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The Grunt’s Dream

The Grunt’s Dream

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Published by bohdansirant5906
A soldier lies in wait by a river ford to ambush any Viet Cong he anticipates will cross there. He has a dream in which he is visited by God in the guise of Tom, an old Cree Indian guide, who gives him advice and foretells his future. The poem was inspired by the great Hindu classic, the Bhagavad Gita, in which the god, Krishna reveals himself and converses with Prince Arjuna, in the middle of a battlefield.

The poem is dedicated to the late Roman Kupchinsky, who passed away in 2010. Roman was a prominent journalist and a very influencial political analyst and commentator on matters pertaining to the nations of the former USSR, especially Ukraine and Russia, and East European energy issues. He was a decorated Vietnam war veteran, he had served two tours with the 1st Cavalry Air Mobile, winning the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, and Airman's Medal (He was also a graduate of the US Army Special Forces School.)

Roman was dedicated to a democratic, free and independent Ukraine, and made great efforts toward that goal.

After Vietnam, Roman spent a decade at the helm of a U.S.-based Ukrainian-language research institute, Prolog. In the 1970s, he became a leader of the Committee in Defense of Soviet Political Prisoners, that marshaled worldwide support for human rights activists held in Soviet labor camps.

From 1990 to 2002, Roman headed Radio Liberty's Ukrainian Service. He then became a senior analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He retired in 2008. He was a regular contributor to the Jamestown Foundation, and influenced many political scientists and observers of the post-Soviet space. Roman covered the connections between Putinism, organized crime, ex-Soviet intelligence services, and the staggering corruption of the oil and gas industry, and the negative impact of these on the region's stability and democratization, especially in Ukraine.

Roman Kupchinsky, was a master of his craft, and to quote from Robert Service's immortal poem, "The Lost Master," Roman "played the game" to the very end, and he inspired many of his friends.

"And though our stormy hearts may break,
We will not do our Master shame
We'll play the game, please God,
We'll play the game."

Mai mốt gặp lại!
A soldier lies in wait by a river ford to ambush any Viet Cong he anticipates will cross there. He has a dream in which he is visited by God in the guise of Tom, an old Cree Indian guide, who gives him advice and foretells his future. The poem was inspired by the great Hindu classic, the Bhagavad Gita, in which the god, Krishna reveals himself and converses with Prince Arjuna, in the middle of a battlefield.

The poem is dedicated to the late Roman Kupchinsky, who passed away in 2010. Roman was a prominent journalist and a very influencial political analyst and commentator on matters pertaining to the nations of the former USSR, especially Ukraine and Russia, and East European energy issues. He was a decorated Vietnam war veteran, he had served two tours with the 1st Cavalry Air Mobile, winning the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, and Airman's Medal (He was also a graduate of the US Army Special Forces School.)

Roman was dedicated to a democratic, free and independent Ukraine, and made great efforts toward that goal.

After Vietnam, Roman spent a decade at the helm of a U.S.-based Ukrainian-language research institute, Prolog. In the 1970s, he became a leader of the Committee in Defense of Soviet Political Prisoners, that marshaled worldwide support for human rights activists held in Soviet labor camps.

From 1990 to 2002, Roman headed Radio Liberty's Ukrainian Service. He then became a senior analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He retired in 2008. He was a regular contributor to the Jamestown Foundation, and influenced many political scientists and observers of the post-Soviet space. Roman covered the connections between Putinism, organized crime, ex-Soviet intelligence services, and the staggering corruption of the oil and gas industry, and the negative impact of these on the region's stability and democratization, especially in Ukraine.

Roman Kupchinsky, was a master of his craft, and to quote from Robert Service's immortal poem, "The Lost Master," Roman "played the game" to the very end, and he inspired many of his friends.

"And though our stormy hearts may break,
We will not do our Master shame
We'll play the game, please God,
We'll play the game."

Mai mốt gặp lại!

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Published by: bohdansirant5906 on May 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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The Grunt’s Dream
By Bo Sirant, 2012(dedicated to the late Roman Kupchinsky)The grunt lay thereDown and lowIn the brush by the river Where wild orchids growStill and silentAt his ambush postHe was patient--Waiting for the VC hostOn matted reeds and hay he layLike a tiger crouching in its lair Sniffing for the scent of preyIn the humid jungle air He rested covered and concealedBy the tangled, creeping vines Near a well-trod, muddy trailLaced with booby-traps and minesThere he waited for a brushWith an elusive, black-clad foe“Who is ‘Master of the Bush’?”He knew he soon would knowHe tensed himself rock-like stiff Then became relaxed and slack Then stiff and slack againHe shifted his weightSloth-like, and oh, so slowHe was restless and itchyHis muscles were fickle Numb, tingly, twitchyHe felt tics and tremorsSubtle shakes and tiny tremblesWas soaked from head to toeYet stayed stillWith barely a squirmOr a desperate wiggleAnd for a long timeFelt the sweat trickleDown his cheeks andBack of the neck And the small of his back He lay watching the stretchOf meandering streamThe downed gnarled trees1
 
The eddies, whorls, and ripplesAnd standing wavesPools and rifflesDunes and antidunes(into which only an hour agoHe had sunk fully dressedTo wash away his scentAnd then rolledIn the sand, mud, and leavesAnd smudged his faceWith dirt and charcoalAll over and festooned himself With leafy branchesGrass and clover For camouflage and cover)He looked downThrough the clear cool water To see spangled fishLike the speckled trout back homeDarting in the dark blue shadowsDown in the pool below him,Between the stippled rocksCamouflaged against the siltAnd pebbles andThe sweeping swaying grasses Near the shoreWhere the long curved reedsLithe and laxLooked oddly bentBy the parallaxA thin mist like smokeHung above the rushing water He could feel the jungleHe could taste the jungleHe could smell the jungleThe eternal jungleThe infernal jungleThe fungal rot,The spirits spentThe fetid spoilsOf bodies rentThe strangling floraThe sodden soilsThe fearsome faunaOdors carrion coarse andFragrances orchid fine2
 
He heard the water’s gurgleMurmur and the babbleTree top chitter and the twitter He heard the distant cannons thunder He heard the blasts and rumbleAnd the carpet bombing wonder On the verdant hills and ridges yonder The long varoom of B-52s dropping tonsOf encapsulated woeIn one long and staggered apocalyptic rowTearing countryside asunder Blow by blowRiven earth and splintered forestHurled and thrownFiery bloom and mushroomKaboom after kaboomPowder fumes and smoky plumesThe phosphoric starburstsThe hellish pyrotechnic showSpark, blaze and eerie glowAnd imagined the fireballs and Napalm infernos throw upChoking black plumesOf greasy sooty smokeThat grew into drifting, dense andDark clouds looming on the horizonHe was at one with this war And at one with the back countryThe hills, ravines and dinglesIts undergrowth and tanglesWhere living things vied to liveBy ruthless and relentless struggleIts mysteries and verdant vastnessScared him and made him humbleAs did its ferocious power to destroyThe distracted and the carelessThose who muddle, err and bungleThose who trip and those who stumbleThose too slow and those who trundleAnd he feared its denizensEverything that walked, stalked, flewFluttered and flappedWriggled, crawled, and dangledBit, stung, and suckedAnd he feared the mines and booby traps3

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