The March of the Living

Hera, I sing of your anger; Civilization lays burning;
Ancient Aeneas, in kind, shoulders humanity yearning,
Over the centuries marching, his prophecies sealed by oblation,
Offering freedom for all, restoring the wealth of our nation.

Raging, her vengeance took shape, and her form, never ceasing to widen,
Spun from the eye of vermillion, cast from the wake of Poseidon,
Striking the slumbering Islanders, the western Pacific aggressor,
Wakened our nation to battle with even a greater oppressor.

This is the March of the Living, where love is made known by its sacrifice,
Passion laid bare by its giving, and never diluted with compromise;
Lewis, a soldier, descended from slaves of the African continent,
Freed from a southern plantation, they flourished, bucolic and consonant.

Settled in bowering groves, they safeguarded children from incident,
There, in the flowering haven, their children were sheltered and innocent;
Then came marauding secessionists, shattering peace in the wilderness,
Testing his progeny destined to suffer an era of bitterness.

Lewis was raised on a farm, on the great plains that border the Smoky Hill
River in Kansas; he grew, learning to trust in his native skill;
Stars in the heavenly cupboard, directed his path through adversity;
Fishing in pools by the moon, he abandoned the voice of uncertainty.

Lewis, the hero and farmer, was schooled at the Native American
Mission and high school; he learned from the scouts of the Prairie Band Indian,
Omaha poets and soldiers, seafaring Navy men, deck-walkers,
Ciphering metaphors drafting, communiques ~ Navajo code-talkers.

Mused by the holiest wraith, preparing his unit for battle,
Lewis on wings over fields, streams, over guards of the cattle;
Pulsing in waves through the cornfields, his heart is a cylinder powering,
Rising, the Sun through the Sacrament, over humanity towering…

Unit is ready for battle, an Army of One before God;
Forever his men would expect more from One than one part of their squad;
Thundering over the Heartland, his Unit assembles in pow-wow;
While Nazis Sieg Heil to their Führer, sycophants bending in kowtow.

Normandy, Omaha Beach — by the sea, by the beautiful seashore;
Hedgehogs disfigure the shoreline, as armies collide in a great war;
Lambs before wolves in a slaughterhouse, meat-packers sharpen utensils;
Making the sign of the Cross, Lewis secures his credentials.

Gently his scapular hangs, knotted in wool to his dog-tag,
Tied round his innocent shoulders, as he entered the boot-camp at Fort Bragg,
Boasting to drub the Recruit too timid to gun down a Nazi,
Or kick down the front gate of Auschwitz and set the inhabitant Jew free.

Now is the time for his soul to proclaim the Lord’s might on the battlefield,
Up from his knees before God, he bolts from the landing-craft unconcealed,
Drawing the fire like a magnet, he charges the turret, a bullet man,
Galloping over the shore, headlong to rupture the Führer’s plan.

Digging down deep by the dunes, shielded from enemy gunfire,
Lewis configures a beachhead, beneath the walled turrets and barbed-wire;
But now he spots two of his men, wounded, behind him in harm,
Rescuing both, he returns, lifting one under each arm.

Weapons are carted and cannoned, behind the Atlantic blockade,
Stirring the flesh-and-blood cauldron, below on the apron arrayed;
Then comes a cry from a soldier, trapped in the dark desolation:
“Save us, O Lord, and deliver us! You are our hope and salvation!”

Lewis returns to the wounded, back to the flames and destruction,
Turning again from the slaughter, protected behind an obstruction,
Into the battle returning, back to the wounded again,
Lewis delivers the injured, out of the bloody terrain.

Launching a vital offensive, torpedoes they call Bangalore,
Cut their way through their defensive, a glimmer of hope to restore;
Charging the reinforced turret, Lewis the judge and the juror,
Fiercely imposes his sentence over the guns of the Führer.

Now the Sun rests her head over Normandy, beaming victorious rays
Over the furies and the zephyrs, melting the mortal malaise,
Where soldiers, whose last drop of duty, in utter devotion, was bled;
And the Fleur-de-lis opens at midnight, and weeps for the glorious dead.

The Liberation of Paris

Now the morning sun lights up the shoreline, anointing her sorrowful head;
But Lewis is heading for Poland, then turns towards Paris instead;
For the People are mounting resistance, inspired by Charles de Gaulle,
To crush the Gestapo forever, in Victory once and for all!

But even the overwhelmed Nazi, retreating again to the Rhine,
Would honor his oath to his Führer, and pledge to the final design;
So Jews in the center of Paris, the ghetto along Le Marais,
Are rounded-up quickly in darkness, and quietly carted away.

Conjuring evil deceptions and tortures concealed up their sleeve,
They cart them from Drancy to death-camps, too monstrous to ever conceive,
Silently Jews are transported, by train in an orderly style;
While France’s Interior Forces converge on the Hotel de Ville.

Marching in step with the allies, with Patton directing the charge,
Lewis is here representing American forces at large,
Yet guided by gut intuition, and natural faith to obey,
He heads to the ghetto of Paris, to witness the moral melee.

Crossing the Seine into Paris, he places an eye on the wall,
So history following after can witness the deeds that befall;
Granite enshrouded in darkness, here in the ghetto alone,
Lewis moves silently forward, surrounded by pillars of stone.

Into a desolate courtyard, into the realm of the dead,
Lewis discovers a blind-man, a mendicant begging for bread;
Barren, his face is a wasteland, his eyes are like desolate pools,
And Lewis is given to silence, to suffer the wisdom of fools.

Stretching his withered hand forward, armed with a petrified cane,
The Oracle etches an omen onto the heart of the Man:
“Deep in the heart of the ghetto, all of our children were taken,
Herded like lambs to the slaughter, all of the children forsaken.”

“Hidden away in my blindness, I lived by evading their sight,
But now I can see my salvation, a path through an infinite night.”
Then muttering flashes of insight, and mysteries proffered to plumb,
The mendicant offers descriptions of sudden events that will come.

“When a soldier is cloaked as a farmer, hiding beneath a false floor,
The Captives are rescued from bondage, their freedom and hope to restore.
The Lion will rest with the Lamb, and enemies share in a feast,
And the farmer will ride into Auschwitz, and a soldier will fly to the East.”

Now touching the hem of his garment, Lewis is carried along,
Over the curve of the city, to witness the jubilant throng,
Massed at the Archway Triumphant, inspired by Charles de Gaulle,
Splendidly rapt in oration, offered for one and for all:

“Strengthened by soldiers and heroes, now and from ages beyond,
France, by the strength of Her martyrs, has rescued l’espoir pour le monde,
Now Victory rises before us, led by the strong and the brave,
Pushing the menacing Nazi, back to his beckoning grave.

“The enemy, beaten and bloodied, turns in its desperate row;
So let us avenge France forever, and deliver the leveling blow!
United with all of our Allies, aided by forces divine,
Let us repel the oppressor back to the realm of the Rhine.”

High on the Arch of the city, the Oracle surveys the span,
Bridged from the jubilant present, to the place where creation began;
France’s surviving descendants converge on the resolute whole,
Joining the prayers of the fallen to comfort Her sorrowing soul.

Rising, the heart of the nation soars to the crown of the sphere,
Lifted by choirs of angels, in homage the heavens revere;
Restoring the hope of the nation, all of Her fears are subdued,
Humanity’s hopes are uplifted, and civilization renewed!

So now to the watery lowland, over the rivers and trees,
Over the grapes and the vineyards, and over the Pyrenees;
Over the flowering pastures, and clusters of Beaujolais,
Spiraling down through the columns, Lewis is carried away.

All of the western battalions, fitted and formed into rows,
Soon will be shocked into battle, bruised by the enemy’s blows;
So on with the ominous vision, which only the blind may divulge,
And onto the noise of the battle, and babble and din of the Bulge!

The Battle of the Bulge

This is the forest primeval, the murmuring pines of the Ardennes,
Whispering memories ancient, from Nature’s primordial gardens;
Mercy flows deep through her rivers, filling the forest with graces,
Touched by the hand of the Maker, blessing these semi-dark places.

Carved in the rings of her apron, her secrets outlive every season,
Tended by stewards of nature, immune from the illness of treason;
And burgeoning up from the haven, from the holiest realm of the forest,
The Tree of Life flourishes freely, brought by a heavenly florist.

This is the Song of Woodland, piped at the dawn of creation,
Lost to the proud in high places, found in this low-laying nation,
Stories of Lucifer warring, defeated by God’s loyal powers,
Falling like lightening from heaven, waging a war on these bowers.

Hera, I sing of your anger, formed by a willing accomplice,
Fanning her flames of oppression, the world entire to encompass;
Here are the innocent Allies, camp in the forest serene,
Defending the Cross in the forest, where Lucifer soon will convene.

Mired in the mists of a winter moon, boot-footed troops of the allied West
Dance with the girls of the Biergarten, drowning their lonely Oktoberfest;
Swaying in time with the music and swooning of Marlene Dietrich;
Daylight arrives on the slumberers, dreaming of conquering Old Nick.

Planes fly like geese o’er the Ardennes, over the trees on their bombing runs;
The Nazis retreat to the Rhineland, abandoning charred anti-aircraft guns;
But Eichmann, a dutiful puppeteer, pledges his utter devotion,
Pledging his soul to the Führer, and launching the Final Solution.

Now Himmler, with lethal precision, rolls out a movable genocide,
Capturing Jews in his metal net, cleansing the ghettos he’s certified,
As Hitler romances his denizens, drugged on the Myth of a Master Race,
And as he seduces his citizens, he rumbles his Stormtroopers into place.

Covered by clouds of the morning, the sun hides her face from the day,
And the new recruits wake in the morning, piping their boredom away;
But the Stormtroopers strike without warning, in a surge of intractable forces,
Trampling the tender young soldiers, in a whirlwind of stampeding horses.

Seventy-thousand are captured, and many are shot in the trees,
Before the Americans rally, at Bastogne and Houffalize,
Then Michael, the holy Archangel, a counter-assault to infuse,
Plunges his heavenly standard into the river La Meuse.

Swelling, the river encircles a sanctified altar of stone,
Where Lewis retreats to the high ground, surrounded by Nazis, alone;
A Panzer aligns on his tower, on top of his languishing knoll,
And smashing his hiding to rubble, headlong he’s hurled in a hole.

Taken for dead in the darkness, with deeper depression will follow,
Lewis our hero emerges, out of a bottomless hollow;
But now comes a petering Panzer, slow, through the drifting-snow, traipsing;
Lewis withdraws to a farmstead, set in a hamlet collapsing.

Passing a horse in a stable, under the straw-covered flooring,
Lewis discovers a farmer, in dialect-broken, imploring:
“Surely, the Nazis will shoot me, for hiding a rival American;
So put on these clothes of a farmer, and hide with me inside my garrison.”

Now a soldier is cloaked as a farmer; and Lewis, the vision recalling,
Whispers the words of the prophet, the mendicant’s vision foretelling:
“When a soldier is cloaked as a farmer, hiding beneath a false floor,
Then captives are rescued from bondage, their freedom and hope to restore.

Forward, a cluster of Nazis discover the innocents hiding;
But the farmers, with hands in the air, are eased by the Germans, confiding,
Their earnest intent of deserting, surrendering all of their ammo;
Seeking relief from the farmers, while Lewis makes use of their camo.

Gathering priceless intelligence, and a road map to Auschwitz, moreover,
Lewis directs them to Bastogne, when all of the shelling is over;
Then killing a calf in a stable, the enemies share in a feast,
A farmer will ride into Auschwitz, and soldier will fly to the East.

Rising, the sun over Poland, shines on the gates of Berlin,
Marking a final encounter; where the end is about to begin;
The life of the fulminous Führer, ends a flash of despair,
But Jews on a death-march from Auschwitz, march through the wilderness bare.

 The Liberation of the Jews

This is the March of the Living, where love is laid bare by its sacrifice;
Freedom revealed by self-giving, never diluted with compromise;
This is the time when a soldier, regardless of danger or distance,
Offers his life for another, defending their right to existence.

Marching on foot through the forest, aimed by the Lord’s guiding compass,
First came a cut in the coppice, then came a rumbling rumpus,
A uniformed Nazi on motorbike, a Nuremberg stallion with sidecar,
Riderless idling smoothly ~ its rider examining nature.

Off with the roar of the engine, out of the forest and fog,
Lewis refuels the engine, at a parsonage stationed near Prague;
Now the Lamb breaks the seal of devotion, and all who survived their distress,
Are marching away from the death camp, in holocaust nevertheless.

Into the darkness he rushes, flying he rides through the tree-line;
Riding, the soldier approaches the ominous march in a bee-line;
A wagoner trails the procession, carting the newly discarded,
So Lewis delivers his lancet, and his accurate arm is rewarded.

Piercing the heart of the rear-guard, Lewis, securing a rifle
Shatters the heart of the foremen, the plight of the captives to stifle,
Then signaling all of the captives, all of them fall to the dirt;
And the languishing Germans surrender, and dropping their arms they desert.

Into the cover of forest, directing the poor and upended;
Lewis discovers a woman, exhausted and dying, expended;
Lifting her into his arms, he carries her into the trees,
The weaker ones follow behind, while some of them crawl on their knees.

Then came the shot through the forest, striking a rib in his side;
Bleeding, with woman in arms, Lewis continues his stride;
And toppling a portion of timber, it upends the enemy lolling,
And he rests in a ripening orchard, with peaches and rivulets rolling.

Bleeding and drifting unconscious, blood soaks the emerald grass,
And he dreams of his life on the prairie, and the stars over Kansas, alas,
Flying on wings through the cornfields, his heart like a cylinder powering,
Rising, the Sun through the Sacrament, over humanity towering…

American trucks rumble forward, and the chains of oppression are broken;
Wandering silently forward, the Jews make their way, words unspoken;
And down in the bountiful orchard, Lewis alone is discovered,
Virtually lifeless, his body by medics and priests is recovered.

Hospiced, the patients are nourished; while Hitler, they learn, has since died,
Taking his life in a bunker, by gunshot and pilled-cyanide;
But the Japanese muster in Tokyo, and Hera appears in Japan,
And Chaos erupts on the ocean, from Guam to the Isle of Saipan.

Americans kindle the trenches, connected by underground tunnels,
But Hera, commanding the Chaos, rises in volcanic funnels;
Marines raise the flag of the nation, claiming the enemy’s tower,
Climbing to conquer the dragon, subdued by their gasoline flower.

But launching untold kamikazes, and drafting a hundred-more million,
The Emperor marches his empire straight in the eye of vermillion,
Shunning his day of surrender, and suffering cities to dearth,
He witnesses Hera retreating, into the heart of the earth.

And now on the deck of a warship, the Japanese sign their surrender;
And into the arms of Pearl Harbor, Missouri retires in splendor,
And, next to her, rests Arizona, her oil like blood still bleeding,
To honor the soldiers who perished, and hastened the enemy’s ceding.

Now sing of our nation’s great heroes, and all of our fallen remember,
Our glorious heroes and soldiers, their service and sacrifice honor;
For even the least among soldiers, whose valor our freedom secured,
Is worthy of accolades greater, than any a poet’s mere word.

So honor our valorous Veterans, who fought in our nation’s great wars,
Honor their selfless observance, our national conscience implores;
For no greater love has been witnessed, than he who would die for a friend,
From enemies, tyrants and villains, our glorious land to defend!

Now, let us march forward together, into a proximate time,
May God grant our final petition, to dwell in His heavenly clime,
And let us consider our present, and turn from the deeds of the past,
With many more words to be written, may God’s holy Word be our last.

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