Edward Henry


Ed Henry joined the Navy as a Corpsman in 1961 and served with various Marine

 infantry units of the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions.  He traveled extensively throughout Asia and served in Viet Nam from 1965 to 1966.  Ed is currently vice president of Military Historical Tours, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia and has made countless trips back to Viet Nam in the past ten years.  Ed continues to write poetry, is working on a novel, and has published several articles on the legacy of the Viet Nam Generation.


I Call Them Brothers


I want you to hear these men

That talk about the comedy

Of life. 

And the times that shattered personal

Dreams, and the dreams of loves

Never fulfilled.


I want you to hear about the

Depths of hell played out in a

Young man?s days of surviving

In a terrible place.


And if that?s not enough, then listen

On for the story?s conclusion,

Tramped out on a stage

For the world to know. . .



?And the real heroes will tell you

That much, as they quietly sip

Coffee beside you at the corner cafe,

And try to forget the Satanic

35mm frames that play nightly

In their heads.


Listening is the easy part,

No payment due, no ticket price,

Quiet understanding, yes,

A slight nod forward of the

Bobbing head, and then lock

Their eyes into your heart.


Accept them, and then maybe

In your uncommitted soul

Decide to love them, as they

Stand before you like naked children.


Some innocent, some not,

But begging forgiveness all the same

For answering a call and

Doing their duty.


I want you to hear these men,

And savor the ugliness along with

The spectacles of beauty.

Draw back the tears of God

And usher in life!


Life, joy, and scream for another

Walk in the sun! For these chosen few,

And an invitation to all, the personal

Drug of choice is creativity!


I Am a Viet Nam Veteran


Every generation breeds a new kind of dog.

Our generation of kennel clubs

Turned out a real winner,

That broke the chain,

Turned on its master,

And gave him a lesson

On mistreating animals

Then snapped his wrist-bone,

Thank you very much!


Kick a dog long enough, and he?ll teach you

A thing or two about being a dog.

Don't love a dog and he'll take to the woods,

Or run in the streets.  He'll delight in fucking

Other dogs during the full moon, he'll infect

The finer breeds with a sense of the truth

Of what you've finally made him . . .

Your basic run-of-the-mill dog.


You shouldn?t hate him for what he is.

After all, you bred him. He?s yours.

To love, hate, or destroy.


The Sniper


I'll wait for you . . .

And I'll kill you . . .


I'll wait as long as I have to.

I've waited a long time just for this moment

to make you dead, and make me a hero

in the eyes of the Committee. I?ve practiced

many times for this moment.


I'll wait for you . . .

And I'll kill you . . .


I'll shoot you for every one of us you?ve murdered.

For every old woman you people have butchered . . .

I can wait through hatred. I can wait through rain.

I'll wait because I hate you, and not because

I?ve been told to do this.  I can wait,

because I WANT TO DO THIS, I?ll shoot you

in the head if I can, so you and I can end this.

And then maybe you?ll leave our country,

and I can go home, too.


I'll wait for you . . .

And I'll kill you . . .


One shot is all I have between your death and my life.

And you'll lose, because my hate is deeper than your hate.

I can wait for hours and days and nights and insects and storms

 and heat and cold and I don't care what happens to me but I care

 what happens to you because I care about seeing you die

in the sights of my weapon.  I want to see the first blood,

your blood, and I want to make you pay for all the blood

of my people that you?ve spilled.


I'll wait for you . . .

And I'll kill you . . .


Before you even know it, I will have put my bullet in your head,

that will end your life, and end your existence in my homeland.

Finish it forever. One at a time if I have to, one bullet

slid into one chamber, and fired into one head, your head.

Your hated foreign, head!


I'll wait for you . . .

And I'll kill you . . .


The Heart of the Matter


The heart of the matter will never be divulged.

Too deep, too true, for any understanding.

Only glimmers appear in the depth of the night,

Or when I awake and you're not there.


Words are a failure when the spirit speaks,

Pitiful human utterance better left unspoken.

Quiet and restful the moon in Dong Ha,

Silver reflections dance among the rice fields,

And let me know in an instant of the

Heart beside me.


The heart of the matter told me to change,

To accept who I am and the love within.

Two hearts in truth need a gate for the gifts,

That flow out like streams from the Annam Hills.

The Spirit delivers and we delight in each other,

Laughter, tears, pain, and healing.


Words are a failure when the spirit moves,

Two broken hearts to a mending place.


Poets Pages