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Duath
I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag'

Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.


Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds —
The only good commie is the one who's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Huh!

Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.


Well, come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Send 'em off before it's too late.
Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.


by Joe MacDonald

Duath
The Bugles of Canada

[In war time a Canadian Division was encamped near my house. I used to fashion their bugle calls into the names of their distant land. Hence these verses.]

The Farmer in the morning
Stood with slanted head,
In the wintry dawning
By the milking-shed ;
From the camp behind the hill
He could hear the bugles shrill,
"We are here ! We are here !
Soldiers all !
Good cheer ! We are near !
Ontario ! Ontario !
Toronto ! Montreal !"

Petherick, the Huntsman grey,
Rheumatic, bent and blind.
Wheezed his joy as far away
He heard it in the wind.
"Hark the Hounds ! Hark the Hounds !"
Nay, it is the bugle sounds,
"We are here ! We are here !
Soldiers all !
Good cheer ! We are near !
Ontario ! Ontario !
Toronto ! Montreal !"

Lonely folk and fearful
Rose above their fears ;
Mothers, sad and tearful,
Were smiling through their tears ;
'Neath the cloudy English sky
They heard the cheering bugles cry,
"We are here ! We are here !
Soldiers all !
We are near ! Good cheer !
Ontario ! Ontario !
Toronto ! Montreal !"

When the dusk was falling,
And the lamps alight,
You could hear them calling
In the misty night.
And old Sussex heard and blessed
The kindly greeting from the west,
"We are here ! We are here !
Soldiers all !
We are near ! Good cheer !
Ontario ! Ontario !
Toronto ! Montreal !"

By Arthur Conan Doyle
24th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Chris D. Morton, 'Every Dead Soldier'
Duath
Every Dead Soldier

""Come join the army" the posters cry out
We'll teach you to shoot, to kill and to fight
The pleasures are many, the dangers are few
You'll have a good pension when your service is through

Every dead soldier is somebody's father
Somebody's husband or somebody's son
Every dead soldier is gone and forgotten
No matter who lost or who won


There are tombstones and graveyards in many far lands
There are numbers and crosses stuck into the sand
But the names and the numbers have faded and died
Now the hunters and the hunted lie side by side

Every dead soldier is somebody's father
Somebody's husband or somebody's son
Every dead soldier is gone and forgotten
No matter who lost or who won


Why can’t we remember for the good of us all
United we stand but divided we fall

I'll never understand how they,
think they're ever gonna find peace
using bullets and bombs on 'em
causin nothin but more pain, more tears and more worldwide mayhem

Till more soldiers are dead, till the message is spread
that we're all gonna pay, that there's another way
Tell me, are we ever, ever, ever gonna stop?
Raise your hand, come on, sing with me

Every dead soldier is somebody's father
Somebody's husband or somebody's son
Every dead soldier is gone and forgotten
No matter who lost or who won


By Chris D. Morton

"This is an anti-war song my dad wrote back in 1971 while serving in the army. It's another one of those songs I've grown up with and loved since I was a little kid, so after years spent singing it, and making slight changes here and there, I decided to record my own version of it."

23rd-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Ben McClendon, 'In Case Of Unrest'
Duath
In Case Of Unrest

You will walk
on the sidewalk. You will
place refuse in approved containers
to be picked up at
the appointed time. You
will close doors behind you, turn off lights.
You will sleep—eight hours, precisely—
dress within the confines of
acceptable taste and drive the speed limit
and carry exact change.
You will earn diligently yet modestly
to provide for your dependents. You will
purchase consumables
at approved outlets
during posted hours of operation. Your respiration
and metabolic processes will fall
within established norms. There is no standard
deviation.
It is for your own good,
you among millions.
You will conform.
You will not
skip meals,
skip steps,
skip lines. You will not skip.
You will not waste resources unless directed
or convenient. You will not read
what you scrawl in the small hours
except to yourself— by yourself—
in subdued lighting that casts no dramatic shadows.
You will not
listen to what rumbles outside,
and if there are
shouts arcing through the grid, the city’s synapses,
you will not hear them,
or you will not notice.
Pay no attention to what isn’t televised.
You will not support
what threatens security
and abundance in the life which
you have been
taught to know
so long. You will protect
your
material wellbeing. You will save your voice
for when it is asked of you.
You will not indulge
in difficult colors or savor food or flesh
longer than required.
You will not
sit up at night thinking
about asterisms or
the cold or debris from cosmic collisions
spiraling toward the sun
over long centuries. You will wait, always wait, for it all
to get better. And it will—
it is. Getting better.
So much better all the time.

By Ben McClendon
22nd-Feb-2017 01:00 am - A.E. Housman, 'A Shropshire Lad'
Duath
A Shropshire Lad

Shot? so quick, so clean an ending?
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave:
Yours was not an ill for mending,
'Twas best to take it to the grave.

Oh you had forethought, you could reason,
And saw your road and where it led,
And early wise and brave in season
Put the pistol to your head.

Oh soon, and better so than later
After long disgrace and scorn,
You shot dead the household traitor,
The soul that should not have been born.

Right you guessed the rising morrow
And scorned to tread the mire you must:
Dust's your wages, son of sorrow,
But men may come to worse than dust.

Souls undone, undoing others, --
Long time since the tale began.
You would not live to wrong your brothers:
Oh lad, you died as fits a man.

Now to your grave shall friend and stranger
With ruth and some with envy come:
Undishonoured, clear of danger,
Clean of guilt, pass hence and home.

Turn safe to rest, no dreams, no waking;
And here, man, here's the wreath I've made:
'Tis not a gift that's worth the taking,
But wear it and it will not fade.

By A.E. Housman
21st-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Neil Young, 'War Of Man'
Duath
War Of Man

The little creatures run in from the cold
Back to the nest just like the days of old
There in the safety of a mother's arms
The warmth of ages, far away from harm again.

Ears ringin' from the battle fire
The tired warrior aims a little higher
The black falcon or the little sparrow
The healing light or the flash of the barrel.

No one wins
It's a war of man,
No one wins
It's a war of man.

Silver mane flyin' in the wind
Down through the planets on the run again
No one knows where they're runnin' to
But every kind is comin' two by two.

Out on the delta where the hoofbeats pound
The daddy's runnin' on the frozen ground
Can't smell the poison as it follows him
Can't see the gas and machines, it's a war of man.

No one wins
It's a war of man,
No one wins
It's a war of man.

The windows open and the little girl dreams
The sky's her playground as she mounts her steed
Across the heavens to the other side
On wings of magic does the little girl ride.

The baby creatures run in from the cold
Back to the nest just like the days of old
There in the safety of a mother's arms
The warmth of ages, far away from harm again.

No one wins
It's a war of man,
No one wins
It's a war of man,
No one wins.

By Neil Young

Duath
To Any Dead Officer

Well, how are things in Heaven? I wish you’d say,
Because I’d like to know that you’re all right.
Tell me, have you found everlasting day,
Or been sucked in by everlasting night?
For when I shut my eyes your face shows plain;
I hear you make some cheery old remark—
I can rebuild you in my brain,
Though you’ve gone out patrolling in the dark.

You hated tours of trenches; you were proud
Of nothing more than having good years to spend;
Longed to get home and join the careless crowd
Of chaps who work in peace with Time for friend.
That’s all washed out now. You’re beyond the wire:
No earthly chance can send you crawling back;
You’ve finished with machine-gun fire—
Knocked over in a hopeless dud-attack.

Somehow I always thought you’d get done in,
Because you were so desperate keen to live:
You were all out to try and save your skin,
Well knowing how much the world had got to give.
You joked at shells and talked the usual ‘shop,’
Stuck to your dirty job and did it fine:
With ‘Jesus Christ! when will it stop?
Three years ... It’s hell unless we break their line.’

So when they told me you’d been left for dead
I wouldn’t believe them, feeling it must be true.
Next week the bloody Roll of Honour said
‘Wounded and missing’—(That’s the thing to do
When lads are left in shell-holes dying slow,
With nothing but blank sky and wounds that ache,
Moaning for water till they know
It’s night, and then it’s not worth while to wake!)

Good-bye, old lad! Remember me to God,
And tell Him that our Politicians swear
They won’t give in till Prussian Rule’s been trod
Under the Heel of England ... Are you there?...
Yes ... and the War won’t end for at least two years;
But we’ve got stacks of men ... I’m blind with tears,
Staring into the dark. Cheerio!
I wish they’d killed you in a decent show.

by Siegfried Sassoon
Duath
On February 19, 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued the infamous Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the internment of 110,000 Japanese Aliens and Japanese Americans in concentration camps because of the so-called "military threat," they posed. In 1945, poet Lawson Fusao Inada wrote the following poem, which refers to the various relocation camps that were used to contain these people:

Concentration Constellation

In this earthly configuration,
We have, not points of light,
but prominent barbs of dark…

Begin between the Golden State's
highest and lowest elevations
and name that location

Manzanar. Rattlesnake a line
southward to the zone
of Arizona, to the home
of natives on the reservation,
and call those Gila, Poston.

Then just take your time
winding your way across…
just make yourself at home
in the swamps of Arkansas.
for this is Rohwer and Jerome.

But now, you weary of the way.
It's a big country, you say.
It's a big history, hardly
halfway through - with Amache
looming in the Colorado desert,
Heart Mountain high in wide
Wyoming, Minidoka on the moon
of Idaho, then down to Utah's
jewel of Topaz before finding
yourself at northern California's
frozen shore of Tule Lake…

Now regard what sort of shape
this constellation takes.
It sits there like a jagged scar,
massive, on the massive landscape.
It lies there like the rusted wire
of a twisted and remembered fence.

By Lawson Fusao Inada
Duath
Barracks Home

This is our barracks, squatting on the ground,
Tar papered shacks, partitioned into rooms
By sheetrock walls, transmitting every sound
Of neighbor's gossip or the sweep of brooms
The open door welcomes the refugees,
And now at least there is no need to roam
Afar: here space enlarges memories
Beyond the bounds of camp and this new home.
The floor is carpeted with dust, wind-borne
Dry alkalai, patterned with insect feet,
What peace can such a place as this impart?
We can but sense, bewildered and forlorn,
That time, disrupted by the war from neat
Routines, must now adjust within the heart.

By Tojo Suyemoto Kawakami

"February 19th is a significant date for the Japanese American community. On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which gave the U.S. Army the authority to remove civilians from the military zones established in Washington, Oregon, and California during WWII. This led to the forced removal and incarceration of some 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, who had to abandon their jobs, their homes, and their lives to be sent to one of ten concentration camps scattered in desolate, remote regions of the country.

No Japanese Americans were ever charged, much less convicted, of espionage or sabotage against the United States. Yet they were targeted, rounded up, and imprisoned for years, simply for having the “face of the enemy.”

Every February, the Japanese American community commemorates Executive Order 9066 as a reminder of the impact the incarceration experience has had on our families, our community, and our country. It is an opportunity to educate others on the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis, and the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all."

Japanese-American Day of Remembrance, February 19
18th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Ivor Gurney, 'Pain'
Duath
Pain

Pain, pain continual, pain unending;
Hard even to the roughest, but to those
Hungry for beauty . . . . Not the wisest knows,
Nor the most pitiful-hearted, what the wending
Of one hour's way meant. Grey monotony lending
Weight to the grey skies, grey mud where goes
An army of grey bedrenched scarecrows in rows
Careless at last of cruellest Fate-sending.
Seeing the pitiful eyes of men foredone,
Or horses shot, too tired merely to stir,
Dying in shell-holes both, slain by the mud.
Men broken, shrieking even to hear a gun. -
Till pain grinds down, or lethargy numbs her,
The amazed heart cries angrily out on God.

By Ivor Gurney (February 1917)
17th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - David Roberts, 'We Bomb In Peace'
Duath
We Bomb In Peace

Innocent bombs
innocent bombs
the bombs of goodwill
are falling still.

Fall friendly bombs
destroy the threat.
Will what we sow
Be what we get?

We bomb.
We bomb
So that tyranny may cease.
We bomb with love.
We bomb in peace.

By David Roberts
Duath
Hush, Here Comes a Whizzbang

Hush, here comes a whizzbang,
Hush, here comes a whizzbang,
Now, you soldier men, get down those stairs,
Down in your dugouts and say your prayers.
Hush, here comes a whizzbang,
And it's making straight for you,
And you'll see all the wonders of no-man's-land,
If a whizzbang hits you.

Traditional

https://youtu.be/EjuTbJ9H--M
Duath
The Surgeon Explosive

From a big country, in big plane,
I travelled ten thousand miles to be here,
To this bed-sized scrap, to this sick land
My world has shrunk to.

I am examined every moment
By the Surgeon Explosive.
He takes my pulse.
I can feel his binocular gaze pinching me,
Running over my back, prodding me like a farmer.

Then he goes away.
Everything is quiet, but I know I am not safe.
Somewhere over the ridge, he stands in consultation
With the enemy.
They compare me to the next man, and decide.

He raises their standards.
They start to pretend to be disinterested, professional.
But as their scope cross hairs comb my hair,
I know that they are jealous
Of my cigarettes and chocolate.

Smoke is his nurse.
She grimaces, and shakes her fist before dissolving,
Before calling him.

There he is.
Over there, I can see him at work
Among the soldiers, with his scalpel-steel-
Examining, dissecting.

By Michael Brett
Duath
Fiancé in Afghanistan

Step by step they take great care,
Fear and frightened eyes red with despair,

Shock and horror to hear “Man Down”,
So many soldiers fall to the ground,

Yet one by one they struggle through,
Scared and thinking he may not pull through,

Soaring temperatures are rapidly rising,
Scarce special medics is not surprising,

With no mercy just bitter aggression,
Shooting the injured is the Taliban’s mission,

Please save our partners, family and friends,
Bring this war to its final end,

Our hero, our soldier, their brother, their friend,
Our honour is with you as you battle the end,

Back at home we will wait alone,
To hear you slightly on the phone,

Unsettled nights and shattered dreams,
Imagining all those nasty scenes,

R&R I hope is soon,
To have our candle lit dinner under the moon,

Come and gone now back to war,
To fight the Taliban and find their core,

Wrapping parcels and special gifts,
The happiness it brings and the joy it lifts,

To all the soldiers that made through the tour,
Salute to those with us no more,

No game or sport can compete,
The strength our soldiers go to defeat,

Queen or president the fact still remains,
Our soldiers out there is just insane.

By Abi Townsend
13th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Richard Y. Ball, 'Foreboding'
Duath
Foreboding

I once lived.
A Lowry or Brueghel;
A stream cascading over rocks;
A glass of champagne;
Palpitations in a lover’s arms;
A sunset’s palette;
A mayfly, dancing over a pond.

I am, now.
A Malevich or Rauschenberg;
An autumn afternoon;
A cup of tepid tea;
Parkinson’s face:
An affect like the pond’s surface,
Coated in winter’s rind.

I still wait.
He left for war:
Duty and comrades to share,
But no thought of danger.
I fulfil that role,
Apprehensive of the postman’s knock,
The telephone’s call.

By Richard Y. Ball
Duath
The Camp - Sierra Leone 2000

Did Peter Brueghel paint here?
Bestumped innocence sears my sight
How many tears could wash away such a scene?
Time affords us no such quantity.

Satan's flail has done its work
Limbs harvested and yet unused
Shattered lives as broken columns stand mute
A world unseen, some unseeing.

Did Hieronymous Bosch paint this?
He surely saw it - a living charnel house writ large
Minds dislocated in the name of some perverted peace
Such a canvas leaves one dumb.

What God has given man has taken
A blasphemy of slash and burn
Pax Africana upon the altar
Seemingly little resurrectional hope for thee.

Did Edvard Munch paint here?
He must have dreamt it-this fiendish site
Manmade, contorted out of shape and hate
These open wounds framed in guilt.

By Mark T. Jones

["One day I walked in to a vast camp filled with 3,500 amputees, some as young as two. The horrifying scene that confronted me brought to mind certain works by the artists mentioned in this poem."]
Duath
In the Ambulance

Two rows of cabbages,
Two of curly-greens
Two rows of early peas,
Two of kidney beans.


That’s what he keeps muttering,
Making such a song,
Keeping other chaps awake
The whole night long.

Both his legs are shot away,
And his head is light,
So he keeps on muttering
All the blessed night:

Two rows of cabbages,
Two of curly-greens
Two rows of early peas,
Two of kidney beans.

By Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
11th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Henry van Dyke, 'Mare Liberum'
Duath
Mare Liberum

You dare to say with perjured lips,
“We fight to make the ocean free”?
You, whose black trail of butchered ships
Bestrews the bed of every sea
Where German submarines have wrought
Their horrors! Have you never thought,—
What you call freedom, men call piracy!

Unnumbered ghosts that haunt the wave
Where you have murdered, cry you down;
And seamen whom you would not save,
Weave now in weed-grown depths a crown
Of shame for your imperious head,—
A dark memorial of the dead,—
Women and children whom you left to drown

Nay, not till thieves are set to guard
The gold, and corsairs called to keep
O’er peaceful commerce watch and ward,
And wolves to herd the helpless sheep,
Shall men and women look to thee—
Thou ruthless Old Man of the Sea—
To safeguard law and freedom on the deep!

In nobler breeds we put our trust:
The nations in whose sacred lore
The “Ought” stands out above the “Must,”
And Honor rules in peace and war.
With these we hold in soul and heart,
With these we choose our lot and part,
Till Liberty is safe on sea and shore.

By Henry van Dyke
February 11, 1917


President Wilson's Speech to Congress Regarding Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare
10th-Feb-2017 01:00 am - Timothy Brewis, 'T1'
Duath
T1

With that first blast,
storm of scalding teeth,
I was spun back sidewards,
falling face down in dust.
And as the smoke pall
spread and silence rushed
in from dark places, I left
myself and rose to a vague
height, looked down on
a mangled form, strewn
across the fallows we trod.
Slick hands fumble-fluttered
over ragged, stumped limbs,
tugged at charred, smoking
cloth-flesh-fuse and tried to
staunch the flow that stained
the ground black and daubed
those about with their colours.
Nothing would be the same again.
NOTHING would be the same again.
With a moan I fell and turned
and found myself staring
into eight ball pupils, features,
each, pulled taught over bone
frames, names on the tip of
my swollen tongue then
lost in the leaden flood of the
morphine, lost in the lift and ebb
and the thump of distant rotors.

By Timothy Brewis
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