VIETNAM WAR POETRY

  Short Timers' Serenade

                        Sing that sweet song, humm that happy tune
                        Rock me to sleep with that soothing lullaby of sweet rotation orders
                        I got to twenty-nine days and a wake up,
                        I can finally think about that big bird taking me back to the world
                        No more working parties, those are for the newbies in country
                        No more patrols, no more guard duty, been there, done that
                        Twenty-eight, twenty-seven, nineteen, then fourteen
                        Finally I'm a one digit midget, can't see over my boot tops
                        Now it is really starting to sink in that I'm going home
                        What the hell is going on? Why am I so sad?
                        This shouldn't be happening, I never planned it this way.
                        I don't want to go and that doesn't make any sense
                        Then I finally realize why I'm feeling this way
                        My friends, my brothers, my fellow Marines
                        I never expected they would ever mean this much to me

by Contributing Poet:     Thomas G. Calabrese   Copyright © 2016
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2016 )


  A Day In the life

                        My platoon landed by chopper on Hill 327
                        A barren hill with nothing but shattered trees from artillery strikes
                        Our mission was to turn dirt and rock into our home
                        Such is the life of the Marine Corps Grunt
                        Take that e-tool, fill those sandbags, stack them high
                        Wipe that sweat, guzzle that water and keep going
                        Filling, stacking, digging, it is the circle that never ends
                        Such is the life of the Marine Corps grunt
                        Walk that patrol three clicks to the north then two clicks to west
                        Always searching for the elusive Victor Charlie
                        Then back to Hill 327, grab some c-rations, catch some zzzzzz's
                        Wake up and start all over again
                        Such is the life of the Marine Corps Grunt
                        A sniper round hits a Marine and the rest of us dive for cover
                        A corpsman arrives out of nowhere and the rest of us get back to work
                        First Squad heads out to find the sniper who is long gone by now
                        Everybody knows he is long gone, but they go anyway
                        Such is the life of the Marine Corps grunt.
                        When the camp is finally built, the word comes down
                        Tear it apart and get ready to move out
                        Farewell to nothing, hating to leave, hating to stay
                        Such is the life of the Marine Corps grunt

by Contributing Poet:     Thomas G. Calabrese   Copyright © 2016
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2016 )


  Hill 1192

                        We climbed that muddy trail in the middle of monsoon season
                        It was slippery and two steps forward and one step back
                        I had given up a while ago trying to find rhyme or reason
                        I was carrying an M-60 with a poncho over a loaded pack
                        It was times like this when fatigue and frustration got the best of me
                        I was tired of all the clichés concerning freedom and liberty
                        And how the most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle
                        That works better in a recruiting poster than out in the field
                        Right now I didn’t feel dangerous or patriotic, I just felt beaten down
                        One step
in front of the other, I see nothing but the backside of the Marine before me
                        Where is Victor Charlie, I'm tired of chasing him and going around and around.
                        I can't give up; I can’t be
the weak link in this chain. I can't fail my fellow Marines
                        So I find the strength to take one more step, always one more step,
                        One more hill, one more rice paddy, one more patrol, one more day
                        When there is no more one mores, I hope that means I'm still alive.

by Contributing Poet:     Thomas G. Calabrese   Copyright © 2016
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2016 )


Bio:   Thomas G. Calabrese   is a Vietnam Veteran, 1969-1970. He served in the United States Marine Corps: Military Occupational Specialty 0351 Weapons. He is a member of the Veteran Writing Group of North County in California.


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