War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

So Beautiful

The Many Men So Beautiful

Men marched, they kept equal step.
Men marched, they were nurtured together.
David Jones, In Parenthesis

I watch you infantryman
so gucci in the Suffield dust
your body turned by a year of sweat
duress, Carl G sleeplessness,
like liquid glass blown gaudy
in the white-hot war furnace
into something steely, fragile, precious.
Your bed, the inside of your head
nodding into your frag vest,
mother LAV humming hot then cold,
while Cpl. Zee on sentry blows
cigarillo halos at emerald worlds
of infra-red, thermals,
watching watching arcs right
then left, ghosty glows
coyotes creeping tall prairie grass.
You, zenith of man at 26,
face sooted green with live-fire,
two-tour-old-guy-eyes in young man’s skin,
I’ll think of you when you go over again, your pencil, your pen,
your sketchpad falling from your sleeping hand;
I’ll think of you, the bitching brothers,
sleeping upright in the belly of the LAV
shoulder-to-shoulder, knee-to-knee crammed,
doing time in cell-phone-Bible-land,
I’ll think of you, all of you,
‘til the Herc lands
and most of you
come marching home again.

6 Comments (Closed)


well done.

Sep 04 2009 · 15:18


Vivid with detail, and then the reminder – for the rest of us, who don’t have to go – at the end. Lest we forget. Good!

Sep 05 2009 · 19:50

Donnie MacNeill

Let us all hope (pray if you’re that way inclined) that ALL of them will return on the good, old faithfull ‘Hercy Birds’, intact if not quite in ‘Gucci’. Sadly we do not live in an ideal world, as we Brits are learning with increasing frequency.
Good, strong stuff, S!

Sep 06 2009 · 14:28


Excellent work, the imagery is just so solid; the use of the word ‘Gucci’ really fits in. Good work.

Sep 07 2009 · 09:05


I was challenged by some soldiers at WWx to use “gucci,” their adjective for anything expensive, nice, comfortable, an easy job etc., in a poem. So here it is guys.

glad you like this one

Sep 07 2009 · 09:08

Sherry Coffey

I love the rhythm in the poem; you’ve really capture both regimented movement and also a kind of chaotic, breathless counting down.

Sep 15 2009 · 13:49

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled So Beautiful. It was posted here on September 03, 2009.


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