As war is fought it takes charge,
And events spin out of control.
The madness of men can alter the soil
Which nourishes the roots of their soul.
Many things will forever change,
Far more then wished to be.
As the wrath of war starts to destroy,
Those things we fight to keep free.
War is the greatest plague of man,
Religion, state, and sanity.
Any scourge is more preferred,
Than the one which disables humanity.
When war breaks out, boundaries change
And all who die are a token,
Of the rage that must run it's course,
Before words of peace are spoken.
Our ship had sailed before the dawn
Surrounded by the thickest of fog,
Still ignorant of our destination
Or what was written in the captain's log.
It didn't take long for me to see
Our cruise was not for fun;
An experience of a lifetime
With nowhere for us to run.
Twenty knots per hour we cruised
As the white caps passed us by;
Ten thousand young Americans
Off to Europe to die.
A sailor told us not to worry;
Someday we’d get our mail.
Uncle Sam would make sure
No matter how far we sail.
Thirty feet deep I tried to sleep
Beneath our ship's waterline,
Just the place for claustrophobia
To enter into my mind.
My favorite vest was my May West
Which I wore all the time
Just in case of German U-boats
Or an underwater mine.
Thirty-three days we were at sea,
We crossed the equator twice.
Many years have passed since then,
Those years of sacrifice.
Many brave souls lived before now,
Unwept and unknown by their face.
Lost somewhere in the distant night,
'Till a poet chronicles their grace.
True bravery is shown by performing,
Without witness, what one might be
Capable of before the world,
Without any or all to see.
How great the brave who rest in peace,
All blessings from heaven to earth.
They gave our country but their best,
Those destined to be brave from birth.
Sunday, December the seventh,
In the year of 1941,
While most of Hawaii still slept,
Came the planes of the Rising Sun.
Waves of bombers and fighters flew,
From the decks of the Japanese ships.
While our planes were still on the ground,
"Banzai" was spoken from their lips.
The winds of war had been blowing
Across the oceans of our earth,
Though not till Pearl had been bombed,
Did we realize what freedom’s worth.
Wars are fought and won on two fronts,
At home and on the battle line.
Both are equally important,
When war consumes our heart and mind.
The attack brought us World War II,
With death, pain and separation.
All who had served were well aware
Of their sacrifice for nation.
The harder the conflict we sometimes face
The far more glorious is the victory.
Tyranny like hell is tough to defeat,
When it raises its head throughout history.
War never leaves a country as it was,
When neutrality is a word disregarded.
As the murderous hands of man himself
Are to blame for all who have departed.
D DAY - THE WALL
Over two hundred rangers scaled "The Wall"
A stone cliff over one hundred feet tall.
Some of them made it all the way to the top,
While others fell and perished from their drop.
Those who climbed over, had answered God's call;
For men to stop evil once and for all.
They fought the Germans and destroyed their guns,
To save the lives of our fathers and sons.
So many years have passed since then,
When our world's future was saved by brave men.
We cannot forget the hell they went through,
Before the skies, again turned blue.
D-Day raised the curtain on the conflict
That fore shadowed the end of Hitler's dream.
The largest joint combat landing ever,
Though the blood from both sides flowed like a stream.
When their boats hit the sand, their ramps went down,
And all within paid a visit to hell.
They jumped out to do good for their country,
And to kill the enemy without fail.
They fought the Germans, tides, winds and the waves,
In conditions not easily foreseen.
By night the battle was in our favor,
With bravery, valor, death, and men who scream.
The corpses littered the beach for five miles,
Though heroism had carried the day,
With literally thousands dead or wounded,
Those who were left were determined to stay.
They faced great odds and chose not to protest,
And won the war that put evil to shame.
Most came home, married and raised their babies,
But those who could not we recall with pain.
It was June the 4th 1942,
As I was floating in the ocean alone;
The ship I had sailed on, sank to the bottom
And I thought I would never again, see home.
The Japanese fleet had steamed in from the east
With the intentions of capturing Midway.
Though they were stopped by American war ships,
Whose guns, bombs and torpedoes planes saved the day.
All night long, I watched the fireworks of war
And on the second day we turned up the heat.
As big bombers from Hawaii dropped their loads,
On Japanese ships who soon chose to retreat.
An imperial pilot came floating close by,
Who had been chewed on by the beasts of the sea.
I couldn't help but feel passion for this is man
Who had answered his call just like me.
When it was over, I was plucked from the deep,
By men in a lifeboat just after the dawn.
For two days I had watched the battle for, Midway;
Now it's quiet and the enemy has gone.
I drifted all night and was loosing my hope
Before by the moon's light I saw dry land.
I floated over and through its reefs to the beach,
Where I quickly smoothed out my tracks in the sand.
All I had was my dagger and a canteen
And it was May 4th of 43.
Just me alone on an enemy island,
Wasn't a safe place for a sailor to be.
I felt I could kill in less than a heartbeat
If that's what it took for me to survive.
I’d already said thanks so many times,
For” God” was the reason I was alive.
Off in the dark, I herd two men's voices,
Laughing and talking in a language not mine.
Inch by inch I crept to their campsite,
Where on what they were eating, I would soon dine.
I stabbed them both and took their fish, rice and wine;
Then ran my way back to the raft by the beach.
Soon I was floating in the ocean again
And far enough out where bullets couldn't reach.
The next day I was picked up by a seaplane,
Whose crew spotted my sail from the air.
Once inside and safe, I cried like a child,
For the dead whom would forever be there.
It was hard to believe heaven let me live;
A farm boy from Kansas, in high school last year.
My girlfriend is blond and she hates it I 'm gone.
Though I'm a veteran of battle, death, and fear.
Okinawa was to be our last stop
Before we invaded Japan.
The largest landing of the Pacific war,
As our soldiers ran across the sand.
At first our marines were scarcely opposed
But on the fifth day hell they found.
A solid wall of human resistance
Firing their weapons from caves in the ground.
Air power and big guns had little affect
On their cliff forts carved deep in the limestone.
It took man against man to root them out
As flying bullets pierced flesh and bone.
Kamikaze pilots crashed their planes
Knocking out transports and war ships.
As the Imperial air force struck our fleet,
Cries of fear and hate spewed from lips.
One hundred, ten thousand Japanese
By the end of the battle were killed.
Over twelve thousand Americans died,
Before, just our flag flew over the field.
BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
After the fall of France in 1940,
The Germans soon began their own blockade,
With most their efforts in the Atlantic,
Hoping to cut Britain's flow of war trade.
With fast surface raiders like the Bismarck,
Merchant ships caught at sea, had little chance.
The German’s small navy sank ship after ship,
Till the British Navy destroyed war's romance.
Shipping losses from German U-boats increased,
And the battle of the Atlantic seemed lost.
But soon America would enter the war,
To defeat freedom’s enemies at all cost.
Multitudes would die and their families cry,
Before World War II would be fought to its end.
What a waste of mankind, which had lost its mind,
Though now, our enemy is our friend.
The truest words, which portray my love,
I speak to you from within my heart.
May we always recall how we feel,
Though through conflict we're forced to part.
No one can say how long they will last,
For life is not everlasting.
Yet most hope to be blessed by love,
By he who does our casting.
As the fear of battle bites my flesh,
My thoughts of home help keep me sane.
There’s no guarantee that I’ll survive
But either way, I'll serve without shame.
Should the cold hands of death reach for me,
I pray my soul will awake from sleep.
To the voice of God assuring me,
That my spirit, he's chosen to keep.
So try to remember while I'm gone,
That the person I need most is you.
I’ll fight like hell to stay alive
To return home to the love I knew.
When you become a P.O.W.
You find you've lost your liberty and more,
The guy with the gun tells you what to do,
As you yearn for freedoms you had before.
Your will to serve helps keep you alive,
Though sometimes you wish you were dead.
Tortures far beyond any normal mind,
And there's no safety, even your bed.
Bullets, barbwire, searchlights and sharp teeth,
Keep you in a place you don't wish to be.
The food is quite awful and sometimes it moves,
And you've no choice of what you hear or see.
The lucky are released and return home,
Though in their dreams their fate is unsure.
War may be hell, but confinement is worse,
Cause afterwards you're never as you were.
General quarters, general quarters,
All hands man your battle station!
Sunday morning, December the 7th,
As war confronted our nation.
We soon found out it wasn't a drill
But instead it was war for real.
As you watch the death of friends and shipmates,
It's more anger than fear you feel.
Japanese warplanes came flying in low,
As I took aim with my gun sight.
From the deck of a ship anchored at Pearl
Damaged, though crew still eager to fight.
I saw the face of a pilot, who crashed,
Surrounded by black smoke and fire.
Some of my bullets must have found their mark.
For his death was but my desire!
Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-three killed,
In a battle less than two hours.
With the heart of our Pacific fleet gone,
Japan had flexed their naval powers.
The bombing and strafing of ships and troops
Caused our congress to declare full war.
Where many a man laid down his life
Fighting for flag, country and more.
KENNEDY= THE WAR YEARS
After the attack on Pearl Harbor
He applied for sea duty in the war.
Where Lieutenant John F. Kennedy
Became known for his bravery and more.
In the dark hours before dawn
On August 2, of 43.
Kennedy commanded a torpedo boat
Through the blackness of night at sea.
PT – 109, was on Solomon’s patrol
With a 12-man crew in a plywood craft.
A Japanese destroyer plowed through the night
Ramming and cutting Kennedy’s boat in half.
Two of the crew just disappeared
A third was badly burned.
Kennedy himself was thrown to the deck,
Where in pain his leadership he earned.
Some of his men had never learned to swim
As he gathered them on the bobbing bow.
The hours passed tell it seemed it would sink
So they made for an island and here’s how.
He ordered those who could to swim
The others were to hang on to a beam.
Kennedy grabbed the injured sailor
And off they tread through the ocean stream.
With his teeth clenched on the burnt man’s vest straps
Skipper Kennedy swam 3 miles.
5 hours later they all made it
Despite their hardships, sharks, and trials.
The next problem was how to summon up help
Without arousing the enemy all around.
After several attempts swimming to other islands
Eventually two natives in a canoe were found.
Kennedy scratch a note on a coconut
To be delivered to a base 38 miles away.
The message made it and they were saved
And their courage still lives us today.
By Tom Zart
“TOM ZART’S 340 POEMS”
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