Colin F. Jones

VETERANS

Who then is not spoiled by war; and suffer,
Silent agonies, angry thoughts and guilt,
But reach out and through it all discover,
That it is from pain that love is built.
Who has not cried and sobbed in despair,
While seeking refuge in abuse and shame,
To reap from it wisdom wrapped in care,
Overcoming the wrath of an evil flame?
None who have served on the battlefield,
Have returned home with joy in their hearts,
None to whom the truth of war is revealed,
Emerge free until their guilt departs
Make then your way to freedom and to peace,
Time will pass slowly; but the pain will cease.

We have not wasted our time, we men,
Who have left our homes to venture to war.
We may have lost our youth back then,
Seeing what it was most soldiers saw.
But we lost not what we were; we survived,
We came back to live out our dreams,
All that we had once felt would be revived,
Laughter would emerge through the screams.
Faces would fade in our unreal thoughts,
Becoming lost in the turbulence of the past;
We would wade through the ghosts in our resorts,
And lose sight of the flag on the mast.
But we would not forget as in time we healed,
The pain of that would lie always concealed.

Some would move from bar to drunken place,
Seeking themselves and friends not there.
Still in the war zone and their own disgrace,
Surrounded by astonished eyes of dispassionate care.
Pushing from them everything they want and seek,
Painting the future with the torments of their past,
Traumas spectres about which they cannot speak,
Clinging to their thoughts with claws held fast.
Yet from it all through the trauma of choking smoke
There shines a light that leads them to themselves,
That warms their hearts with a new and fervent hope,
That in their hearts still a true love dwells.
For understanding and the will to care,
Are the fine ingredients that we who love do share.