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wednesday morning
no wind,cool
perfect for sniper
with one shot
to kill
i felt the bullet's
pressure going by
my head
like a whip crack
my body fell
when to stand up?
with my rifle ready
i would have killed
anything that moved
there was nothing
you see
the farmers knew
"the set up"
Mike Hendershot 2009

7 Apr 09

Rated 9.3 (8.2) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10
Inactive (5): 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 10, 10

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Hey, where did my comment go?
 — Isabelle5

anywhere there is conflict the dirt is the same, the bullets may differ,the blood is the same,until everyone has seen the order of death their fine food and soft beds are only a old man away
 — ambiguos

very strong poem in L's 7 8 9 10 11. and demonstrates well that futile feeling of being an unwanted presence with a thousand eyes upon you
 — larrylark

falling down and hitting the deck an eating the dirt i remember trying to form my body in to that hard red dirt... then the horror of wonder when to get up again, finally standing up with your weapon to what nothing not even a water buffalo... you see the farmer knew what was gonna happen that day and they were not stupid... a lot of times no farm animals in an area meant something was up... i am gonna time out...
 — goeszon


how about, on line 15, 'anything that moved'?

just because it modulates with 'farmers knew' and all. otherwise, this is perfect, this is like a song out of the situation, not a story about it, and wrapping it up like this into a core with a blanket of knowing makes it stick in the head better than a video.
 — trashpoodle

what if he's not doing 'imagistic' though? doing the tight word-music dance where the world of it is translated into pure motion? the ideas are common, everyone knows what 'dead' is because no one knows 'death' by dying. that makes this one universal, and not a pet-poem for 'the right kind of thinker' -- not a politically correct essay with cute pictures -- saving private damon runyon stuff, where it's so real you could make a kodak moment out of it -- not like that. suppose this is the warrior's song chanted around, like an en-cour-age-ment among men or women warriors? that would make it a universal poem, a poem of 'world literature' and not a poem for the new york review of books.
 — trashpoodle

missed 'instead' --> instead, doing the tight word-music...
 — trashpoodle

when we a combat patrol were coming into a village and no one was there we would  know is was dangerous and may be a set up... no body's home, no bodies of theirs were lost... as these v.c. would pull off crazy death stunts and we would get kills for the day... we were pretty sharp on set ups... but booby traps were another thing... J G Smiles
 — goeszon

goeszon, thank you for sharing this. I am very moved by your experiences.

I agree with larrylark that lines 7-11 are very strong.

I felt the bullet's
pressure going by
my head
like a whip crack
my body fell

I love the poetry in this.

There is a lot of poetry in your comments too; you write with such passion and immediacy that I think your poem would benefit from some of these images.
( eg  eating dirt, trying to form my body into that hard red dirt, not even a water buffalo to aim at )

Lines 18-19 I don't think these lines say it as well as your prose:

when we a combat patrol were coming into a village and no one was there we would  know is was dangerous and may be a set up... no body's home, no bodies of theirs were lost...

You write so well goeszon - more detail please!
 — smugzy

smuzy thank you very much for your comments... i am learning how to cut, cut, cut and this piece is half what it was but still getting the true feeling of that morning is lost in this piece, i can  fill detail because truth is really easy to write about... you just tell the truth... i am submiting pieces each week an d they are focused on the war which is my monogram ... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

'no wind'
is a bit unpoetic
but i'm not going to tell you to change
your poem
since it's real and speaks the true nature
of futile resistance

i like the poodle's 'anything that moved'
suggestion as i find the 'when' less impacting
than the 'what'.
line 13 on is strongest for me.
 — jenakajoffer

jen-jen... Marines always have their rifles ready in more ways than one... that morning i had chambered a single round of 7.62 nato ammo into my weapon ready to throw 19 more rounds at anything... funny that you would like line 13... our guns at ready ... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

Very strong write goeszon--stand down to no one poet.
 — PaulS

PaulS... thanks for your support.
The sniper felt the trigger pull softly with no breath to end my life so casually , i in the turn of events felt the pressure too, grateful for the miss, likewise cracking at my ear he felt the crack of his rifle we both had a second in life ... him the life taker and me the spot in his payday ... he would go broke that day an i would live... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

i like stream of consciousness with a disconnected twist. you did that well here.

nice title as well.
 — listen

    Yeah... the farmers were consciences of the fact, it was me who lacked wisdom, just going about my time there... later they would erect canvass shields so that no one in that tree line could see activity, they knew but only sensed the trouble ahead, like a pissed off Marine ready to retaliate on their stock, these farmer's weren't dumb... they knew the game, played it well... how else could they grow those whisker's of wisdom... J. G. Smiles
 — goeszon

42 years ago and you still remember it was a Wednesday! Line 13 "my rifle' we called it "my 16"
 — BxPR

BxPR... in those day's we still had the 12 lb M-14 i had one for a year then they took em and gave us that matel toy M-16 stoner, really felt different to us... small caliber projectile, and high velocity load of powder... if it clipped a zipper's arm the arm exploded, was gone in an instant a lot of people have them all over the world... wonder where they got them...  it was always called a rifle... never a gun ... they would make us run around holding our balls singing this is my rifle this is my gun this is for shooting this is for fun... J.G. Smiles
 — goeszon

crap i could have written in two minutes
 — barry

    Barry i am sorry about the bad critique... others out way you, the action describe took longer than two minutes... J.G. Smiles
 — goeszon

 — unknown

I think the folks hailing bullets with their snide remarks are a bit clueless...what was the old saying? "Farmer by day, VC by night" ?
 — JKWeb

    JKWEB... i hope were together in the field, there is generally a lot of space between the guy in front , guys behind him, so we are friends... your right on the farmer business if we suspected this he would be executed at night arranged by his own countrymen... of course we own the day they own the night except when stealth was involved... J.G.Smiles
 — goeszon

not a poem but a list from someone who believes he is a poet
 — rapture

    Well ease up Jim, every time i write something i do not consider myself a ripping poet, although some have used the term war-poet so... as you write, contribute don't go into a rage here at p/c, you will just have to get used to being hurt some weeks as you work for that gem in the dirt...  
   J.G. Smiles
 — goeszon

i dont have to get used to anything pal-like i said learn about poetry before leaving useless comments-  
 — rapture

    Jim, write some pieces we are all waiting... J.G.Smiles
 — goeszon

"Chaos has come again"   Othello  Act  3  Scene  3
The Bard of Avon...
J.G. Smiles
 — goeszon

I like this a lot... again, the telegraphic style fits your subject perfectly, each line following the next like the rapid beating of his heart or the flicking of his eyes, disjointed thoughts that nonetheless follow each other logically, so that you manage to achieve a flow that carries the reader with the lightning-quick fire of his mind in this moment...
 — andyleggett

    Sir, your comments show your intelligence where I was battling ignorance from others, just some others, I was just a jar-head in a civil war, you have captured my functions, emotions that day very well... you have a gift... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon