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Life Arts    H4'ed 11/14/19

The Mechanical Boy Soldier Wakes from an Amazing Dream

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By Edward Curtin

Sleeping, he finds himself


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Trapped in a maze
As if in a bad dream
Droning in his child's ears
In the middle of a long night.
Frantic, desperately seeking exit
From this recurring nightmare
Of terrifying sleep. Freedom?
Traps and fears ride one horse,
Said the mechanical soldier to the boy.
Look at me, stiff and inflexible,
Following the same pattern every time
You wind me up. I march blindly,
Gladly to my death on cue.
But I never really die.
I march for you my masters
Again and again. You hold the key.
And that maze that seems to trap you
Is only the spell cast by those
Who made me, not in your image,
But in the mold of their own hands
Stiffened by years of servitude
To a God who binds them
Of their own accord. The God of death.

Unwind yourself.

And Mechanical Mikey faded with the years,
But his message followed the boy to manhood
Flowing under the surface movements of a model son,
Stiffened into rectitude and the dutiful demeanor
Of a Marine. He had become a killer of his own will.
But then they marched him like Mechanical Mikey,
And in that reversal of the roles of childhood
Mikey's words merged to become a torrent,
Forcing their way through every labyrinthine lane
Set to trap him in its twisted tale of dreadful death,
The manly myth that says: "My rifle is my life."
Unbound, unwound he went freely forth to see,
To see with burning eyes a strange new light
That almost struck him blind in dazed delight.

He found himself riding the high-flung back
Of a voluptuous sea horse, throwing traps and fears
To the whirling wind, holding on for dear life
As the voice from the whirlwind whistled a dirge
For Mikey who had died, dead of mechanical heart
Failure, having been choked to death. Lazarus,
having emerged from the peace of oblivion,
Knew he was destined for the awful task of living
Freely, listening to the spirit call its will across the deep,
Drawing him out of the maze into a dazzling new day.
So he rose, went forth into a throbbing warm world,
A place he had denied for far too many years,
Where no dead soldier craves a parent's tears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFCekeoSTwg

 

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Edward Curtin Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Educated in the classics, philosophy, literature, theology, and sociology, I am a former professor of sociology. My writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. I write as a public intellectual for the general public, not (more...)
 
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3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments


David Watts

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Author 10429
(Member since Jan 31, 2008), 14 fans, 26 articles, 29 quicklinks, 2427 comments, 28 diaries (View Extended Stats)
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  New Content

From your song Waltzing Matilda,

I never knew there were worse things than dying.

and,

And the young people ask,

What are they marching for?

And from a song you know,

And it's one, two, three, What are we fighting for?


Country Joe & the Fish -- Vietnam song C'est un groupe former de Country Joe Mcdonal et Bary Melton surnome' Fish Il sont connu pour leur pre'sentation au Woodstock avec .I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to...
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Well, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag"

Well, come on all of you, big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam
And it's five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die

Well, come on generals, let's move fast
Your big chance has come at last
Now you can go out and get those reds
'Cause the only good commie is the one that's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam
And it's five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die

Come on Wall Street, don't be slow
Why man, this is war au-go-go
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb
They drop it on the Viet Cong

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam
And it's five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die

Come on mothers throughout the land
Pack your boys off to Vietnam
Come on fathers, and don't hesitate
To send your sons off before it's too late
And you can be the first ones in your block
To have your boy come home in a box

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam
And it's five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die


Submitted on Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 7:41:10 PM

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Edward Curtin

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

This also is a great one, David. Thanks for the reminder.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 11:17:58 PM

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Gary Lindorff

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Thanks for this and the photo. Hits home.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 9:27:12 PM

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Edward Curtin

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Author 94064
(Member since Jun 15, 2014), 19 fans, 141 articles, 13 quicklinks, 264 comments (View Extended Stats)
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Reply to Gary Lindorff:   New Content

Thanks, Gary. It's so strange but I got caught up in a lot a nonsense today, but I had read your poem "Shadow" this morning and said to myself that it was one of the best you've ever written and I must tell you so. No bullshit. Speaking of shadows; we're dancing to the same theme. I was greatly moved by "Shadows." Very powerful and true.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 10:56:44 PM

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