Military Poetry – Intermission Story (20)

When only poetry will do – in their words ______

A SOLDIERS PICNIC

I like my olives sanded,
My pickles full of bugs;
I’m rustic: To be candid,
I shy from chairs and rugs.

The open field! The azure sky!
The fields of waving grain!
The piece of huckleberry pie
That’s bogged with sudden rain!

I understand the merits of
A cake that’s turned to goo;
For every bite I take and love
Mosquitoes give me two,

And naught I know can close compare
The taste of hardboiled eggs,
While bees make honey in my hair
And flies besiege my legs.

So “outdoor” is the word for me
Ah! – Give me trees to hack!
And then my first response will be
To give the damned things back.

– By M/Sgt. H. E. KELLENBERGER

**********          **********         **********          **********          **********

11th Airborne Division Chapel

A PARATROOPER’S PRAYER

When I’m flying at seven hundred
And the red light flickers on
I know I’ll tremble and start to sweat
But, God, let me be strong.
When I look down through the hole, God
It’s like I’m standing by a grave
And my knees go weak and I can’t speak
Then, God, please make me brave.
And if it be Thy will, God
Part of Thine own Great Plan
That my life should stop, then on that last long drop
Oh God, let me die a man!
While I’m waiting to emplane, God
And checking my jumping kit
Though I laugh and jeer I’m full of fear
But, God, don’t let me quit.
When the kite begins to move, God
And take off time is near
Then my heart grows cold – God, make me bold
And drive away my fear.

 

Desmond Le Pard, 17th Battalion Parachute Regiment @ 18 years old

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

Paratrooper School.

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Timothy Bowman – Ontario, CAN; Canadian Forces, Military Police, Capt. 1 Wing HQ, pilot

Edward Flora – Mishawaka, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, A/674th Arty/11th Airborne Division

Gilbert Grossinger – Kerhonkson, NY; US Army, WWII

Donald Hardcastle – Rochdale, ENG; RAF, WWII, radioman

Hugh Hefner – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII, Infantry Clerk, military newspaper cartoons

Vincent Koravos – Lowell, MA; USMC; WWII, PTO, MAG-24 tail gunner

Ramon Laughter – Edna, TX; US Army, WWII & Korea, Colonel (Ret. 25 y.)

Kevin McCarthy – Brooklyn, NY; US Air Force, Flt. Surgeon

Geral Sheridon – Denver, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Jon Vaccarino – Yorktown Heights, NY; US Army, Korea

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 28, 2017, in Korean War, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 127 Comments.

  1. amusing poem about the wonders of life outside…..away from many comforts. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    War and poetry are not two words I’d normally put together, but I love the poems these guys wrote. I wonder how they faired.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing poetry. The soldier poetry is my favorite. For a soldier. Home become sweeter when they are far away from their home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey GP, fantastic read, very emotional stuff. I myself a wounded Veteran. Somehow these poems ground me and give me chills at the same time. Thanks for these poems.
    Lee

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for making a blog for those who serve in the military

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great military poësie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great poems! That must be some feeling, looking down before the jump.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Above all – a sense of humour. Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As you know GP I’m an atheist but I must admit that the Paratroopers Prayer written by an 18 year old impressed me

    .And then he went on. His prayers answered.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Both terrific poems. I have ‘fond’ memories of standing in the door and looking down before a jump. The worst part for me was always the canopy opening and the snap of the straps in certain areas of my body – if you know what I mean. Looking up and seeing a beautiful round canopy was always a relief!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I laughed out loud at the ending lines of the first poem, and tears came to my eyes as i read the second. Humor and honesty and two things that help all of us get through life’s little trials. It seems clear that they helped these men get through some trials that were substantially harder.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. and thanks for the how to fold a flag in the sidebar – that is helpful

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey G – this is great – I am going to share it with some Vets I know – cool?
    and laughing at the paratrooper coming – hee – super fun

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sandra Russell Lyons

    Thank you for sharing both of these poems. My father was 11th Airborne and I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to jump out of a plane at age 18. Humor is often the best medicine so The Soldier’s Picnic is perfect and A Paratroopers Prayer sums up what my father might have been experiencing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always great to hear from a person who knows of the 11th!! Have you joined the Association as an Associate member? You would then received the quarterly newspaper “The Voice of the Angels” and read so many stories of those fantastic men!!

      Like

      • Sandra Russell Lyons

        I joined yesterday and can’t wait to receive the next newsletter. I love when I go to my inbox and their is a new story to relate to. Wish Dad had spoken more of his time their and the men he served with.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. The Soldiers Picnic is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful piece ~ your writing and humor made this such a great read and then also with the good blood pumping, I see your farewell salutes and feel proud. Wonderful and well done. Wishing you a great autumn ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Super poems, GP. Liked the jokes as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love poetry! It is a therapy for me…writing poetry and reading it. Thank you for sharing these poems, GP! For giving us a glimpse inside a soldier’s thoughts and emotions. I’m glad they could express themselves in this way AND that we can read them today.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hugh Hefner made the lists …

    The poetry is pure art. Few uninvolved today can imagine what it’s like to jump with all the kit; huge difference between recreational jumping and military.

    And loooove those cartoons (especially the Para School)~!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Funny and poignant, good combination of pieces. ~~dru~~

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for sharing these, GP. Quite different, but wonderful expressions of the writers’ experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. These are so wonderful at giving perspective. Just out of curiosity, do you know what era the first one is from?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Both of those poems were great. The first, funny but poignant. The second I can just relate to…being so scared, but moving forward anyway. The author was so young…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Incredible word descriptions from soldiers hearts & minds. Expressive writing is a therapy that includes poetry. It’s honesty of what soldiers go through! We need to know this. Thank you for these kinds of stories, GP. 🌺 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was only the lucky one to come across this poetry, Jacqui. I thought it a good change of pace and shows the two sides of soldier’s life. God bless your two children!

      Like

  25. I hope these wonderful poems brought some comfort to the people who wrote them. I noticed the obits today – when everyone is equal.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love both of the poems, but both for vastly different reasons! I’m definitely saving “A Paratrooper’s Prayer”.

    Keep ’em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. These are great! And I love the cartoon with the balloonists, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The first made me laugh, the second gave me the chills. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. While there are certain poems I certainly like, I have never been what you would call a big fan of poetry. These, however, strike a chord like most poetry I have read never could. Thanks for sharing,

    Liked by 1 person

  30. One poem tells all the reasons why I have never jumped from an aircraft, and the other well describes the trials of life in the field, dealing with nature as well as the enemy.
    The cartoon and photo are good too!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Poetry and songs are like mind trench art. Loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I had heard the Poem, A Paratrooper’s Prayer before and always loved it. but, A Soldiers Picnic was hilarious and the photo with it was priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. An unexpected but pleasurable change, GP. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Absolutely love military poetry. Thanks for reminding me!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Some soldiers who have gone through rigorous military service and/or experienced the horrors of war found solace in poetry. It is a phenomenon found throughout history in all armies of the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Oftentimes, creativity is the best way to cope with difficult situations.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. This is wonderful to read. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

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