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This poem and others are available in my books, Nothing Works: Meditations on Aikido, Buddhism, the Tao, Zen, and other inconsequential things....and, Nothing Special, and Nothing Matters..., available thru Amazon.com, in print and Kindle editions and Barnes & Noble websites.....Also available as an e-book via Smashwords.com. Try this link: www.nothing-works.com for the full array of options.
Shit and bravado
How long does that last
When there is nothing left?
Still, it is something
Perhaps more politely called Esprit de corps
Pride, fellowship, and common loyalty
And perhaps devotion and love
To our brothers and sisters
To a cause
That is something to be feared
By would-be conquerors
A truth that lies between the lines
Of all the military training manuals
At Thermopylae, the Alamo,
At Camarón, at Dien Bien Phu,
Shiroyama, Pasir Panjang
Rorke's Drift, Bastogne
Mars Colony, Adrian's Star
What sustained such warriors
Cornered, trapped, outnumbered?
Except being full of
"Shit and bravado"
Backed up by bombs, bullets,
Blades, blood, and guts