Select Poems by Veteran Mark Seery

Army, Battle of Mogadishu. Photo by Katie Lange


by Mark Seery, 1998

the silent screams
of my sleep
surpassed only by
the stifled screams
of my wake
fear, rage and mistrust
i don’t bend
break like i used to
don’t push me
kick a dog
get bit

The Change

by Mark Seery, 2003

In my mind
I could clearly see
Back in my old world
How good it would be

Back in my world
Back from over the sea
Everything had changed
They said I wasn’t me

I didn’t understand
And how strange it felt
Looking into the mirror
Not recognizing myself

Family and friends
Tried to comprehend
I was numb to the emotion
And I could not defend

They, like me
Thought I would be the same
I search for answers
For someone to blame

Watching them watch me
I can sense the sorrow
That I know they’re feeling
As they hope for tomorrow

The Medic

by Mark Seery

Wounded and dying
I was there – for them
The medic call
Pierced the day
Drowned out by screams of pain
Blood and dismemberment
Entrails in my hands
Screams for his mother
False assurances
We’re gonna be OK
Cutting off the clothing
Exit wounds are large
Hemorrhage streams
Cut the air
Gurgling sounds
Of death
Blood coagulates
In my hands
Wounded speaking quickly
To say
All that they may ever say
Voices of desperation
I love them
I cry with them
Then and now

Wide Awake

by Mark Seery, 2002

They ask me what it was like
As I get into REM sleep
Just past the perimeter of consciousness
The enemy does creep

Have you ever been afraid?
Of being blasted to your wake
By a mortar that was fired
To seal your fate

Have you ever been so scared?
Of the nightmares you will have
Or the visions of the war
You wish they never had

Have you ever been so tired?
From sleep deprivation
Terrified to close your eyes
Its akin to starvation

People often wonder why
With the war so long ago
In the forefront of my mind
Its tracers still glow

Three homeward bound U.S. Army Rangers carry their bags and M-16 rifles toward a military transport plane at Mogadishu International airport Oct. 21, 1993, for the withdrawal from Somalia. (Hocine Zaourar/AFP via Getty Images)


by Mark Seery, 1997

This wall surrounds me
Pushes in, pushes out
Creates a void
It suffocates my feelings
Silent tears
I want to go back
To find myself before the wall

The wall is not fair
The wall cheats
Silent tears of sorrow
Silent tear of loneliness
Alone in a crowded classroom
Alone in my car
Silent tears
Desolation they cannot

The wall was built to protect
The wall causes pain
Everyone is in the shadow of the

Silent tears
Hidden by the wall
Silent tears spill over
To move beyond the wall

Mark Seery is a US Army veteran who served as a combat medic during Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. Mark currently lives in Hawaii with his wife where he is training for his first Huts For Vets trip this summer. This is the first time he has shared his poetry with the world, most of which has been written by hand over the years. We hope you enjoy the read.

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