Featured Poet:
J.J. Tindall, Chicago

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J.J. Tindall lives in Chicago where he teaches English.


Two poems for two cities: Dien Ben Phu, Viet Nam and Lo Ke, Viet Nam

Poem for Dien Ben Phu


NEW SENTENCE NAPOLEON

His Excellency’s Empire

Was finally ended

By the Viet Minh

At Dien Ben Phu

In 1954

Using

His Excellency's

Signature move:

Dragging cannon

Up the back slope

Of a hill

By hand.



Poem for Lo Ke


IRON TRIANGLE

"Battlefield Viet Nam,"
'Showdown in the Iron Triangle'

The 3rd Brigade
was moving into

the Iron Triangle,
at Lo Ke, South Viet Nam (3/5/66).

The Viet Cong (NLF)
Ninth Brigade

attacked from the northwest.
Intense us air

and artillery strikes
drove off

the attackers.
Two days later,

the American
1st Brigade

with a battalion
of the 171st Airborne,

swept into
War Zone D.

An entire Viet Cong
regiment

attacked the positions.
Skillfully directed

American firepower
had averted disaster.

Hundreds of Viet Cong
had been killed

by artillery and air strikes.
However,

to the intense frustration
of U.S. commanders,

after the fights,
t
he Viet Cong regiments

had simply
melted away...

Commanders were determined
to make contact

with the enemy...
The big battles

that the Americans
hoped for never did materialize.



(Above:
the view from JJ Tindall's house; way in the misty
distance (a well-chosen day for a photograph obviously),
The John Hancock Center, the world's third tallest building.)






Poems © 2004 J.J. Tindall. Photographs © 2004 J.J. Tindall.
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realisation © 2002, 2003, 2004 Sally Crawford.
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