The Dream Sentry
As a Purple Heart combat veteran of the Vietnam War (1968-69 was my Life in the Year), I'll contend that it was a "police action" only to the politicians. This is about the seemingly unshakable baggage that many who have experienced the exhilarating horrors of combat may recognize.

    ~ AnyGrunt

There is a place
Not on any map of this world
But on the map of the boundless Mind
    Where there is danger.

There are familiar places
Where we live
Where we know our way around
Feel reasonably safe
Feel like we may have once belonged.

And there is a line
Drawn in sepia ink by an ancient Warrior.
It's a line we should not cross
For as the timeless one knew so well
And scrawled for us the warning
    "Beyond here, there be Demons."

I went across that line
To another galaxy of the mind
Where nothing looked right
Smelled right
Tasted right
And nobody acted right.

Everything I had brought with me
From youth into manhood
Had no meaning
No usefulness
In that place.

And all my cherished belongings
Were not just out of place
They were dangerous to own.
To cling to what we thought was right
Thought was good
Thought was true.

I learned, just soon enough
As did everyone else
The rulebook was a bunch of crap.
           Burning crap.

And still,
Even so long since coming back to The World
In that defenseless hour
Before dreamless sleep wins out
My Dream Sentry takes his post.

Standing at port arms like a ready troop.

Watching for signs
                   Of changing currents
     Of shifting winds
He frisks even the mothers.

Watching for harmless and sunny recollections
That can suddenly sprout claws
Throw off their pretty masks
And drag me sweating and moaning away.

  He's ready to sound the ALARM!
        To snap me bolt upright in bed
            If my frail little skiff
               Drifts near that line again.


Copyright © 1974 by Tuco

And this aulde Yankee Air Pirate says

To all me Nam Vet Brudders and Sisters