Saturday, July 29, 2006

21

Here's something which happened a long time ago. My 21st birthday.

Read on to see how I celebrated it.


M16
image by dsnake1


21


It was nine at night
us troopers, crouching on this dark hill
angry & bone chilled
watching
red tracers probing targets
darth vader lasers
crisscrossing
as the tank guns opened up
flinched & jerked in a frenzied dance
in the brief light of muzzle flashes
pouring 75mm shells into the butte
to explode in showers of mud,
the dark sky
illuminated now and then
by savage bursts of exploding mortar lights

and white flares arced
in graceful parabolas
fiery ribbons
for my birthday
as i turned twenty-one
on a dark raindrenched hill
angry & bone chilled,
the metal of the M16
cold on tired skin

no candles no cakes no golden keys
just a lighted cigarette passed around
comrades
a gulp of contraband beer
the impatient fingering of weapons
a wait for orders
then
the crunch of boots on wet gravel
as we trudged down the hill
our shadows gliding on trees
spooked by illum rounds..


27th November 1989
revised 15.02.06
****************

9 Comments:

Blogger floots said...

what a juxtaposition of occasions
makes for powerful reading
(and a powerful memory for you each birthday)

cheers

31 July, 2006 01:36  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

Very interesting descriptions. You make all the shooting and shelling and war-simulation sound almost lovely. Must have suck to spend your birthday doing this kinda thing I'm sure. Where was this? Singapore?

31 July, 2006 15:56  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

floots,
it was a birthday that is hard to forget. :)

hey medusa,
thanks!. yes, in Sg, but that was a long time ago. and yes, it sux max. :)

31 July, 2006 22:13  
Anonymous dead poet said...

I thought it was going to be something R(A). Sigh...

01 August, 2006 01:28  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

what do you expect, friend?
"evil grin"

01 August, 2006 22:24  
Blogger ME Strauss said...

What a coincidence your post and mine. I need to send my son over to read yours. He needs to know more about life as you speak of it. He would also appreciate the music of your language. Beautiful and so much imagery.

03 August, 2006 23:00  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Liz,
Thank you!

but most of my posts are angry, mushy and gloomy, not exactly role model stuff ! :)

03 August, 2006 23:14  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

Liked the last two lines, is your shadow still with you, impossible to catch our shadows...till we fall flat on them!

05 August, 2006 07:28  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hahaha!
yeah, my shadow is still following me after we had a good dinner. :)

05 August, 2006 16:18  

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