Friday, December 16, 2011

Memoirs in music: lyrical poetry of Mike Marcellino

 Amelia Earhart
 Memoirs in music
The lyrical poetry of Mike Marcellino:    "Amelia" (September 2009)

To mark our recording eight lyrical poetry songs during the past two years, I am reviewing the recordings for those who may have missed the initial releases of the songs or my want to revisit them, read the lyrics or learn the backstory of the songs.

It's finally dawned on me that what I'm doing with the help of some very talented musician friends is to put my memoirs to music.  I've scratched my head over trying to put our music in a genre, but I can only say they are lyrical poetry songs.  

In September 2009 I finally fled the lake effect snows fed by arctic winds across Lake Erie east of Cleveland, Ohio to rediscover my first love - the ocean and surfing in St. Augustine Beach, Florida.  Except for music trips to New York City, I'm rediscovering a lifelong passion of being a surfer.   

I got the inspiration to write "Amelia" after visiting the International Air and Space Museum in Cleveland.  The photo of Amelia (shown above) was in a biography at the museum.  She looked like and had the courage of an angel.  As I rode my bike along the shores of Lake Erie and through the Cultural Gardens, I kept stopping to add another verse.  We recorded the song in the home studio of musician and singer songwriter David Dowling in St. Augustine.  Tomas Texino composed the music for "Amelia"and all my songs, except for "Flatbush,"  recorded a month later in New York City with Randall Leddy composing the music.

"Amelia," the first of eight lyrical poetry song recordings was released for streaming only on September 23, 2009.  We have not yet released our recorded songs commercially in digital or CD form.  "Amelia" ranks 6th in popularity among our eight recordings as tracked on our music site on ReverbNation.  

You may listen to "Amelia Earhart, soft silver wings" on the music player at the top of this blog.

There's lots of information about our band and music on the site, just click on the link below.  We've love to hear from you and what you think of our avant-garde lyrical poetry music.

You may also wish to visit our music page on Facebook and please do "like" our page as it helps awareness of our band and music grow.

Amelia Earhart, soft silver wings
By Mike Marcellino

Amelia Earhart,
Love your picture
in flight.
love your goggles,
love your lips. 

Love how you circled the world,
single handed.

Like that leather
air cap.
You’re a goddess, a woman
soft white,
ahead of your time,
such afterglow
in shinning armor.

Meet me on a northern coast,
not far from the equator,
above the island
where they made King Kong.

You’re Atlantis, risen
in my South China Sea.

Oh, your last flight
Oh, your last flight,
what a night

Looking at your picture
in my book,
soft silver
soft silver

Your lips, painted colors
light, pretty pink.
Those eyes,
Your nails, natural,
taking you with me.

soft silver
soft silver

Your words,


Courage is the price that Life extracts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not, knows no release.
From little things.
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear.
Not mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.

How can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soul’s dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair. - Amelia Earhart, 1927

You made the crossing
not alone.
Meet you over the Atlantic.
Soft silver,
soft silver wings.

Copyright 2009 by Mike Marcellino, “Amelia Earhart, soft silver wings”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A sense of all, a poem (revised)

Vietnam Memorial, Washington D. C., 2010 Photo by Mike Marcellino A sense of all by Mike Marcellino Fragments, parts bits and pieces ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Wall in Washington: "A Sense of all"

Vietnam Memorial, Washington D. C., 2010 Photo by Mike Marcellino

A sense of all
by Mike Marcellino

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
of you and me
shells on the beach,
pine cones at Yellowstone.

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
memories of songs we loved
revolutions survived.

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
now worn down,
most look like India, Africa
So where is Gandhi
and King?
We still need them.

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
pastels, holes, linear cracks 
in our unfinished business -
making life just,
not for a few.

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
of forts
ancient hideouts.
Where are you now
that we need you?

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces
of souls lost;
so, what does it take
to put us
back together?

Fragments, parts
bits and pieces;
we'll be okay, complete
as long as we
don't lose a sense of all.

Copyright Mike Marcellino 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Will war ever bring peace?

 "Search & destroy" photo by Mike Marcellino, TET Offensive, Vietnam War, 1968, on a mission with the 23rd South Vietnamese Rangers and U. S. Army 23rd Artillery forward observers.

Will war ever bring peace?
by Mike Marcellino

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."  -José Narosky, Argentine writer, mostly of amorphisms

I don't know of the war experience of Narosky, or how he came to write this, but the quote is true.

Today is Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.  There hasn't been a calendar day like this since November 11, 1911, before the outbreak of World War I.

Our Veterans Day began as the moment fighting ceased in World War I, 11am, November 11, 1918.  This moment in our history has become known as Veterans Day in America.

This makes today's Veterans Day the calendar moment of 11-11-11-11, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month in the year two thousand and eleven.  You can take this to the craps tables in Las Vegas, but it hasn't brought peace.  We are still fighting in Afghanistan and maintain troops in Iraq and all over the world. 

"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." -George S. Patton, general, U. S. Army, WWII

U. S. Army Soldiers of the 101st Airborne patrol a mountainous village in the rugged Spira mountains in Khost province, along the Afghan-Pakistan Borde.  (Photo David Furst / AFP / Getty Images)

I found this photo on an interesting website started in 1984 to help soldiers from World War II, both Americans and Germans locate the places where they fought.  It's called the US Veterans Contact point and Information Center and was founded in Malmedy, Belgium.  Here's the link to the website for a further look at an interesting project. (Malmedy is well know as the site of the massacre of 71 unarmed U. S. troops by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.)

Oddly, there hasn't been a date like this for a century, since November 11, 1911.  Since then Americans, patriots, if you will, have fought, died and been wounded in two world wars and wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as excursions into Grenada and Panama, not to mention countless other military interventions. Here is the link to the Wikipedia timeline of United States military operations since 1776:

Timeline of U. S. military operations

While the sacrifice of American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, should be honored in deed every day of the year, the list of U. S. military operations is enough to choke a horse. 

We, as a nation, must ask ourselves, to what end? What are we fighting, dying and being maimed for?  Where is the peace?

Some day we should swap our M-16s for shovels and see if that brings peace.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"My Girls" photo by Mike Marcellino, 1968, Vietnam War

Finally, we invite your to listen to our lyrical poetry song recording, "The Walls of Fire," an ode to the sacrifice by American troops from the Civil War to Afghanistan. There's a music player right up top.  If you'd like to "like" us on our Facebook music page here's the link.

Mike Marcellino's artist page on Facebook

Our music website is on ReverbNation where our band is #30 Top Folk Artist on the New York City chart.

Learn about, listen to our music on ReverbNation

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Taipei subway" a song of redemption

Photos Remix Taipei baseball team's new New Era cap ( (top), cheering Taiwanese baseball fans ( and Taiwan Metro (

"Taipei subway," a new single released

Lyrics and vocal:  Mike Marcellino
Music composition: Tomas Texino

Taipei subway marks the 8th single record released in the past year by Mike Marcellino and his band. This latest in a series of avant-garde recordings fusing poetry,  "It's our first full band sound. I just wanted to be up there beating the drums this one," Mike said, about the new record.  "It's also pretty far out, stranger than fiction kind of stuff." The music composition includes acoustic bass, drumkit, acoustic slide guitar, crunch electric guitar, piano and synthwhirl.

You may listen to our new song either on our ReverbNation music site using this link, or the music player at the top of my blog.  We also encourage you to "like" us on our Facebook Musician/Band Page, as well as become a fan here.  There's a music player on our Facebook page too.  

ReverbNation music website 

Facebook Musician/Band Page

A story of "Taipei subway" -  baseball, music and human rights

I wrote "Taipei subway," in 2007 and recorded it with Split Pea/ce, my first band, in Cleveland the next year.  Abe Olvido, a multi-media artist, who liked to create music, was the other half of Split Pea/ce and we performed at clubs and events in Cleveland until 2009.

The song is an offbeat look at Taipei, Taiwan spawned by my wanderings in the city taking a break from a human rights mission I undertook in 1987.  I, along with a representative of former U. S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a liberal activist, and an official of a world Christian church group, accompanied a liberal opposition politician on his return to Taiwan.   Dr Hong Chi-chang was in exile in the United States for his opposition to the oppression and martial law in Taiwan, the longest in world history.  Our mission proved to be successful as the Dr. Hong wasn't killed or jailed but was put on trial.  Tens of thousands of Taiwanese greeted the opposition leader at the airport, after some tense moments when authorities boarded our plane.  As we were landing I would see hundreds of troops, riot police and armored vehicles on the runway.  Since that time, human rights and democracy have progressed and the tension between Taiwan and China have diminished.  I was asked to go on the mission by the Taiwanese leaders in the U. S. who were fighting for human rights and democracy in their home country.

I had first encountered the very active Taiwanese community in Cleveland while I worked as an aide to former Congressman Louis Stokes in 1984 specializing in human rights issues. For four years we worked to end marshal martial law and advance human rights and democracy in Taiwan. Martial law was ended in 1987 but was replaced with a repressive National Security Law by the regime still influenced by Chiang Kai-shek, the nationalist Chinese leader.  Chiang had fled Communist China after World War II to Taiwan, an island off the coast, set up the Republic of China and killed 30,000 Taiwanese intellectuals, educators and artists. Reform began in 1988 and in 2000 an opposition party candidate won the nation's first free election.

As I'm working on a new recording of "Taipei subway," I dusted it off (edited) to share with you.

Taipei  subway
By Mike Marcellino

Another day, night
another mission.
White bright light -
Two guys, guitars
Taipei  subway.

Two guys, guitars
Taipei subway.
Nobody there.
Taipei subway
Taipei  subway

Another day, night
White bright light -
in dark
4 color corners
4 color
4 color.
Taipei subway

Another day, night
White bright lights.
White bright lights -
They weren’t
supposed to be
Early commuters,
in a tunnel
of white tile walls.
On another mission.
Sent by God,
the old Taiwanese man said.
Taipei subway.
Taipei subway

Down below
runways filled with troops,
tanks, fire trucks
rows and rows of riot police
behind their plastic shields.
Tense moments, without warning;
authorities in plain clothes
board our jet from Tokyo.
Chaos in customs
tens of thousands,
cheering throngs
greeting him,
me, shooting pictures
in a scene
from Lord Jim.

Another day, night
White bright lights -
Taipei subway,
Two guys, guitars
Taipei subway
to a night game
of the
The Taipei Subway Twins
4 color,
4 color,
4 color.

Copyright  Mike Marcellino, 2007/2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Lieu" - a story of love in war


by Mike Marcellino

South Vietnam, 1967.
Silly beginning, careless ending
lizards clung to the dim lit wall.

Thomas and i met her at Sherwood Forest,
the nightclub,
smiling at us over beer,
and a now and then
Saigon Tea.

In a
Honda 90
humanly propelled
by a papa-san
I rode through
hit and miss,
foot, leg, peddle-powered
traffic -
Saigon streets
darkness after curfew
riding in the close warm
black night.
Teaming, steaming
from the Tahiti,
20 century
same on the inside

While Thomas
i shivered
(not really).
Inside outside
perfect night for baseball.

dug store bought;
i read her scrolling
on a crumpled
piece of
light brown
one six four and one-half
some street.

Self-conscious me
in Bermuda shorts,
naked legs
walking down winding back alleys
to find Lieu
and ma-muc.

-burnt red stained beetle nut chew
in her mouth

by an earthen
ceramic set.

Bermuda shorts hairy legs me and
ma muc
who smiles,
giggles -
Lieu’s ma ma san mother.

Her daughter came
made me eat
gobbling hers.

and ma-muc
grabbing my leg hair,

First joy of waiting,
simple thing
so tense
exciting -

Showering from
body tall vases
in the corner
morning after
love, her
surfer t-shirt mini on.

Lieu laughed,

Maybe she loves

Her oily
brown face,
round, dark eyes
long, straight black hair.

Not a fair maiden,
but no whore.

Copyright Mike Marcellino, 2007

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Walls of Fire - the song, lyrics and story

The Walls of Fire: story behind the song
by Mike Marcellino

Here's one of my favorite photographs I took while serving as a U. S. Army correspondent and photojournalist in the Vietnam War.  I like it because it's so pastoral, a far cry from the horror of war.

Recently I wrote a poem about the sacrifices of American troops from the Civil War to Vietnam and the gulf wars and we recorded the song, "The Walls of Fire."

Mike Marcellino took this photo with a Pentax 35 mm camera on search and destroy mission with the 33rd South Vietnamese Rangers and United States Army forward observers of the U.S. Army 23rd Artillery Group in the Iron Triangle during the Vietnam War in 1968.

The mission occurred during The TET Offensive, a surprise attack by North Vietnamese regular and VC troops throughout South Vietnam.  The enemy attack began on January 31, breaking the Vietnamese New Year's holiday cease fire.  TET was the heaviest fighting of the war. With heavy U. S. casualties and scenes of the VC taking over the American Embassy in Saigon (for a few hours), TET was the turning point in growing opposition to the war by the American people.  TET was was a complete military victory for U. S. troops, nearly eliminating all of the Viet Cong forces.  North Vietnamese troops took over the fight.  After the signing of a peace treaty in Paris the United States withdrew its forces in 1973.  The North Vietnam defeated the South Vietnam in 1975 and Vietnam was reunified.

For his reporting on the mission, the Rangers presented Mike with a captured Viet Cong flag during a formal ceremony. More than 40 years later, he still has the flag.  (Copyright by Mike Marcellino)

To listen here's the link (or there's a music player on the top of his blog)

The Walls of Fire on ReverbNation

The walls of fire
By Mike Marcellino

The walls of fire
grow higher, higher
pools of blood
bodies of brothers
rock cliffs and open fields -
Hornet’s Nest at Shiloh
Devil’s Den, Gettysburg.

The walls of fire
grow higher, higher
pools of blood
bodies of brothers
sea to shining sea -
lost in the Argonne Forest
face down on beaches at Normandy
frozen by the waters of Chosin Reservoir.

The walls of fire
grow higher, higher
pools of blood
bodies of brothers
paddies, highlands -
Nui Ba Dinh, the Black Virgin Mountain
the Ashau Valley
along the perimeter of Khe Sanh.

The walls of fire
grow higher, higher
pools of blood, carnage
bodies of brothers
empty deserts
filled with giant rising suns -
Fallujah rooftops
unknown streets of Sadr City
barren mountains, caves of Tora Bora.

The walls of fire
grow higher, still higher
pools of blood
bodies of brothers

The walls of fire copyright by Mike Marcellino 2009

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Awesome remake

Dear Readers,

Well, time flies. I've been publishing this blog, "The Point of the Whole Thing," since May 2009.  Stories. Poetry. Music. Photography.  We now have several thousands regular readers. I appreciate that a lot.

So, to reward you and future readers, I've redesigned the Blogger blog with a new fresh, clean look, a lot of white space.  I like white space.  New features include a Readers' Poll that will change every week or two.  The first poll asks you to pick your favorite of our poetry song recordings.

Also new on the redesigned blog is a direct link to our Facebook Musician/band Page, affectionately named, "Mike Marcellino." All you have to do is click on "like" on the widget at the top of the blog, or do it when you get to the page.

By liking our band you get to listen to our music for free.  Soon we're offer downloads of tracks and an album of songs for a small fee.  The page has a music player (free to listen just "like" the page) and a link to this blog.  Joining the page also helps our band progress (we're now #19 on the folk music chart in New York City).  If we're going to make it in the music world we need a lot of listeners.

The site remake is continuing so expect more new stuff.

Thanks again,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

"West of the Pecos"

Lyrics of a new poetry song 

West of the Pecos
by Mike Marcellino

A Texas crossing
takes all of three days,
nights of stars
the brightness of being
on a road to desolation
the dry dirt land
West of the Pecos.

Dropping down
from Texarkana
past Abilene,
and Big Spring
through 500 miles
of no man's land
named for
an Apache chief -
the Chihuahua desert
of mesquite
bobcats, rattle snakes
and scorpions
cowboys call vinegaroons
on a road to desolation
the dry dirt land
along the Rio Grande
West of the Pecos.

Biting winds
the ghosts
of Lillie Langtry,
mistress of
the Price of Wales
and her fondest admirer
Judge Roy Bean
along the Rio Grande
a place heaven deserted
on a road to desolation
the dry dirt land
West of the Pecos.

The ghost of Gary Cooper
rode up in a Cutlas Supreme
a critter unknown to Roy Bean.
Standing before the bar,
the Langtry Saloon,
named after the judge's sweetheart,
a British actress known as Jersey Lily.

No six shooter in my hand
the hanging judge
sentenced me to roam forever
in this God forsaken
West Texas land
a place heaven deserted
on a road to desolation
the dry dirt land
West of the Pecos.

Copyright 2011 Mike Marcellino

To listen to "West of the Pecos" you may use the music player on the top of this page or go to Mike's music site on Reverbnation (free & no registration required but you may become a fan and there's a lot of new music on the site)

Mike Marcellino on Reverbnation

Here's some interesting photos of Roy Bean, Lillie Langtry, and Langtry, Texas today.

They say that each day 100,000 people visit the old home of Judge Roy Bean.  About 13 people live in Langtry.

Walter Brennan plays Judge Roy Bean and Gary Cooper is a cowboy trying to talk the judge out of hanging him in the 1940 film, The Westerner.  Brennan won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  Neat black and white classic!

Lillie Langtry, sweetheart of Judge Roy Bean, though they never met.  Her friends Oscar Wild suggested she become an actress.  Born on the Jersey Islands off the coast of England, she was an amazing character and quite beautiful.  She also raced horses. For more about her here's Lillie's website

Lillie Langtry

Judge Roy Bean
(prints of this photo by Legends of America Photo Prints)
Legends of America Photo Prints

Langtry, Texas (Photo by The Sayre RV Odyssey b log)

Monday, May 30, 2011

America's wars: "Cold Mountain" to "Ohio"

"You Will Be My Ain True Love" is a song written and performed by Sting and Alison Krauss from the 2003 film Cold Mountain The song was nominated for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

America's wars:  Struggle for our national conscience
By Mike Marcellino

The last in a Memorial Day series on war in music, words and images

Doc and The Lady perform "Ashokan Farewell" at Cowboy Poetry in Elko, Nevada in 2009.  This haunting and beautiful song, written by Jay Unger in 1982, was the opening music in Ken Burn's remarkable PBS television mini-series "The Civil War."  

(An interesting note:  the annual Cowboy Poetry Festival was in the news this spring because politicians argued over the nation's $14 trillion debt while the festival is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Some Republican leaders want to eliminate federal funding of many of the government's program that help fun the arts, including music and Public Television.  It's a sign we as a nation are in serious trouble when our leaders want to take away our music and other art and humanities programs.)

Cold Mountain, an historical fiction novel, written by Charles Fraiser, won the National Book Award in 1997. It was later adapted for the screen by director Anthony Minghella in the 2003 film "Cold Mountain," starring Jude Law, Nichole Kidman, and Rene Zellwager. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Jude Law, and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Renée Zellweger.  I highly recommend both the book and the film.

The Civil War, 1861-65, counting both Union and Confederate deaths, was the bloodiest war as far as American deaths in our nation's history.  There were a total of 625,000 deaths, more than the 405,399 American troops who died in battle or otherwise in World War II.  The Civil War saved the union and set the wheels turning to abolish slavery, though our nation still struggles to achieve equality.  World War II saved the world from oppression and dictatorship and halted the Nazi slaughter and extermination of 20 million people, including six million Jews.  World War II claimed the lives of 73 million people.  There were many opportunities for nations, including the United States, to stop Hitler and the Nazis but nothing was done.

When I checked with the U. S. Department of Defense data on U. S. military deaths in the nation's wars, they identified the Vietnam War as "the Vietnam Conflict."  As a Vietnam veteran I wish DOC would finally change its terminology and admit Vietnam was a war.  A total of more 58,000 American troops died in that war, in battle and otherwise.  

Search and Destroy, Vietnam War, TET Offensive, 1968, photo by Mike Marcellino

Here is "The Walls of Fire," Mike Marcellino's poetry music ode to the sacrifice of American soldiers form the Civil War to Afghanistan -

"The Walls of Fire" on Reverbnation

The United States could have talked to Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Vietnamese nationalist movement, after World War II but we didn't.  Minh had used much of the American Declaration of Independence in framing the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence.  To learn more about the Vietnam War, including its origins and the history of the Vietnamese people who had defeated the Chinese as well in the 15th Century, read, Fire in the Lake by Frances Fitzgerald in 1972). Instead we bankrolled the French war in Indochina against Minh's Việt Minh defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.  American government officials, including President Eisenhower would late admit that the Vietnam War was about protecting U. S. interests in the raw materials in Southeast Asia.  Eisenhower said if Vietnam fell other counties would fall to communism like dominoes.  Later, President Eisenhower, who as an Army general led the U. S. forces to victory in World War II, warned the American people of the danger of the growing power of the industrial-military complex in the United States.

"My Girls" Vietnam War, 1968 
Photo by Mike Marcellino, copyright 2011

To date the war in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 1,219 American troops in battle and otherwise.  In the various Gulf wars since 9-11 in 2001, we've lost a total of 4,847 troops.  We still have 50,000 American troops in Iraq and 100,000 in Afghanistan.  

Here is the latest U. S. soldier to die in battle in the war in Afghanistan as identified in a news release from the U. S. Department of Defense.  I couldn't help noticing that Army Specialist Adam Hamilton, 22, was from Kent, Ohio, scene of 
May 4,, 1970 shootings of students on the Kent State University campus by Ohio National Guard troops.  The National Guard soldiers were called in to the campus by then Governor James Rhodes in response to student demonstrations against the Vietnam War.  Four students were killed, nine wounded, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release
On the Web:
Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public contact:
or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1

May 29, 2011

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Spc. Adam S. Hamilton, 22, of Kent, Ohio, died May 28 in Haji Ruf, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
            For more information, the media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at 785-240-1893, 785-239-3033, or after hours at 785-210-8867.

As Memorial Day 2011 nears and end, I leave you with this powerful song, "Ohio," written by Canadian folk rock  singer Neil Young.  It was probably the best known anti-war song and deals with the shootings at Kent State.  Here's Crosby, Still, Nash and Young and "Ohio."   It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brothers in arms: a Memorial series

Music video of "Brothers in Arms" 
by Dire Straits, a United Kingdom  rock band

Memorial Day in music, poetry & images  
by Mike Marcellino

Part 2 of a series on Memorial Day in words, music and pictures 

Brothers in Arms

You might wonder why I selected a song by a British rock band as my favorite song relating to the Vietnam War.  Music was exploding in 1967 and 1968 while I served in the U. S. Army in Vietnam.  "Brothers in Army" isn't even about the Vietnam War, not even an American war, not even a big war.  

"Brothers in Arms" was written in 1985 by Dire Straits' leader singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler about the Falkland War between the UK and Argentina.  The war in 1982 was over possession of the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina..  

The casualties were relatively small, the British lost 255 soldiers while Argentina lost 649.  More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War along with millions of South Vietnamese, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops and Vietnamese civilians. But to loved ones of those lost in war, numbers mean nothing.  

I, along with many of my comrades who survived the Vietnam War, adopted "Brothers in Arms."  For me it best expressions my lasting remembrance of my fellow soldiers, especially those who did not come home.  An album of the same name was the number one album in the UK in 1985.  

In 2007 Knopfler rerecorded "Brothers in Arms" with all the proceeds going to British veterans of the Falkland Island War suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Bravo Mark! Some American musicians ought to follow your example and record music to benefit all those U. S. veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as physical wound.  

I invite you to listen to this beautiful and haunting song and the moving artwork on the video.

While I have written poems, or songs, about my experiences in the Vietnam War, I am sharing with you a piece I wrote a few nights ago, "We interrupt this broadcast.."  Reading it you may not think it has to do with Vietnam or Memorial Day, but it does.  But it puts those traumatic events in context, context of the tragedy and inhumanity of war and killing, the choice between war and peace, and the current state of our planet, and direction we are headed in the United States and around the world.  The context is not good and it doesn't look promising.  

We have more wars, environmental degradation, violence in our community, lack of opportunity for the poor and middle class for education, jobs and health care, increasing poverty, especially among children and injustice.  More and more Americans, whether conservative or liberal, have given up on politics and our leaders.  This is understandable considering the vast majority of our elected officials, especially at the national level, are just interested in being reelected and their own selfish interests and beliefs.

We interrupt this broadcast

We interrupt this broadcast
by Mike Marcellino

It's killing us -
You and Me.

What happened to our world?
Are our leader’s watchin 
too much TV?
Using it
against you and me?

It's killing us -
You and Me

More and more
between six and eight.
Arctic's melting,away
dead pools in the oceans. 
Magnetic north 
be in Russia soon.
Mass extinction
by humans, they say.

It's killing us -
You and Me

Sounds like a cheer
but they're no leaders 
No Martin, 
John, Bobby
no Gandhi
or Che. 

I heard 
crossing the campus -
they shot Kennedy.
For days we sat glued to TV.
We could still remember
Howdy Doody
and Mama.

It's killing us, -
You and Me

Was sixty-nine
our last rally?
A million or more 
against war
that cold, sunny day in DC.

Next May in Ohio
students shot dead
sticking flowers in rifles,
going to class at Kent State.
By the end of Vietnam
we lost 58,000 
and now I wonder 
where they are  
and everyone is 
on Memorial Day.

It's killing us -
You and Me.

Shoot the fray
capture words
get the story
on the border
in wooded jungles,
carry your wounds 
to candlelight vigils.

It's killing us -
You and Me.

Magnetic fields 
before 9-11.
Conspiracy theories
towers to heaven.
The revolution''s begun
in the streets of Jordan,
in the clouds, 
without leaders.

It's killing us -
You and Me.

Where is Zapata?
We're putting the Civil War
in the wrong century.

Get up!
Apocalypse Now's on TV.

We interrupt this broadcast 
to bring you the news.
The Revolution has begun.
If you don't believe it
check out YouTube
and Facebook 
and turn off the TV.

Copyright 2011 by Mike Marcellino

Fortunate Son
A music video of another of my favorite Vietnam War songs, "Fortunate Son," written by American rock singer John Fogerty and recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969.  

It is #99 of Rollings Stone's 500 Greatest Songs.  I share the lyrics because they are so true in that the burden of fighting the Vietnam War, and all wars for that matter, was on the poor and working class. (This was especially true in the Vietnam War in that students in college could be deferred from serving as long as they were in school.) 

"Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival with some interesting Vietnam War images, produced by Hard Rain Productions

Finally, here is my poetry song, "The Walls of Fire" an ode to American soldiers' sacrifice from the Civil War to Afghanistan. (Just click on the link to access the music player, or go to the player at the top of the blog.)
To listen to "The Walls of Fire" just click on this link to my Facebook Musician/Band page.  You're welcome to share our music and like our band page!)