up my sonny boy, be ready when they come
    For they’ll be returning sure as the rising sun
    Now get yourself a song to sing
    And sing it ’til you’re done
    Sing it hard and sing it well
    Send the robber barons straight to hell
    The greedy thieves who came around
    And ate the flesh of everything they found
    Whose crimes have gone unpunished now
    Who walk the streets as free men now

    They brought death to our hometown, boys
    Death to our hometown
    Death to our hometown, boys
    Death to our hometown

    The Ponz!

  35. TB Queensland permalink
    November 19, 2014 5:52 pm

    Are they yours RP?

  36. TB Queensland permalink
    November 19, 2014 6:03 pm

    I stopped writing lyrics and poems in the late 70’s/early 80’s – I fired up a couple in 2010 …

    (my best mate died of cancer @ 33 in the early 80’s – we wrote songs together, I watched him slowly waste away and die over twelve months, until he could no longer hold his guitar)

    This was my last in 1983.

    BREATH OF DEATH

    Oh, sweet, sweet, Breath of Death,
    You linger at my door.
    And you and I both know,
    What you’re waiting for.

    Oh, sweet, sweet, Breath of Death
    You’re waiting at my side.
    Waiting, waiting, patiently,
    To take me on that ride.

    Oh sweet, sweet, Breath of Death
    You’re with me even now.
    With deathly scythe you furrow,
    The lines upon my brow.

    For once a man is born,
    Upon his back is death.
    Until his children mourn,
    A man can find no rest.

    Amen

  37. November 19, 2014 7:07 pm

    (Looks like we have some poets in the house.)

    “Is not the Scotch phrase,” Burns writes to Mrs. Dunlop, “Auld lang syne, exceedingly expressive? There is an old song and tune which has often thrilled through my soul: I shall give you the verses on the other sheet. Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven-inspired poet who composed this glorious fragment.” “The following song,” says the poet, when he communicated it to George Thomson, “an old song of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript, until I took it down from an old man’s singing, is enough to recommend any air.” These are strong words, but there can be no doubt that, save for a line or two, we owe the song to no other minstrel than “minstrel Burns.”

    Auld Lange Syne

    I.
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And never brought to min’?
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And days o’ lang syne?
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    For auld lang syne,
    We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne!

    II.
    We twa hae run about the braes,
    And pu’t the gowans fine;
    But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
    Sin’ auld lang syne.

    III.
    We twa hae paidl’t i’ the burn,
    Frae mornin’ sun till dine:
    But seas between us braid hae roar’d,
    Sin’ auld lang syne.

    IV.
    And here’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
    And gie’s a hand o’ thine;
    And we’ll take a right guid willie-waught,
    For auld lang syne.

    V.
    And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,
    And surely I’ll be mine;
    And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne.
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    For auld lang syne,
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne!

    http://www.thehypertexts.com/Robert%20Burns%20Translations%20Modern%20English.htm

  38. November 19, 2014 7:21 pm

    Alexander Nasmyth, Robert Burns, 1787

  39. November 20, 2014 10:21 am

    Are they yours RP?

    Yeah I written a great deal of poetry. My music publisher wanted me to do a book of my poems but I’m not into it….

    When I was really ill, poetry was part of my recovery as was Philosophy memes ( I studied philosophy and was offered a PHD in philosophy a while back..)

    .
    Life

    A life of certain is live not lived
    The future holds to turns and twist
    On vehement turns we lose, things that fall
    On journeys long, to life’s long call

    Who knows what’s certain?
    What must be done?
    If love is strong
    We shall overcome.

    Talk

    If words are lost and fall
    How can we talk at all?
    If talk is bottled tight
    No wrong is to be set right

    If no word comes to pass
    Then thoughts are camouflaged
    The simple things to say
    Are hard to give away

    Strait simple talk is cheap
    The cost of silence steep
    If you never speak your mind
    Thoughts are lost and hard to find

    How can someone ever know?
    When no conversation flows
    Without the dialogue
    The discussion will be lost

    So talk and have your voice
    Talk above the noise
    Ask you shall receive
    Talk to be perceived

    Talk to save your love
    Talk to rise above
    Talk to be a friend
    Talk it over, then talk again

    To talk is only half
    One side is not enough
    Cast a word but stop to listen
    As your ears inform your wisdom

    Me at a slam poetry night
    The interesting thing about this is after I was in hospital I was on my room alone recovering and started to get depressed (I was on oxycontin and endone for the pain) .

    I dragged myself out to a slam poetry nigh with a science theme to snap myself out of it and wrote this on the way in on the bus.

    I turned up and sat by myself and someone I didn’t know (one or the organisers) came up and talked to me. They had inadvertently entered me in the competition and when it hit I was first up …on the spot. Now I have done tones of gigs and lectures in my life.. but to stand in front of a room full of strangers doing poetry was a trip indeed…

    It really helped me..snapped me out of it… I told me story on stage and it went over a treat..
    What I didn’t know is it was being taped for a radio show 😯

  40. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2014 10:34 am

    Heavy stuff, RP … thanks for sharing …

    This should strike a note here … 😉

    BOOZE

    Wine is good for me!
    Unless I’ve had too much and then it makes me see
    The wrongs I’ve done to everyone.
    Damn you, bottle! Set me free from wanderings every night.
    Oh, leave me, leave me, go away, please leave me to my plight!

    Without your drug I lived for years,
    Oh, yes! I still had fears of failing this or that
    But now I’m like a drowning rat, who’s left his ship too late.
    Too late to save myself, who knows?
    Who cares? Because, I’ll tell you friend, I, enjoy my booze!

  41. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2014 11:09 am

    Can’t wait for the Random Recipe thread! 🙂

  42. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2014 11:17 am

    If talk is bottled tight
    No wrong is to be set right

    btw, thanks reb 😉

  43. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2014 11:19 am

    Science Rhymes with nothing
    A Denier wants to hear

    Nice 🙂

  44. November 20, 2014 11:29 am

    “Too late to save myself, who knows?
    Who cares? Because, I’ll tell you friend, I, enjoy my booze!”

    🙂

    Charles Bukowski
    (1920 – 1994)
    beer
    I don’t know how many bottles of beer
    I have consumed while waiting for things
    to get better
    I dont know how much wine and whisky
    and beer
    mostly beer
    I have consumed after
    splits with women-
    waiting for the phone to ring
    waiting for the sound of footsteps,
    and the phone to ring
    waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
    and the phone never rings
    until much later
    and the footsteps never arrive
    until much later
    when my stomach is coming up
    out of my mouth
    they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
    “what the hell have you done to yourself?
    it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!”

    the female is durable
    she lives seven and one half years longer
    than the male, and she drinks very little beer
    because she knows its bad for the figure.

    while we are going mad
    they are out
    dancing and laughing
    with horney cowboys.

    well, there’s beer
    sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
    and when you pick one up
    the bottle fall through the wet bottom
    of the paper sack
    rolling
    clanking
    spilling gray wet ash
    and stale beer,
    or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
    in the morning
    making the only sound in your life.

    beer
    rivers and seas of beer
    the radio singing love songs
    as the phone remains silent
    and the walls stand
    straight up and down
    and beer is all there is.

  45. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2014 11:40 am

    Wine is good for me!

    Wine is fine but whiskey’s quicker

  46. TB Queensland permalink
    November 21, 2014 10:22 am

    I wrote this in the mid 70’s when the Vietnam Vets were being so badly treated (I was discharged in 1972 and I’d served with a lot of them) … in many ways I think it’s still appropriate, I believe.

    FOREIGN SOLDIERS

    They fought away from home, as soldiers often do.
    And who was friend and who was foe they never really knew.

    With borrowed guns and planes and tanks they helped the people fight.
    But in their minds the darkness there, would never see the light.

    For freedom is an abstract thing, the people couldn’t see.
    For man thinks not of riches, when he lives in poverty.

    To watch their children live and grow was all they wanted now.
    To fight and die rejected, was just a sacred cow.

    And so the soldiers left. For nations minds they change.
    And many couldn’t understand. The war they’d fought was strange.

    Had warriors died to free a land? They never did know why.
    Or had they fought to cover up – a politicians lie?

    The people found an end to war with friends no longer foe
    And in their hearts were glad to see, the foreign soldiers go.

  47. November 21, 2014 8:14 pm

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    T.S.Eliot, The Hollow Men

    See more at: http://allpoetry.com/The-Hollow-Men#sthash.a7DU7j8C.dpuf

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