RECENT NEWS

January 14, 2005

My Father Waxes Poetic

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On Christmas morning I woke up early and my father read me this poem he wrote. I recorded it in our kitchen and I thought you might enjoy listening to him read it. Leave a message for Joe Poltz down below.

Listen Here

when a soldier dies

when a soldier dies in some far off land
it's so hard for his loved ones to understand
why did he have to leave them behind
oh why did fate have to be so blind
in a wooden box his body lies
when a soldier dies

when a soldier dies in some foreign field
and they ship him home on his battle worn shield
home where his family sighs and mourns
wondering why from their lives he's been torn
trying to reason amid their sighs
when a soldier dies

when a soldier dies in a terrible war
amid all the gunfire blood and gore
wondering in his final moments of life
was it worth all the suffering hardship and strife
was he fighting for truth or was it all lies
when a soldier dies

when a soldier dies many lives are torn
his family and friends at his graveside mourn
they call him a hero who died in the dust
but often we wonder if the cause was just
was his death worth all the moaning and cries
when a soldier dies


Posted by steve at January 14, 2005 8:48 AM

Comments

That was great!!!

Kudos to you Papa Poltz!

Posted by: Troy Lee Wells at January 14, 2005 9:06 AM

very nice.

cheers, mr. polio.

Posted by: sean at January 14, 2005 9:48 AM

Very nicely done, Joe (may I call you Joe?)...impressive reading! I think you and that son of yours should consider touring together. Maybe we'll have the privilege of hearing it live when you do your Bay Area appearance!

Martin

Posted by: Martin at January 14, 2005 9:54 AM

Hi Mr. Poltz,

That's awesome. There's something very Walter Cronkitish going on there. Stevo-- the drums were a nice haunting touch.

Ms. P

Posted by: Dana at January 14, 2005 10:36 AM

Dear Joe Poltz:...Now I can see where Steve gets some of his insight. Your words reflect my feelings about the loss of our young people for the political advantage of others, or in GOD's name rather then in honest self defence. My children and I enjoy Steve's music and always look forward to seing him at Tim Flannery and Friends Show at ECPAC. I also was at Croce's on New Years Eve and heard A.J. perform. I purchased his new CD which has 2 songs co-written by Steve. You and Steve's Mom must be happy with your boy and the fun and joy he brings to others...Sincerely, Patti Schwab

Posted by: Patricia Schwab RN at January 14, 2005 12:44 PM

Mr. Poltz,

Amazing poem. Sounds like some kind of cross between Jim Morrison and my Canadian uncle. Definitely enjoyed listening!

Tori

Posted by: Tori at January 14, 2005 1:54 PM

Mr. Poltz,

The echoing and rhythm with the reading is very, very cool - it's sort of a more in depth view of the RCAF Greenwood story but with more descriptions and feeling. Reminds me of some of those Johnny Cash songs... Good stuff!

Posted by: ryan at January 14, 2005 6:36 PM

Nice poem. Yeah Ryan, it reminds me of Johnny Cash too. Great.
If my dad sounded like that, I would make him sing to me everyday. =)
Rock On,
Anny

Posted by: Anny at January 15, 2005 2:28 PM

I'm David Leach's wife-your son is a dear friend. Love your poem; you have an awesome voice. Which Democrat can we send this to? They need this-it could be an anthem.

Posted by: nina at January 16, 2005 11:16 AM

Mr. Poltz,

A very well written poem. Describes today's events perfectly! You are a modern day Robert Frost! ;-) it reminds me of Johnny Cash too! Especially the way you deliver it with the drums in the background! Thanks for sharing! I'd sure like to hear it performed live at the cerritos performing arts theatre with Stinky doing the drums! ;-)

Cheers,
Mark - Oceaniside Calif.

Posted by: Mark at January 16, 2005 4:23 PM

MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR THE WONDERFULL COMMENTS ABOUT MY POEM. IT WAS GREAT OF SON STEVE TO POST THIS ON HIS WEB SITE. HE'S A TALENTED LAD AND HIS MOM AND I ARE CERTAINLY PROUD OF HIM. THANKS ALSO FOR SUPPORTING STEVE IN HIS MANY CRAZY ENDEVOURS. STEVE'S PAPA.

Posted by: joe poltz at January 17, 2005 7:30 PM

dear cadillac joe-

those are some lovely tender words.

good work.

steven is a nice boy. good work again.

jorge

Posted by: jorge at January 18, 2005 7:50 AM

Joe-

A yeoman effort, indeed. Your myriad war imagery captures the tragedy of war as it bores through the centuries- the wooden box, commonly used to transport the fallen heroes since the 1600s; the pre-Christian image of the soldier being carried away on his shield. In ancient Greece, this was known as his "aspidos," and it would have been unthinkable to bring a soldier home without his glorious shield.

The fact that you reverse the chronological order of these symbols only underscores the strength of your material. It is also jarring the way you abandon meter in the last sentence of each stanza, reminding us of the horrible brevity of this manner of death.

This poem, large and lonely, whispers like a giant willow, and reminds me of those words spoke long ago by the warriors of Rome as they prepared for what could be their final battle: "Fight with pride today, for tonight we may dine amongst the dead."

Well done, sir.

Posted by: JPD at January 18, 2005 12:53 PM

Golly, how did I know that Joe Daly wrote that last comment before I even scrolled down far enough to see his initials???

Windbag. :rolleyes:

:D:D

p.s.: Did you get 'myriad' on the vocab test last week?

Posted by: Frag at January 19, 2005 9:46 PM

I think JPD's real name is Heather.

M.

Posted by: Martin at January 24, 2005 5:08 PM

Joe,
I'm happy you haven't died after all these years. I enjoyed hearing your living voice with Laurie Andersen dirge-like solider beat. I remember what a playful person and parent you are. Way to live well and die well in a poem breath.

Happiest of howls from a long time ago "Alaskan Hussie!,"
Lynn

Posted by: Lynn Cornberg at February 4, 2005 9:32 PM

HI LYNN, WHAT A PLEASANT SURPRISE TO HEAR FROM YOU. WINI AND I ARE LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND ARE VERY PROUD OF OUR TALENTED SON. HOPE YOU ARE WELL AND HAPPY. JOE

Posted by: pappa joe at February 5, 2005 8:12 PM

Hi Wini and Joe! Will keep checking for a recording of Wini on the site--if I remember correctly, Steve got a good chunk of his pipes from her angelic musicality. Hey and hello to kowgirl kath. Your son continues to be a talented muse-i-cure for me. I disappointingly missed his AK sojourn a few years back but check his site to see where he's at on the globe. Nice ski pants Steve. I'm in Taipei, Taiwan on an extended (7 years in Taiwan not Tibet) "Chinese Vacation." Met some great folk from Nova Scotia here.

Shin Nien Kwai Le--Happy New Years in Chinese this coming Wednesday.

Lynn

Posted by: Lynn Cornberg at February 6, 2005 12:32 AM

a couple of months after everyone else i finally got around to reading Joe's poem,and had to be content with reading it,because i've got a very daft old computer!I'm wondering Joe,if you ever read "Rilla Of Ingleside"?-and no I'm not stirring you up.Reading that as a girl made me feel the grief that the family left behind felt-even though it was just a made up story,one of the "anne"books-it just captured it so well.I thought if you had not done so already ,you might enjoy it.But i guess that would mean having to go back and read all the rest of the series first!Willing to get "girly",you can do it!

Posted by: michaela? at March 10, 2005 4:33 PM

mr poltz,

you are pretty damn cool. you pushed a really amazing musicmaker into the world, and your spoken stuff makes the hairs on my arm dance around like heathen zealots burning their furniture to appease the mad gods...or something close. hey also, i don't know whether to thank you or steve or my friend nick, who turned me onto the rugburns and steve...but i got lucky one night with a really cool music gal because i played her a guitar song i modeled after dick's automotive. i had to let you know. ;-) warm winds!

Posted by: david at April 8, 2005 6:42 PM


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