POEMS About Vietnam
By John Antonius Tabah
©2004 John Antonius Tabah
Appearing before us,
All shiny and bright,
Freedom Bird was parked.
We made it to her flight.
A year of torment,
Lead to this scheduled flight.
Sitting in stony silence,
GI's in anticipation waited.
Frightened by the fear of meeting
Charlie's final weapon of death, we sat.
Freedom Bird rolled down the runway,
While unbearable thoughts entombed us.
Freedom Bird lifted her wings and soared high into the blue.
Comforted in her safety,
We snuggled in our Bird's flight.
It's over we sighed.
As Freedom Bird flew our scheduled flight,
final joy was felt.
For there were to be no more
Charlie, jungle, fear and death
Off Freedom Bird in Los Angeles,
My thoughts were of going home.
Looking out the windows of the bus,
I saw houses standing in rows.
They looked strange, like toys in a game,
Houses with neatly mowed lawns.
One day I lived next to a rice paddy, and the next day I was here.
How, unexpectedly, strange it felt.
Getting off the bus, I ran to make my flight.
I passed a lady who shouted, "killer".
Strange, I knew my duffle bag did not hit her.
Barely, making my flight,
I walked onto the plane.
Why are they looking at me so strangely, I thought?
Off to New York I flew, with no time to think.
I took a wild ride with a New York Cab driver.
In Grand Central Station, an older man stood and looked at me strangely.
He stared at my uniform, shook his head, and asked me if I was in ROTC.
No, I just got home from Nam I said.
Looking at me in disgust, he shouted "baby killer".
Taking off my uniform I changed into my jeans.
Feeling comfortable in Montpelier, Vermont,
I called my Dad for a ride home.
He said I did not know you would be here so soon and I need my sleep.
Yeah, Dad, don't worry.
Sorry to have awakened you, Dad, you get your sleep.
It's just 12 miles to home and I hitch hiked it a lot as a kid.
I walked home and never told my mother what my father did.
call it my anniversary day
it is itched into my mind
begins with a whistling sound
by a crash above me
crackling sounds of red metal flying around me
I was blown into the air
could see myself screaming
I was amazed to see myself in the air
first I thought I was dead
how could I see - me?
then I felt the ground
ears ringing but I found no wounds on me
Charlie's Rocket blast above me
I realized my only friend George
had to help George
I yelled for others to help
they dove away from another rocket blast
ears ringing and my legs shaking
I found George
I can still hear him groan and call my name
died just back from R & R
home to his wife
On June seven nineteen sixty nine
A man dressed in green
Onto the Capitol's grounds.
Throwing his medals over the wall
He forever tarnished their meaning for all.
Powerfully, he stood and talked
On April third, nineteen seventy-one.
Convinced that he was right,
Followers' medals shadowed his over the wall
Today he stands on the Capitol's grounds
With tarnished medals polished by words.
His medals glittering for the camera's view
And he claims another is lying to you.
Vets wounded by his words
carried tears for those who died
When this eloquent man told his lie
That their fallen had medals with no worth.
agents of herbicide -
Drums orange, white and blue were sprayed
protect the troops we were told
appeared, ones that did not go away,
we were told were rashes from the tropics heat
those tropic rashes continued to thrive in winter snows
herbicide nicknamed Agent Orange carried by a deadly spray
admit caused dioxin Acne misdiagnosed as rashes
still other diseases from dioxin scientist now admit
Orange carried hidden wounds
are now tormenting Nam Vets during their golden years
From chemicals sprayed in an unpopular war not so long ago
©2004 John Antonius Tabah