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Ernest A. Botti Poetry

Ernest Botti was a first lieutenant in the US Air Force, 339th/319th Fighter Squadrons (All Weather) in Korea.

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The Name On the Wall
Copyright 2001 E.A. Botti

When Johnny was just a little boy
He’d call on me for tea –
We’d sit for hours lost with joy
And wondered what life would be.
Johnny was only a doorknob high
And I a keyhole measure –
We’d hold each other and with a sigh –
Savor our hidden treasure.
The years were swift and Johnny has grown
And I’m a lady too –
Autumn winds the leaves have blown
The skies are azure blue.
Johnny heard the clarion call –
Now Johnny’s become a name on THE WALL.

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The Gray Before the Dawn
Copyright 2001 E.A. Botti

The mist hangs like a dirty drape –
Formless shapes struggle to escape –
Lying on my back – stands of water on three sides.
Swirls – like tidal pools when I was a kid –
Life teeming in a little world – star fish – squid –
Sand all over my weapon – none to play with.
My boots are wet – my feet are cold –
What am I doing here – am I to grow old?
Thunder in the sky – planes flying by –
Can’t see them – clouds hung out to dry.
Don’t sleep much – we’re in for a big one –
Waiting for the dawn – waiting for the Sun.
This is an odd place –
Everyone with the same face –
Can’t drink the water – rations are poor –
Bed down at night – the earth for a floor.
Complain? – can’t do that – my choice – I enlisted.
Could have listened to the old folks – as they insisted.
Mortar rounds screaming overhead –
Sickening thud! – giant craters – filled with the dead.
Had a girl back home – she’s waiting –
Last moments – gave her a gentle kiss – parting.
I thought that I would be forever young –
But within a week my hair turned – I’ve been stung.
The Sun is up – parting the Gray
We are sons and daughters of prey –
Our minds buried in this mire –
Here they come! – HELL IS ON FIRE!!!

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Was God There?
Copyright 2001 E.A. Botti

Was God There?
The bombs bursting in air – the Rockets Red Glare
On came the hearse – black as night

A beacon to follow – Oh! Sorrow of fright.
Was God There?

Then a twisted column – winding its way through
Dreams left behind
A milling crowd – Trapped at the edge of grief.

Little Boy Blue – a mortar blast in the Ardennes – no relief.
Was God There?

Omaha Beach at dawn – Anzio – Inchon. Also Saigon.
A fog drenched morning – fighting the Sun’s rays at Wounded Knee – The Blood Runs Red at Bull Run.

The deed is done.
Was God There?

Father came to ask – "Will you trumpet the piece?
Will you break this power of silence?
Guide our hand through the veil of darkness – Lead our souls beyond the dust of time."

Whence I asked – again – "Is God Here?"
"Yes – my trumpet will cry in this borrowed place."

A wailing echo cast about the nave – ancient spirits called to witness.
They hurl themselves upon the bier – mother – wife- daughter – sister.
"Where is God? – Is God Here?"

"Yes, I will trumpet the piece – sweet as nature’s song in remembrance of HIM.
But! – Is God Here?"

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Where did the Little Boy Go?
Copyright 2001 E.A. Botti

Where did the little boy go?
Out back in the cherry tree – a favorite spot – you see.

Now to the front on a summer sled
A cardboard box – lemonade for a fee.

Where did the little boy go?
Down to the brook where the big kids go –
A Tarzan’s swing on a dare.
Foraging the dump for a treasure – ah! a big rats lair.

Where did the little boy go?
Hopped a ride on the milkwagon. Cool ice for a summer treat.
No nickel for a Crown Cola to beat the heat.

But – where did the little boy go?
Down to the school yard – big fight – mighty blow
Little boys do that sometimes – you know.

Where is the little boy – where did the little boy go?
To the river – a friend – quiet times – to fish – to pray.
Would that it could always be that way.

Where did the little boy go?
To war in a far off place – he’s a man. His country called – an embrace.
Did the little boy go?

The little boy has gone –
Gone to that sunset in the Great Green Forest.

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Eagles of the Night Sky
Copyright 2003 E.A. Botti

Day succumbs to falling shadows -
    windows of the night sky
Flash their brilliance and
    fence with the cosmic wind.
Reality skirts my vision -
    a silent passage.
I witness endless horizons
    framed by the eyes of innocence
Filled with illusion.

Darkness descends -
    threading my way through
        memories of life's moments,
                of tragedies and triumphs -
                        of loneliness and LOVE –

I become a visitor in my dreams.
I struggle to wake - to shed this
    fragment of time – this
        spiral of slumber.
The light of Day will not be denied –
    the morning mist disperses -
        moonbeams in retreat.
A miracle of majesty
    glides 'cross the ether -
        propelled by nature's invisible eye -
                ‘ tis the 339th -



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