an excerpt from SCARECROW ANGEL.

by Benjamin B. White.



0237 hours.


  • We are the hollow men.


Dug into a circle of wasteland holes

Protecting a line in the jungle

Against a stealth enemy

Protecting the same line

In the same jungle,

But for different reasons.


And the line keeps moving –

Keeps patrolling

The politics of decisions being made

Too far off to be effective

On either side,

Letting a horrific war trudge on

Through the protests,

Death and obscurity

Without purpose.


Power fighting

Against poverty

And losing

To the promise


Of unity – reunification,

Freedom and independence,

And the erasing of invisible lines.


  • We are the hollow men

Sustained by the Old Lie.




“Don’t think about that.”

  • You know what I’m thinking?

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.”


He was a mechanic in Korea

Combatting winter’s cold and summer’s heat

Fixing Jeep engines – changing oil and air filters

While the infantry sat stagnant

Along the front against Chinese Communist Forces


Until the day he was wounded

In a roadside explosion driving through

The countryside – turned over and ripped open

By shrapnel – most likely medicated

Back to health by morphine,


But that’s where Blake

Had to let imagination take over

To fill in the gaps about his father’s past –

The father who was overseas when Blake was born

Never to really return home –

Unable to make a home –


Instead filling the empty

Cold space

Of a Kentucky hillside house.


  • I’m just trying to understand

Where I came from.

“Just understand where you are –

That will be enough.”



“Think about me.

When you first saw me,

When you first put me together,

When your imagination needed me most      .”


The jungle holds its secrets,

And an army full of American soldiers

Marching through the ancient vines

And roots and layers of seasons

Can never understand.


Soldiers are sent out to search and destroy,

But really they go out, make contact,

Get shot at, and send in the coordinates

So air support and artillery will have a purpose

And know where to napalm and bomb the countryside.


But if not for the infantry –

The troops patrolling the remote areas –

No-one would know where the enemy even was.


I can’t be distracted.



0244 hours.


A cloud covers the moon,

Too high above to be concerned

With any human endeavors on the ground

Darkened by its journey

Of peaceful navigation

Above the jungle.


Gaps in the canopy are shadowed

By the natural silent-wake passage

Of individual elements

Gathering and condensing moisture –


A random shower


Is spilled in thick drops

On the upper leaves of dark trees,

And the water weighs heavy

To roll and splash


On the M16,

The soldier,

The scene

Unnaturally locked and loaded

And swearing at the weathers’

Oblivious tendency

To not cooperate

Just to make the duty



(excerpted from the poem SCARECROW ANGEL…)



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