Patton's Poetry




As Head of the Division of Provision for Revision

Was a man of prompt decision--Morton Quirk.

Ph.D. in Calisthenics, P. D. Q. in Pathogenics

He has just the proper background for the work.


From the pastoral aroma of Aloma, Oklahoma

With a pittance of a salary in hand

His acceptance had been whetted, even aided and abetted

By emolument that netted some five grand.


So, with energy ecstatic this fanatic left his attic

And hastened on to Washington, D.C.

Where with verve and vim and vigor, he went hunting for the Nigger

In the woodpile of the W. P. B.


After months of patient process Morton's picular proboscis

Had unearthed a reprehensible hiatus

In reply by Blair and Blair to his thirteenth questionnaire

In connection with their inventory status.


They had written--"Your directive when effective was defective

"In its ultimate objective--and what's more

"Neolithic hieroglyphic is, to us, much more specific

"Than the drivel you keep dumping at our door."


This sacrilege discovered, Morton fainted--but recovered

Sufficiently to write, "We are convinced

"That sabotage is camouflaged behind perverted persiflage.

"Expect me on the 22nd inst."


But first he sent a checker, then he sent a checker's checker

Still nothing was disclosed as being wrong.

So a checker's checker's checker came to check the checker's checker

And the process was laborious and long.


Then followed a procession of the follow-up profession

Through the records of the firm of Blair and Blair.

From breakfast until supper some new super-follow-upper

Tore his hair because of Morton's questionnaire.


The file is closed, completed, though our Hero, undefeated

Carries on in some Department as before.

And Vict'ry is in sight of--not because of--but in spite of

Doctor Morton's mighty efforts in the war.





You can't remember, dearest

For your memory fades too fast,

The beginning of our loving

In the warm and foggy past.


When vapor from the tepid sea

Hung ever in the air,

And rivulets of pinkish mud

Went trickling past us there.


No, you can't remember even

Of the later lukewarm time

When you and I were wigglers,

Wiggling in the pale gray slime.


When our mouths were all our reason

And our bellies all our soul,

When we bred and died and rotted,

By the billion on the shoal.


Yet for ever and forever,

As the cooling waters flow

Past the green of long dead coal fields

Past the continents of snow.


Yes, forever and as truly

As the waters changeless are,

Have I fought for, sought and found thee

As tonight beneath the star.


Ever fearing, ever hoping

Ever winning thee at last,

But to lose thee to regain thee,

In the present from the past.




Through the travail of the ages,

Midst the pomp and toil of war,

Have I fought and strove and perished

Countless times upon this star.


In the form of many people

In all panoplies of time

Have I seen the luring vision

Of the Victory Maid, sublime.


I have battled for fresh mammoth,

I have warred for pastures new,

I have listed to the whispers

When the race trek instinct grew.


I have known the call to battle

In each changeless changing shape

From the high souled voice of conscience

To the beastly lust for rape.


I have sinned and I have suffered,

Played the hero and the knave;

Fought for belly, shame, or country,

And for each have found a grave.


I cannot name my battles

For the visions are not clear,

Yet, I see the twisted faces

And I feel the rending spear.


Perhaps I stabbed our Savior

In His sacred helpless side.

Yet, I've called His name in blessing

When after times I died.


In the dimness of the shadows

Where we hairy heathens warred,

I can taste in thought the lifeblood;

We used teeth before the sword.


While in later clearer vision

I can sense the coppery sweat,

Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery

When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.


Hear the rattle of the harness

Where the Persian darts bounced clear,

See their chariots wheel in panic

From the Hoplite's leveled spear.


See the goal grow monthly longer,

Reaching for the walls of Tyre.

Hear the crash of tons of granite,

Smell the quenchless eastern fire.


Still more clearly as a Roman,

Can I see the Legion close,

As our third rank moved in forward

And the short sword found our foes.


Once again I feel the anguish

Of that blistering treeless plain

When the Parthian showered death bolts,

And our discipline was in vain.


I remember all the suffering

Of those arrows in my neck.

Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage

As I died upon my back.


Once again I smell the heat sparks

When my flemish plate gave way

And the lance ripped through my entrails

As on Crecy's field I lay.


In the windless, blinding stillness

Of the glittering tropic sea

I can see the bubbles rising

Where we set the captives free.


Midst the spume of half a tempest

I have heard the bulwarks go

When the crashing, point blank round shot

Sent destruction to our foe.


I have fought with gun and cutlass

On the red and slippery deck

With all Hell aflame within me

And a rope around my neck.


And still later as a General

Have I galloped with Murat

When we laughed at death and numbers

Trusting in the Emperor's Star.


Till at last our star faded,

And we shouted to our doom

Where the sunken road of Ohein

Closed us in it's quivering gloom.


So but now with Tanks a'clatter

Have I waddled on the foe

Belching death at twenty paces,

By the star shell's ghastly glow.


So as through a glass, and darkly

The age long strife I see

Where I fought in many guises,

Many names, -- but always me.


And I see not in my blindness

What the objects were I wrought,

But as God rules o'er our bickerings

It was through His will I fought.


So forever in the future,

Shall I battle as of yore,

Dying to be born a fighter,

But to die again, once more.