Original Writings and Interviews by Barrett Tillman
“Very nice landing”
Dad said to me.
But I was surprised
As a pilot can be.
“I didn’t do it,”
I quickly replied.
“I thought you had it”
And that was no lie.
For Dad was up front
And I being thick;
Neither could see
The hand on the stick.
Once in awhile,
From out of the blue
I surely suspect
God shoots landings, too.
At the fitness center I once did enter
To firm up unused muscles.
With iron to pump my heart would jump
To circulate corpuscles.
At circuit’s end I went to spend
With the nutritionist some money.
And sitting thar, behind the bar,
Was a youngish blonde-haired honey.
At forty-odd my poor old bod
Was wracked with gasps and heaving.
But she, sweet thing, was fresh as spring;
I’ve flown since she’s been breathing.
With tossing curl this lively girl
Said, “I have just what you need.
This book will do a lot for you
And bring you up to speed.”
Aghast was I at what I’d spy,
For she held out in her hand
A book of shame, most low, profane
Yet sold throughout the land.
My mind raced back, retraced the track
Of the grim days of my youth.
Images of HER: of Triple A and NVA
And treason, too, forsooth!
“Sweetheart,” I said with words of dread,
“Put that book under lock.
For there is no doubt
Jane Fonda’s Workout
Should be a lifetime breaking rock!”
power, fought for glory, fought for kingdom and my kind
Fought for conquest and survival, fought for eons, through all time.
avarice and ego, fought for land and fought for gold.
Fought for food and fought for women, fought in deserts and in cold.
horseback and from camels, fought from warships' slip'ry decks.
Fought in chariots and in panzers and in supersonic jets.
spears and fought with missiles, fought from castles and from forts.
Fought with arrows and with cannon, fought for money; fought for sport.
Caesar and Pizarro, rode with Custer and the Kahn;
Sailed with Nelson and with Nimitz; flew with Goering and beyond.
hundred bloody beaches, besieged a thousand bloody towns.
Vanquished scores of foemens' armies, saving others for the Crown.
Incas and Apaches, colonized the New World through;
Mastered Zulus and the Mahdi, beat the Moors and Carthage too.
Lost to Shaka
and to Rommel; got whipped oft by Bobby Lee.
Was by Bonaparte defeated every time he battled me.
all the years and battles never once did I decline
To pick up a pike or musket, and to take my place in line.
For I came to
love the battle with its own blood-stained appeal,
Giving little thought to rightness or the cause my sword to wield.
Tigris and Euphrates on to Nippon's distant shore,
From Sparta on to Vietnam I just lived and died for war.
As a sniper
or a lancer, as an archer or dragoon,
Wherever there were wars to fight I regarded that a boon.
I have been a
samurai and a bold Teutonic knight:
Giving rulers east and west equal fervor in the fight.
My cause was
war itself, you see, for I relished in the feel
Of foemens' blood upon my hands, and the mastery of steel.
The clash of
arms around me, joyous pounding in the brain,
And the bagpipe's eerie skirl were all part of my domain.
I have killed a quarter million and have died a thousand times.
But like Valhalla's warriors I arose again each time...
And then, one
dreary battle dawn while pondering my fate,
It finally occurred to me: Perhaps it's not too late!"
upon my history, and the times I felt most use,
Were when we fought for freedom and yet knew that we might lose.
across the centuries came quickly back to me:
Those heroes fought for freedom, broke the yoke of tyranny...
Spartacus and Prince Charlie at Capua or Culloden Field,
At Lexington and Concord, where those free men would not yield.
rebel, call me traitor, call me patriot if you like.
But if you infringe my freedom, then I promise: I WILL FIGHT!
|Orginal Writings||Book Order||Author/Editor Services||Blog||Links|