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Bill Mantooth

 
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WE COULD HAVE BEEN HEROES,
HAD THE TIME BEEN RIGHT,
BUT OURS WAS TO BE A DIFFERENT PLIGHT,
A NATION IN TURMOIL, WITH NO ONE TO BLAME,
SO ON US WAS CAST THE GUILT AND SHAME.
 
WE COULD HAVE BEEN HEROES,
ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE,
BUT IN OUR WAR WAS FOUND NO SAVING GRACE,
FORGOTTEN LIVES THE ONLY LOSS,
AS GODS AND GENERALS COUNT THE COST.

WE COULD HAVE BEEN HEROES,
HAD WE NOT BEEN DENIED,
FOR WE TOO SUFFERED AND FOUGHT AND DIED,
FOR A CAUSE WE CONSIDERED TO BE JUST AND TRUE,
FOR OUR COUNTRY........., AND OUR COUNTRY WAS YOU.
 
YES, WE COULD HAVE BEEN HEROES,
AS THOSE WE NOW CHEER,
THOUGH IF ONLY FOR SOME A CONSCIENCE TO CLEAR,
FOR I TOO APPLAUD THEM EACH AND EVERYONE,
FOR THE SACRIFICES MADE, AND A JOB WELL DONE.
 
BUT WE, TOO, COULD HAVE BEEN HEROES,
SO LONG AGO,
HAD ONLY YOU CHOSEN TO MAKE IT SO.
 
"FOR ALL MY BROTHERS, FOR WHOM THE CHEERS ARE TOO LATE,
VIETNAM, '67-'68."
Bill Mantooth
© 2005


 

 

TIME WILL TELL (a heroes tale)
Time will tell, of battles won, 
Of life and death, of victory's son;
Of love, and hate, of wars cold chill, 
A losers fate, an iron will.
 
Time will tell, of battles lost,
As gods and generals, count the cost;
No price too high, for glory's throne,
Another name, etched in stone.
 
Time will tell, the heroes tale,
On canvas raised, and then set sail;
And far away a heart may hear,
And curse the fool, or shed a tear.
 
Time will tell of courage done,
In shadows dark, or burning sun;
And will not let the memories fade,
The blood that stained a heroes blade.
 
Time will tell of right and wrong,
But each decides where truth belongs;
The victor chastens honors path;
The conquered kneels, before his wrath.
 
Time will tell the heroes fall,
Though not for self, did he give all;
But for the weak the hero bleeds,
To their cause, his life concedes.
 And time will tell how brave men died,

As sons and daughters and angels cried.
And how each soul to heaven clings,
Flown to God on mercy's wings.
 
Yes time will tell, lest we forget,
Of heroes past and evils threat,
And pray the history ponders well,
The heroes tale, that time will tell.
Bill Mantooth
© 2005
 


Battle Scars ....................

Could I but calm this trembling heart,  
Or stay the night that falls.
Or hide the fear that swells inside,
As near the battle calls.

I hear a distant rumble,
As would thunder walk the sky.
Soon the challenge must be answered,
And still I know not why.

A thousand ghost’s of childhood past,
Had thought to disappear.
Now one by one their shadows loom,
So vivid and so clear.

I long for quiet nights and home,
From which I’ve come so far.
And the solace of a simpler time,
Stead this raging storm called “war”.

Veiled in silent darkness,
The enemy stalks our will.
And for this one brief moment,
Time somehow stands still.

Emotions never known before,
Chill me to the bone.
Never, have I known such emptiness,
Or felt so all alone.

With fury, silence broken,
Flames streak across the night.
And ghostly figures haunt me,
In the searing strobes of light.

A battle rages round me,
Engulfed in hellish flames.
Another falls before me,
And I must bear the blame.

Tomorrow holds no thought,
Tonight we stay this ground.
All innocence now abandoned,
No mercy to be found.

Death now walks among us,
Here to claim his prey.
Who will stand and who will fall,
Only he can say.

  ……….Then suddenly, all is quiet,
Yet I dare not take a breath.
Have I escaped the victor,
Or felt the sting of death.

I wake…..and find these demons,
Still alive it seems.
Shrouded from the conscious,
Forever in my dreams.

The scars do fade with time,
But the battle’s will not end.
For when I least expect it,
This night, will come again………


Bill Mantooth
© 2005

 

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