Tag Archives Thanksgiving

AT MYCENAE 1984

Behind the lintel of the Lion Gate,

swallows had built their nest. Two Mirage jets,

burning Nato dollars, buzzed the valley.

A sweatstained, overweight American

squatted in the shade of the ashlar ramparts,

fanning himself with a bush hat. “Hey, which

pile of stones is this?” A veteran’s pension

kept him in exile. His mom and dad

had once stood arm-in-arm with that eager,

cropped marine recruit, who was altogether now

someone else. Thanksgiving and each birthday,

he would call collect. “This is the country

to screw up with your folks!”… He lies in the bunker,

smoking a joint. The black sergeant plays Hendrix

on his new Hitachi. From six miles

up the valley, NVA artillery

blow their minds… Parts of his skull were wired

like a broken vase. On the tourist bus,

his compatriots avoided him.

He smelt of despair, was a friend, a son,

brother missing in firefields of tattered

flags. Survivor’s guilt confounds. How he longed

to talk of Khe Sanh, how often spoke of

America! Swallows dipped above him,

under the gate. He did not look at them.

 

Note: this piece has been subsequently published in ‘A Jar of Sticklebacks’ – http://www.armadillocentral.com/general/a-jar-of-sticklebacks-by-david-selzer

 

 

 

‘AI’ & ‘REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST’: POEMS & GRAPHICS

By Posted on 6 Comments

The poems were inspired by conversations with the artist, Evie Chapman. The ...

‘A SHROPSHIRE LAD’…

By Posted on 3 Comments

…is the first book of poetry I owned – a breast pocket ...

THE FASHION OF THE EARTH

By Posted on 0 Comments

In a letter published in The Times in May 1936 – the ...