Thursday, March 24, 2011

I did not get his name.....

it was one of those seeming holiday's
where thought did not seem to hold much meaning or mercy
for celebrating beyond the realms of raising a finger
or fork to a simplified recreation me and my Canadian counterpart
headed for some syncopated sin time
and  I found myself sited in front of a mystical lotus flower
tapping a lit button like Pavlov's dog awaiting
enlightenment and a free trip to Shangri-La
usually I find that in this state of transcendental mediation
awareness of those around me is blurred
and unfixed as any hell bound hallucinating dream renders
but here is where clarity
took hold of me and I stopped, an elder gentleman
in his eighties tapped my shoulder -
"I do not mean to bother you," he said
he face blessed with age and good clean living, now alone
"I have an extra ticket for the dinner being served tonight, and
wonder if you would like it, not meaning that you go with me," he
quickly added.  "I just to not want it to go to waste."
I stood up from my chair, as I could not help but notice his
WWII veteran hat.  it carried the blue and gold of the US Navy.
I asked where he served and watched as his eyes lit up with recognition
he said, " I was in the battle of Iwo Jima."  
I said Thank You Sir, and reached to shake his hand.  he thanked me
for my acknowledgement of his contribution.  I then told him
that I too served in the Navy as a corpsman
"We sure counted on those corpsman, yes those corpsman saved many a life." 
and we continued to exchange a few more tales of salt and ships
then I thanked him for the offer of the meal but would probably
be eating later with my banker.  with that
this proud gentleman thanked me again for my conversation
and my minutes of time.  but as he walked away
I thought how does one
fully repay the mighty for making the world
a safer place to be
inherited by the meek ...

I did not get his name....

copyrighted 2011

Posted for Poets United - Thursday Think Tank- Uniformed Service


  1. This was just a lovely story, beautifully told.

  2. This is simply wonderful. Human connection. You made his day. All the elderly have left are their memories, and such rich ones they are!

  3. syncopated sin

    the ending was do we? the last line a lament to me...

  4. I love how you wove this, how the small acts of kindness are hidden underneath so much depth. We do not know the trials and tribulations of the men n' women in the armed services. Powerful!

  5. A moving, thought-filled story, and my brain is thought-filled.A piece like this contains secret, hidden power, the power of gratitude, and of LOVE. Thank you!
    Steve E

  6. The lovely thing about this poem is that it knocks us off with its humanity. I can visualize the kindness not so much in the act but really in the words, “I do not mean to bother you” and “…not meaning that you go with me”. This WWII Veteran is our salvage and in him I see a world much better, kind and refined. BTW, I loved the opening.

  7. A wonderful poem. And I especially loved this phrase "syncopated sin time"

  8. Wow! A fantastic story of human connection, both it's tenacity and its frailty, caught as we are with the inadequacies of polite talk with those random strangers who in some ways have already changed our lives. How to express gratitude is indeed a difficult question. Fine work!

  9. I assume this is a true story. Very moving. I've been at Fort DeRussy, Waikiki area, seen so many veterans old and young there, wondered what their stories were, what all they have seen, done. I am sure there were many heroes whose names I did not learn.

  10. so many fallen, so many lost and forgotten ... and still we never learn

  11. Syncopated sin time--nice!

    How can we thank them, those anonymous many who do so much so selflessly? Who stand or fall by the whim of fate with pride?

    Poems like this are a start. Thank you.

  12. Wow- a story to be retold... but in other words, for yours can only be read, never repeated...
    so many names we did not get- yet, there they are. part of our history.

  13. Such a well-woven tale. What a lovely gentleman. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. I like those stories. Beginning middle end; full of rich images and details; touching the human spirit; but not cloying. You trod the road with skill.

  15. Nice story. I like the 'blessed with age' especially.
    A chance encounter with a person can turn out to result in something much more.
    Interesting slice of life.

  16. bkm,

    I enjoyed this account very much.
    As always, we really to owe so much to those who have gone before us. And just like your experience, we never really do know who they were.....