Future Lies?

“Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh,
Vietcong are going to win!”
On a hundred thousand tongues in Grosvenor Square,
On a hundred thousand placards in Paris,
On a hundred thousand torn up draft cards
In Washington DC,
In Kent State,
Drifting over the border into Canada.
A scouse voice cried aloud,
“Tell me lies about Vietnam”,
While B52s were being grounded by bicycles
And memory tainted orange.
“Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh,
Vietcong are going to win…”
And win they did,
Though Vietnam lost,
As always in victory or defeat.
Ho Chi Minh developed as capital
And died,
As did the dreams
Of Grosvenor Squareres,
Placard bearers,
Draft card teareres.
The Ho Chi Minh trail led
To the low wage work bench,
A source of outsourcing,
Compulsive labour for the free market.
Telling lies about Vietnam
Was every promise made and broken,
Echoing through shell shocked ruins
Of Afghanistan,
Ukraine, for now…

David Alton has been writing poetry since the early 1970s and is presently a contributor of a weekly Socialist Sonnet to Socialism or Your Money Back, the blog of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, a member of the World Socialist Movement. Politically active since the late '60s he continues to push the socialist cause that he is convinced is the antidote to the recurrent epidemics of mass bloodshed, the disease of war. He is presently working with others on producing a socialist podcast they hope to have up and running in the next few months. Read other articles by David.