12 August, 2006

I did it my way

Picture of American soldier laughing at the charred remains of a VC soldier
who was burned to death by a Napalm Bomb.
I am reminded that not much has changed since the Vietnam War.
We are counting down the days that are left for the war criminal George W Bush to 'serve' as President of the USA.
We would respectfullly ask our American friends to choose more carefully next time. Please don't go for Hillary Clinton - she is for war! Choose peace. Choose to be good neighbours.

I did it my way

I’ve had a few…
Its 3 am
At Tommy’s Guest House
Nong Khai
Suddenly in the darkness
Sinatra is playing really loud
I try to ignore it
Tossing restless
On my rush mat in my sarong

Switch it off
Someone shouts
Shut the fuck up
Replies the strident
American voice

I did it My Way…
Now singing along
A little slurred
Switch it off
Or I will

I’ve been here
Longer than you’ve had hot dinners
You can get fucked
If I want to play
My music
I fucking will

I called him Joe
I don’t know
His real name
In his sixties I thought
Helicopter pilot’s
Baseball cap
Check shirt
Mekong whiskey
An endless supply
Of cheep
Uncomplicated girls
Money to live on
For the rest of his days

I did it My Way…
Reminds me of
Swaggering arrogance
Anything we do is OK
The world’s most lawless policeman
Weapons and poppy seed
Its all currency
War is a game
Live fast
Don’t count
The casualties

Very few
We were doing a job
We were paid
To do what we did
That was then
Wear your past
Or bury it

This incident took place on my last night at Nong Khai before moving to Sang Khom. I had seen the man I have called Joe and guessed that he was an old ‘hand’ who had stayed on. Perhaps he was one of the gung ho pilots of baby airforce. Somehow I had an aversion to engaging him in conversation. He was sometimes drunk and argumentative, anyway. The Sinatra incident was indicative and revealing. It took six years for this poem to surface.

Acknowledgement to P. Anka, J. Revaux, G. Thibault, C. Frankois who wrote the song.

My Way


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