Retired farmhand/ranch hand/ factory laborer. U.S. Army veteran
Owen49: It was bound to happen. Soon all of them will be gone.
Owen49: I Spoke To You In Whispers by Neil Andrew
I spoke to you in whispers
As shells made the ground beneath us quake
We both trembled in that crater
A toxic muddy bloody lake
I spoke to you and pulled your ears
To try and quell your fearful eye
As bullets whizzed through the raindrops
And we watched the men around us die
I spoke to you in stable tones
A quiet tranquil voice
At least I volunteered to fight
You didn't get to make the choice
I spoke to you of old times
Perhaps you went before the plough
And pulled the haycart from the meadow
Far from where we're dying now
I spoke to you of grooming
Of when the ploughman made you shine
Not the shrapnel wounds and bleeding flanks
Mane filled with mud and wire and grime
I spoke to you of courage
As gas filled the Flanders air
Watched you struggle in the mud
Harness acting like a snare
I spoke to you of peaceful fields
Grazing beneath a setting sun
Time to rest your torn and tired body
Your working day is done
I spoke to you of promises
If from this maelstrom I survive
By pen and prose and poetry
I'll keep your sacrifice alive
I spoke to you of legacy
For when this hellish time is through
All those who hauled or charged or carried
Will be regarded as heroes too
I spoke to you in dulcet tones
Your eye told me you understood
As I squeezed my trigger to bring you peace
The only way I could
And I spoke to you in whispers.....
Owen49: The picture accompanying the poem is titled, "Goodbye Old Man" by Fortunino Matania. (December 1917 – Fins, Nord-du-Calais, France -WWI) One of the most famous Matania paintings, a touching moment of officer saying goodbye to his beloved ally
Owen49: On Saturday, 2Jun18, I rec'd the last letter I'll get from my old friend, Dana "Shep" Shepardson. Shep is an Army buddy. We met at Ft. Bliss, Texas back when we were both stationed there in '69. He's dying and was so weak he could barely drag his pen across the paper. The letter was just several lines of barely legible scratching and scrawling and his wife had to address the envelope so the postman could read it.
He told me how much he appreciated knowing me and that he'd miss my letters but he just couldn't write anymore.
I got a letter off to him today telling him not to concern himself with not being able to write as I understood and I'd just continue to write to him as I'm his friend to the end. I told him how the making of his acquaintance was an honor, privilege and a blessing to me and I'd not forget him as he is part of my life. I hope and pray my letter gets to him while he's still alive and cognizant.
From those of you so inclined, I'd appreciate intercessory prayer for Shep for his peace and comfort in what's left of this life as well as the next one.