The Book of Vietnam

The Book of Vietnam

The book is wide and black

with lines across the page.

Their names and dates of numbers

will calculate their age.

Subtract them from the living

in time of war and rage.

Good God!

Think of them, their numbers

that lost unto some goals.

Think of them, their families

that lost these trusted souls.

Think of the generations

that never fill the holes.

Think  of Them.

The book of Vietnam.

What everyone should read

before we hate and promise

to satisfy a need.

Fifty eight times thousand

we tore our trusted seed.

Remember Them.

(C) John Steinmeyer

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. These are poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. This is the last one of many from a collection of poems, 32 total. You can find more of our favorites below.

Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

More of John’s Poems

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6.  In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7.  The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. The Picture (1), Nothing (2)
  9. Not Me
  10. The Rain (1), There Are (2)
  11. His Counseling (1), Uncle John (2)
  12. Cheers (1), Bloody Garden (2)
  13. Our other posts on PTSD (Missing Video will return soon)
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Poems-His Counseling, Uncle John

Credit- Amy Smith, Getty Images

His Counseling

As he searched for his

Truth

most everything he

                                                                                  Perceived

was turned upside down

                       and Mutilated.

It was necessary

so he could

            Rebuild.

But the Pain

was

                                Tremendous.

(C) John Steinmeyer


Uncle John

“Uncle John is that picture

really one of you?’

“yes said Uncle John.”

“I was once young too.”

“Uncle John you killed people?”

“Are you glad you had to do?”

“Uncle John?”

“Uncle John, we were winning.”

“We killed lots more of them.”

“Uncle John, in that picture,

is that guy still your friend?”

“Uncle John was it  a war?”

“We’re glad it had to end.”

“Uncle John.”

They sat beside their Uncle John

at midday for a meal.

Bratwurst, beans, and brownies

and fresh milk in the deal.

The questions of these innocent

help Uncle John to heal.

Uncle John.

Michael, Ralph, Gina, Paul, and Uncle John.

(C) John Steinmeyer 

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. Two poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. See other links below for more. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

More of John’s Poems

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6.  In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7.  The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. The Picture (1), Nothing (2)
  9. Not Me
  10. The Rain (1), There Are (2)
  11. More to come
  12. Our other posts on PTSD (Missing Video will return soon)

Poems-The Rain, There are

Credit-www.uticaromespeedway.com

The Rain

He cussed the rain October

and the many months before.

He lived and he slept in it

and didn’t want no more.

It made him cold and angry

as he went through the war.

So he turned it off.

It swelled the creeks and rivers

and flooded where he lay.

And swam in beans and weanies

or whatever food that day.

And soaked the leaves of jungle

that were always in his way.

So he turned it off. 

But in the heat November

as his skin turned leather tight

he wished the rain October

as he went to sleep at night.

But he had turned the rain off

and nothing would be right.

And it would be years

before it rained again. 

(C) John Steinmeyer

There Are

There are those who

do not

and will not

                  Speak.

There are those who

do not

and will not

                     Heal.

There are those who

do not

and will not

                            Live.

There are those who

do

                                Naught.

(C) John Steimeyer

More of John’s Poems

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6.  In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7.  The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. The Picture (1), Nothing (2)
  9. Not Me
  10. More to come
  11. Our other posts on PTSD (Missing Video will return soon)

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. Two poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. See other links above for more. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

Not Me

Not Me

What the Hell you call it?

Pee, tee, ess, dee?

I don’t suffer that shit!

I served in the Infantry.

__________

Candy asses they left.

Cry babies they returned.

Ya grab a gun in one hand.

Balls in the other I learned.

___________

Affect me? No it didn’t.

The gun in the corner is mine.

Sure the sucker is loaded.

It’s that way all the time.

___________

So what if I like nights?

It’s my decision to be

away from all the assholes

that continually bother me.

___________

Crowds, I will leave alone.

They’re just a cluster fuck.

They always contain a crazy

that’s nuts and down on luck.

____________

Counseling? I don’t need it.

There’s nothing wrong with me.

I think it just your problem

cause I’m alright you see.

You bet!

(C) John Steinmeyer

More of John’s Poems

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6.  In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7.  The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. The Picture (1), Nothing (2)
  9. More to come
  10. Our other posts on PTSD (Missing Video will return soon)

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. Two poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. See other links above for more. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

Poems: The Picture, Nothing

Credit: Pastispresent.org

The Picture

I’m looking at the picture

of my newborn child.

But only just an hour ago

the situation was wild.

_________

I squat upon the jungle dirt

and look towards my right

and see two crumpled bodies

that resulted from the fight.

__________

Then I read the letter says

“our daughter’s doing fine.”

“She’s a precious piece of life,

and she’s yours and mine.”

___________

But God we just killed fathers

that were fighting in this place.

There’s other sons and daughters

that won’t see their father’s face.

___________

Then I truly wonder if

my daughter will see me.

Tears well up inside my throat

and man just let me be.

(C) John Steinmeyer


Nothing

No, it was nothing

my dear and loving wife

to tromp the mud and jungle,

survive just to take life.

Just plain fucking nothing

to live inside the strife.

Of Nothing.

For nothing marks the jungle

where Lee and Eddie fell.

And nothing says the trouble

for time we spent in Hell.

And nothing is what needs me

but nothing can I tell.

Of Nothing.

For nothings my eraser

that keeps me in the blind.

And nothing keeps me going

and nothing can I find

‘cept tell you it was nothing

so I don’t lose my mind.

For Nothing.

(C) John Steinmeyer

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Poems- Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6. Poems- In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7. Poems- The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. More to come

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. Two poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. See other links above for more. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.