THE BLOG
05/30/2016 02:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Poem "Of A Soldier's Passing"

2016-05-28-1464463724-7261241-OperationHueCity1967wounded.jpgCreative Commons via Wikimedia Commons, American Soldiers in Vietnam

This is a poem I wrote circa 2005. It first appeared on Youtube.

Of A Soldier's Passing

Of why he fought and wherefore he fell ought not to be
Of what we dwell
As we lay to rest our martyr's holiest of devotions;
And how his fate came to he and what worldly hands
Brought him to be
Should be invisible to we, as he is cast off to the deepest
Of our oceans.

For we are here not to cheer and even less to jeer
At this tearful remembrance of his passing;
And as his vessel is laid and begins its terrestrial fade
Long we hope that he will wade in eternal everlasting.

Of all the wrongs that may be songs
None be more thunderous as cannibalism
Of corpus,
And of all the sins that are within
None be more foul as to disembowel Lazarus
Of sarcophagus.

So let us not discuss with wanton lust
Our need for vengeance making,
Nor valiantly abide our softer side
And talk of foolish peaceful-making.

Be he brave or be he knave
Be nowhere of our thoughts,
And if courageously he tried--
Or if he succumbed unglorified,
We care never to be taught.

Even more we dare be firmer of what we murmur
About the innards of any man
Without profaning and then distaining
Sacred grave and mound;
For only self-righteous gods of unfit sod
Besmirch the battled dead of God and ground.

And so let us gently bow our heads and reminisce
In silent sorrow
As we muse about our childman of grief-stricken
Comrades and clan
Who will be without any more tomorrows.

And we also implore the Mystery above to greet him
With infinite love
As he chariots to golden fields foretold of ancient scrolls;
We too beseech our soldier-friend to forgive us when
War and woes have made us foes of dead men being
Our lost souls.

--Yet, no evil ever be as great as thee
As when menfolk are turned to warring hordes;
And no one asks for what their tasks
The sabres and the swords.

Therefore, let no man ever say the query of why we fight today
Be treasonous atrocity!
Saving at hollowed place we let known our grace
As we entomb our Son of bloom with sincerest generosity.

And so curse not our folly as we sully
Your goodly name for our most fallible convictions,
Even though we desecrate and by default repudiate
The sanctity of your most horrible of afflictions.

--Still, no matter what we speak and say, even less of our
Deeds today,
Shall be yet seen as vanity's rage and roar;
For Death enlightens the orbs awake to no more ache
As it brings sight to all our fleeting might
But being sand-castles forged on breaking shores.