Fred Alvis

FLYING HIGH

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: April 11, 2006
Awarded: April 11, 2006
We were flying high,
then was time to work.
Walked down to the flight line,
I saw their smirks.

Buckled on my guns,
checked my ammo cans.
Checked my chicken plates,
made sure smokes were on hand.

Preflighted the bird,
time to fly high;
Time to cheat death,
armed in the sky.

Listened to the blades,
listened to the bird;
Listened to the radios,
listened to the words.

Things might get hot,
birds have taken fire.
One bird is down,
courage is required.

Into the LZ we go,
guns are hot.
Grunts are scrambling,
folks are getting shot.

Take out the wounded,
take out the dead;
Wrapped up corpses,
like picking up lead.

Flying high with death,
ain’t it a hoot.
Bodies wrapped in ponchos,
heads, arms and boots.

Can’t wait for the day to end,
return to base;
I have gotten a thirst,
gonna drink a case.

Friends shot down,
just doing a job.
Flying high with death,
hearts no longer throb.

Git me back to base,
gonna smoke an ounce.
Let the fuckers smirk,
death has pounced.

Every day, death flies high,
be it bullets or broken birds.
They are dead and gone,
I still hear their words.

Party hardy, for tomorrow you may die,
helicopter crews standing phrase.
We may not see tomorrow,
the new sun’s rays.

So roll another one,
pop that can of beer.
Death waits for us,
flying high or near.

Walk into a rotor blade,
or be shot down.
Party hardy lads,
you might fly into the ground.

Fly high at night,
those are the perks.
Walk to the flight line each day;
ignore their “ain’t-got-a-clue” smirks.

This poem inspired the poetic recollection “Laterite and Leaves” ~ ©Copyright April 12, 2006 by Anthony W. Pahl OAM