A web site that shares the emotional and spiritual experiences of the Vietnam War through poetry, stories, and photos by combat veterans.

Hosted by Vietnam Veteran Bill McDonald

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EMPTY POCKETS

It takes

A long time

For one man

To walk alone

Putting

Yesterday-dreams

Into empty pockets.

Yet,

In the mourning-eyes

Of dawn

The earth hugging mist

Seems

To hang on

So desperately,

Seeking

The warmth

Of the womb.

And so

Must

I.

#

April, 1967  - South Vietnam

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JUST ANOTHER WHOREHOUSE – SOUTH VIETNAM

The smell of burning grass,

And dirty GIs

Drifted from the doorway

As I walked past.

The door was open

So I looked in and listened

As they sang their own version

Of the blues

To anyone who would listen.

But no one else cared.

They all had their own songs within.

A few young maidens

Pretended to care,

but they were being paid

For their understanding.

The fig leafs were crying

As ex-virgin daughters and mothers

Hung lust where it hurt

For joy!

This was not it, and we knew it.

But it had been too long,

In death filled jungles.

And drunker we got

The better it all seemed.

"GI – buy me Saigon Tea"

She smiled

and took my hand.

I followed.

Too drunk to care,

And just lonely enough

To be on the edge of tears.

After all,

This was my twenty-first birthday.

I just always thought

It would be more fun.

#
March 16, 1967 - Phu Loi, South Vietnam

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GOOD GUYS ALWAYS WIN – RIGHT?

We were all so young

Just sitting around

Getting older

And drunker

By the minute.

Telling tales

Of young warriors

And of close calls

With dying.

We spoke of killing

And death

As if discussing

Yesterday’s football game.

Tomorrow

would come again

Soon enough

And we would face

Death once again

However,

In the drunkenness

of our youth,

We believed

That the good guys

always won!

And we would

See home again

And all things

Would be the same

As before

our "tour of duty"

#
April, 1967 - On some hilltop in South Vietnam

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BLACK BROTHER

Black brother

Disfigured

And raped

Grotesque

By the vulgar

Aftermath

Of

An exploding

Landmine.

I watched,

As convulsions,

Rendered

That once proud body,

Helpless

Like a infant.

Until

My tears

And your blood

Joined

And became

A river

Of one!

#
August, 1967 - South Vietnam

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NATIONAL ANTHEM CEMETERIES

Sitting in my helicopter

With child warriors

Waiting

For us to fly

Them to hell.

Theirs were the

nervous eyes

Of youth about

To kill

And be killed.

So

You averted looking directly

at their eyes

(That last graveyard

for their fears)

One wonders

What dreams

Will be left

undreamed tonight?

Or what mother

Will have to mourn

What this day

we have done?

No one asks.

And we sit there

Waiting

Perhaps, a lifetime.

While kings and generals

Plot and blunder

Our future

In vivid color

Across

Our national anthem cemeteries!

#
June 14, 1967 - The Iron Triangle, South Vietnam

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