Monday, June 25, 2012

At The Front

Note: "The figure in the photograph is clad in Army fatigues, boots and helmet, lying on his back in peaceful repose, folded hands holding a military cap. Except for a thin trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth, he could be asleep.

But he is not asleep; he is dead. And this is not just another fallen GI; it is Ernie Pyle, the most celebrated war correspondent of World War II " - source USA Today  (here)

Staccato bursts of gunfire
Intimidating to the neighborhood
And bombs in the distance
Frightening to those under siege
Melodious to the marauders
Embedded with a detachment
Seeing action before his own eyes
The newsman and photographer
Unarmed, untrained, unaccounted for
Who could only sigh and hope
That the next sniper’s target
Would not have him at the cross- hairs
As did some of his colleagues
Who had been there earlier
Unfortunate enough to be seen
And later picked up still in camouflage
But wet, bathed red with his own blood
Unsung, unknown but just another
To add to the growing number
Of the forgotten victims of human conflict
Who dared to be in the front
Just so for the benefit of those
Back home sitting sipping coffee
Comfortably in front of the idiot box
Waiting eagerly for the latest

From the newsmen with pads or cameras
Whose numbers are increasingly
Brought back home in body-bags!

Written for Theme Thursday with prompt - Bed - and Real Toads Open Link Monday


  1. Yeah photographers sure like to capture the evil and glory or it, but none of it is had but those on the frontlines just trying to survive some greed run war.

  2. You highlight an on-going problem of our times: the incredible danger that war correspondents place themselves in in order for the world to get news of what is happening on the front.
    Thank you for sharing on Real Toads.

  3. this is a sad reality...that we can find no better way than killing each other to meet our needs...war is a nasty business....

  4. authentic piece.neither those who fight nor those who cover wars want it to go on...unfortunately there's little we can do about it.even changing presidents or prime ministers wont help as it just means, truce on one front to re-open a new one.
    btw, there's a small typo in line 9

  5. Abin,
    Duly corrected.Thanks


  6. These reporters do increasingly put their lives at risk to report the latest news. That is a sad picture but, it seems it is exactly what the man wanted. For the war to be shown in its truth.
    There is no glory in war. Everyone loses, humanity itself loses.
    Nicely written Hank.

  7. Vivid imagery of the front in that war and a strong look at those eagerly awaiting the news--but not this news, not the body bags for reporters----and this is seemingly not a deterrent for war correspondents. I have had so many opportunities to admire the witness of foreign correspondents at war and otherwise.

  8. I admire these war correspondents who tell it as is from the field. All too often we don't appreciate it and would instead listen to idiot box playing sitcoms.

  9. This is one of your best. Great piece!

  10. # The newsman and photographer
    Unarmed, untrained, unaccounted for
    Who could only sigh and hope...

    war is a crap thing... yet history is full of it.. only thing it brings is collateral damage and sadness..

  11. The poem is excellent, the content, sadly is too true.

    Apa khabar Hank, sir.

  12. powerful, heartbreaking reality.

  13. So true and apt for our time....great poem.

  14. I think it is sad that some reporters put their life in danger just to get a better story. I also think that we the public can understand what is happenng from the pictures taken at a safe distance for the reporters and photographers. I also think it is sad that the children of today are being desensitized to the horrors of war by some of the video games they play and the movies they watch. War is such a terrible unnecessary thing. I think we should just put the politicans who want to go to war into a room with the same gun each and the same number of bullets and after they kill each other then we can declare a truce. Might make them think twice about finding a peaceful solution before starting a war. I really doubt anyone will miss them either.

    Thanks for sharing such a different take on "Beds" for this weeks Theme Thursday.

    God bless.

  15. Pat
    A pity they put their lives on the line for others to make money


    The unsung heroes are unknown.

    It's nasty but new ones keep erupting!

    There seems to be some sinister reasons that prompt wars to start.

    Nobody wins but it's still there. It has a lot to do with economics, that's why!

    No one in his right mind wants it. But since it is there all agencies do their part.

    After some time we we get the notion it's the same.

    Mama Zen
    Thanks Ma'am!

    Yes and no one seems to care

    Thanks Ma'am!

    Yes,it's sad. Nice to see you back! Khabar baik belaka. T.Kasih

    Thank you both!

    Hear,hear! Life at risk but it spawned games and enjoyment. Kids might feel it's ok to kill,it's a sport. Sick!
    Yes, when they experience the pain and suffering it would definitely have some effects on their thinking. And history will judge them.


  16. As Jinksy says, Nasty in content - but cleverly thought out and interestingly executed. One of your best.

  17. A very well written story of poetry, a relevant piece