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Just Sven
10 years ago

This anonymous poem was blown into a slit trench in Tunisia during a heavy bombardment in the early days of World War II. Who it’s author is, or was, cannot be determined, but it is certain that he had a gift for poetry which he used to express his great faith and sense of hope.

Stay with me God. The night is dark
The night is cold: My little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me God, and make me strong

I love the game; I love a fight.
I hate the dark; I love the light.
I love my child; I love my wife.
I am no coward. I love life.

Life with its change of mood and shade.
I want to live. I’m not afraid,
But me and mine are hard to part;
Oh unknown God, lift up my heart.

You stilled the water at Dunkirk
And saved your servants.
All your work is wonderful, dear God. You strode
Before us down that dreadful road.

We were alone, and hope had fled;
We loved our country, and our dead.
And could not shame them; so we stayed
The course, and were not much afraid.

Dear God that nightmare road! And then
That sea! We got there-we were men.
My eyes were blind, my feet were torn,
My soul sang like a bird at dawn!

I knew that death is just a door.
I knew what we were fighting for:
Peace for the kids, our brothers freed,
A kinder world, a cleaner breed.

I’m but the son my mother bore,
A simple man and nothing more.
But-God of strength and gentleness,
Be pleased to make me nothing less

Help me, O God, when death is near
To mock the haggard face of fear,
That when I fall-If fall I must-
My soul may triumph in the dust.

Paddy O'Furnijur
10 years ago

Happy Memorial Day, Gerbil Nation.
Thanks for the poem, Sven -- I’ve never read that one before.

Just Sven
10 years ago

A quick trip summary:

Flew into Anchorage and spent the night there, then boarded a bus and headed north about 125 miles to a lodge that had little going on but did provide outstanding views of Mt. McKinley 40 miles away. From there, onto another bus to Denali national park and another lodge. Beautiful country there and all the way up. Temperatures were nice; about 70 during the day and 40 at night—“night” being a relative term as the sun didn’t set until after midnight with real darkness for maybe an hour. At 4:00 AM, it was already bright out. No real rain and the mosquitoes werent all that bad. Walked into town; one of those places that survives primarily on the three months worth of tourist trade. Did meet some interesting people that were quite sympathetic to California’s plight and quite supportive of the Second Amendment; Mrs Sven was wearing a Front Sight ball cap which started several conversations.

Took a train ride back to the coast and got to see some more interesting country. Boarded the cruise ship in Whittier—quite the long day.

Saw our first glaciers the next day and slowly acclimated to this whole cruise thing. Had three shore stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Did some whale watching, some crabbing, much sightseeing, a little hiking, and some barhopping. Bald eagles up there like crows. Weather was for the most part cloudy and light-rainy. The only really rough day at sea was the last day when it was really stormy.

And then back to reality on Saturday. Flew out of Vancouver and back home.

Just Sven
10 years ago

All ready for work tomorrow: coffee maker filled and set; lunch made; clothes laid out. Yuck,

On our first bus ride north, we went through Wasilla and the driver pointed out the house where Sarah Palin grew up. She also made several snarky comments about Sarah and said that although Todd Palin is still around, Sarah hadnt been back in two years--implying that their marriage was on the rocks. True or not, I don’t know, but I didnt like her tone. Later on, she passed out a guestbook for us to write our names and home locations and any comments about the trip. My comment was this: “Wonderful tour, and Todd and I are just fine” and I signed it Sarah Palin, Wasilla.

Later on in Denali, me and Mrs Sven were outside eating dinner--a beautiful location on top of a bluff overlooking a river. Another couple sat down at the table next to us--they were from Venice Beach, CA. They were on another tour, but took the same bus ride as us north. Anyhow, the woman made some comment about Wasilla and then launched into the usual liberal bullshit about Sarah Palin: seeing Russia from her home, didnt read any books or newspapers, tried to ban books from the library, etc. It was like the dam of hatred just opened up with her and out spewed this crap. Mrs Sven tried a little bit to engage her in conversation, but it was a no go. The woman from Venice finally said she hated Sarah Palin because she was so stupid. At that point I’d had enough. I told the Venice couple that it was damn good thing we had such stellar intellects in the White House in the form of Joe Biden and Barack Hussein Obama and that it was time for us to go. They seemed a bit taken aback. I muttered something else about dumb fuc*ing liberals and off we went.

In hindsight, I should have tried for a conversation, but it just want in me at that time.