Patton's Poetry



They died for France like countless thousands more

Who, in this war, have faltered not to go

At duty's bidding, even unto death.

And yet, no deaths which history records,

Were fought with greater consequence than theirs.

A nation shuddered as their spirits passed;

And unborn babies trembled in the womb,

In sympathetic anguish at their fate.


Far from their homes and in ungainful strife

They gave their all, in that they gave their life;

While their young blood, shed in this distant land,

Shall be more potent than the dragon's teeth

To raise up soldiers to avenge their fall.


Men talked of sacrifice, but there was none;

Death found them unafraid and free to come

Before their God. In righteous battle slain

A joyous privilege theirs; the first to go

In that their going doomed to certain wrath

A thousand foemen, for each drop they gave

Of sacramental crimson, to the cause.


And so their youthful forms all dank and stiff,

All stained with tramplings in unlovely mud,

We laid to rest beneath the soil of France

So often honored with the hero slain;

Yet never greatlier so than on this day,

When we interred our first dead in her heart.


There let them rest, wrapped in her verdant arms,

Their task well done. Now, from the smoke veiled sky,

They watch our khaki legions pass to certain victory,

Because of them who showed us how to die.


BILL (1918)


Bill, he kept racin' the motor,

For fear that the damned thing would die.

While I fiddled 'round with the breech block

And wished for a piece of your pie.


It's funny the way it affects you,

When you're waitin' for the signal to go.

There's none of the high moral feeling

About which the newspapers blow.


For myself, I always is hungry,

While Bill thought his spark plugs was foul.

Some guys talks o' sprees they has been on,

And one kid, what's croaked, thought of school.


At last, I seen Number One signal;

I beat on the back o' Bill's neck.

He slipped her the juice and she started,

And Bill he ain't never come back.


The first news we had of the Boches

Was shot splinters, right in the eye.

I cussed twice as loud as the Colonel,

And forgot all about the old pie.


A Boche he runs out with a tank gun;

I gave him H.E. in the guts.

You ought to have seen him pop open!

They sure was well fed, was them sluts.


We wiped out two nests with case shot,

And was just gettin' into a third,

When we plunked in a hole full of water.

That God-damned Bill sure was a bird.


He hollers, "Frank, you're married;

If only one gets out, it's you."

And he rammed me up out of the turret...

I guess that's about all I knew.


A stinkin' whizz-bang beaned me,

Or I might of rescued Bill,

But it's too late now. He's sleepin'

By our tank, on that God-damned hill.


They gave him a Medal of Honor,

For savin' me for you,

So if it's a boy we'll name it Bill,

It's the least and the most we can do.




Dickey, we've trained and fit and died,

Yes, drilled and drunk and bled,

And shared our chuck and our bunks in life.

Why part us now we're dead?


Would I rot so nice away from you,

Who has been my pal for a year?

Will Gabriel's trumpet waken me,

If you ain't there to hear?


Will a parcel of bones in a wooden box

Remind my Ma of me?

Or isn't it better for her to think

Of the kid I used to be?


It's true some preacher will get much class

A tellin' what guys we've been,

So, the fact that we're not sleeping with pals,

Won't cut no ice for him.


They'll yell, "Hurrah!"

And every spring they'll decorate our tomb,

But we'll be absent at the spot

We sought, and found, our doom.


The flags and flowers won't bother us,

Our free souls will be far --

Holdin' the line in sunny France

Where we died to win the war.


Fact is, we need no flowers and flags

For each peasant will tell his son,

"Them graves on the hill is the graves of

Yanks, Who died to lick the Hun."


And instead of comin' every spring

To squeeze a languid tear,

A friendly people's loving care

Will guard us all the year.




When all hearts are opened,

And all the secrets known,

When guile and lies are banished,

And subterfuge is gone.


When God rolls up the curtain,

And hidden truths appear,

When the ghastly light of Judgement Day,

Brings past and present near...


Then shall we know what once we knew,

Before wealth dimmed our sight,

That of all sins, the blackest is

The pride which will not fight.


The meek and pious have a place,

And necessary are,

But valor pales their puny rays,

As does the sun a star.


What race of men since time began,

Has ever yet remained,

Who trusted not it's own right hand,

Or from brave deeds refrained?


Yet spite the fact for ages known,

And by all lands displayed,

We still have those who prate of peace,

And say that war is dead.


Yes vandals rise who seek to snatch

The laurels from the brave,

And dare defame heroic dead,

Now filling hero graves.


They speak of those who love,

Like Christ's, exceeds the lust of life

And murderers slain to no avail,

A useless sacrifice.


With infamy without a name,

They mock our fighting youth,

And dare decry great hearts who die,

Battling for right and truth.


Woe to the land which, heeding them,

Lets avarice gain the day,

And trusting gold it's right to hold,

Lets manly might decay.


Let us, while willing yet for peace,

Still keep our valor high,

So when our time of battle comes,

We shall not fear to die.


Make love of life and ease be less,

Make love of country more.

So shall our patriotism be

More than an empty roar.


For death is nothing, comfort less,

Valor is all in all;

Base nations who depart from it,

Shall sure and justly fall.




O, sweet slight friend

Who frolics free

O'er cactus plain

Or sandy lee,


No one can lonely

Long remain

While hearkening to

Thy blithe refrain


When meal time comes

Thy friendly face

Is everywhere about

The place.


You taste the coffee

Eat oatmeal

And from the cakes the

Syrup steal.


And though we know that

You have been

On the hot turds

In some latrine,


And while you sipped

The dainties there

You gathered germs in

Your long hair,


To spread them

Wantonly upon

Each dainty meat

Or new baked bun.


Still, we can't blame you

For we know

That all we eat

To shit will go.


And after meals

When we would feign

Seek Morpheus' arms

From labor pain,


You gently break

Our sweet repose

By deftly fucking

In our nose.


Our ears and mouths

You then explore

And leave there

Pus from some old sore.


Then when at night

You needs must sleep

Onto our tented

Roofs you creep.


And when the Witching

Hour has come

Your dainty farts

Pervade the gloom,


While like the dews

From heaven fall

Your tiny turds

So round and small.


And if in battle

We should die

Around us first

Would swarm the fly.


You'd do your best

To ease the pain

And swarm around

Each oozing vein.


Yes, in memoria to

A friend

A hundred thousand

Eggs you'd lend.


And as through maggots

Sent by you

Our gruesome corpse

More gruesome grew.


You'd swarm in myriads

Feasting high

You'd hum our dirge

You goddamned fly!




The scout sat in the cactus shade

He labored mightily

That he did try to take a shit

Was very plain to see.


For days and weeks he'd ridden hard

He'd eaten many a meal

Yet every morn he waits in vain

Some bowel movement to feel.


Now scouts by nature are so bad

That long-imprisoned turds

Must soon assume their parent's shape

And too be evil birds.


The faces which in common folk

Resembles pumpkin pies

In scouts assumes a texture dark

Yes, lives and breathes and sighs.


Now as the scout his labor pressed

At last he seemed to feel

A slimy thing crawl from his ass

And purr against his heel.


He little recked, the hardy brute

The suffering he did cause

He did not pause to wipe his ass

He just pulled up his drawers.


He jumped upon his sore backed horse

And galloped fast away

Oh! little heeded he or cared

What his dying turd would say.


It lay and suffered in the heat

Its limpid eyes rolled high

And from its fast congealing gills

Escaped a gentle sigh.


I came upon it suffering there

I sobbed to see its pain

When the pale green fog my nostrils reached

I held my nose in vain.


I dashed in agony away

My pity turned to pain

And as the sun dipped in the west

It sighed and died amain.





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.