Below are the poems that Bernie wrote while overseas in World War II.  Some were typed in all capital letters and 2 were originally hand-written.  In the original copies he crossed out some of the words and hand-wrote in others.  I only included the final versions.  

He wrote what he could about the war knowing that the censors were reading everything and some he wrote to, or about, his May back home in Brooklyn.

Wherever he went he carried his thesaurus with him.  I lovingly used that same thesaurus all throughout high school and college. I always wondered where he was stationed during the war. What I didn’t realize until 2020, that he listed all of the places in the inside cover of his thesaurus!


THE CHAPLAIN
“THE FIGHTIN’EST SON OF GOD”

THERE IS MANY A STORY
GOING THE ROUNDS THESE DAYS
OF A FELLOW WE ALL SHOULD KNOW!
HE DOES HIS STUFF LIKE THE REST OF US
WITHOUT ANY PRETENSE AT SHOW!

HE DOES’NT CARRY A RIFLE
HIS RANK DOES,NT MEAN A THING
AND HE’S THE KING OF A GUY
WHO DOES’NT ASK WHY
YOUR TROUBLES TO HIM YOU BRING

THE GANG MAY RIDE, THE JOKES ARE WIDE
GOOD NATUREDLY WE KNOW
THE FELLOWS SAY TO THE CHAPLAIN GO
WITH YOUR AWFUL TALE OF WOE

HIS TRAINING IN THE ARMY
IS REALLY HARD TO BELIEVE
THERE’S GAS MAK DRILL AND CALISTHENICS
THE SAME AS WE RECEIVE

WHETHER WE’RE ON THE MARCH
OR IN THE FIELD
YOU’LL FIND HIM ALONG THE MEN
HE CAN DISCUSS BATTLE TACTICS
WITH THE BEST OF THEM

IT WAS SUNDAY MORN
THE LORDS DAY, IN DEC. ‘41
WHEN OUT OF THE SKY FLYING HIGH
CAME TYRANNY ON THE RUN

CAME THE DESPICABLE NIPPONESSE
IN THEIR BARBARIC ACT OF PERDITION
THROUGH IT ALL CAME THE CHAPLAINS CALL
PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION

AND ON BATAAN NARY A MAN
COULD SAY HE WAS’NT THERE
WHILE WOUNDED CRIED AND HEROES DIED
AND BOMBS FELL EVERYWHERE

ON GUADALCANAL THEY FOUND HIM AGAIN
IN THEIR FILGHT FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT
PRAYERS HE KNEW COULD NOT DO
WHEN CIGARETTES WOULD GIVE THEM MIGHT

FRIEND AND FOE THEY SEEM TO KNOW
WHO IT WAS THAT HELPED THEM SO
WHEN RED WITH BLOOD IN SWEAT OR SNOW
THEY LOOKED TO HIM IN THEIR HOUR OF PAIN
WHERE DEATH WON, NOT FAME.

ON BATTLEFRONTS IN EVERY LAND
THE CAPLAIN GOES WITHOUT COMMAND
HIS FIGHT IS NOT WITH MORTAL BEING
FOR GODS ANGER HE HAS SEEN.

BY PVT. B. H. BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


LOOK IN TO YOUR MIRROR
AND WHO IS IT YOU SEE
A MAID SO VERY PRETTY
AND LOVELY AS COULD BE
SHE STARED AGAIN
QUITE UNBELIEVING
SHE SIGHED SHE CRIED
IS IT DECEIVING
ALAS NO
IT COULD NOT BE
BECAUSE IT MOVED
WHEN SO DID SHE

THIS MAIDEN FAIR
HAS SILKEN HAIR
EYES THT GLEAM
LIKE JELEWS IN THE NIGHT
PEARLS FOR TEETH
SO WHITE AND BRIGHT
AND LIPS LIKE RUBIES
SO FULL OF LIFE

OH WONDROUS THINGS
THAT MIRRORS BE
IT COULD NOT SHOW
WHAT I DID KNOW
OF A HEART OF GOLD
THAT BEATS FOR ME
FAR AWAY BEYOND THE SEA.

BY PVT. B. H. BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


IF YOU MAN IS IN THE NAVY
AND ALL DRESSED UP IN BLUE
AND GOES OFF TO FIGHT THE WAR
WITH HIS THOUGHTS ALL OF YOU

OR HIS UNIFORM IS KHAKI
AND, HE’S A FIGHTIN’ SON OF A GUN
DON’T TRY TO DOUBLE CROSS HIM
CAUSE YOU’RE HIS ONLY ONE

WHETHER IT’S BLUE OR TAN
HE’S THAT YANKEE DOODLE MAN
THE ROUGHEST TOUGHEST NEPHEW
OF A FIGHTIN’ UNCLE SAM

IT’S EASY THAT’S TRUE
WHEN YOUR MAN’S AWAY
TO FIND ANOTHER FELLOW JUST FOR THE DAY

DOES IT HURT TO REMEMBER
THAT HE TOO IS ALONE
WITH HIS MEMORIES AND PICTURES
AND THOUGHTS OF HOME

SO DON’T LET HIM DOWN
AND DON’T PLAY AROUND
WHILE HE’S IN THERE
DYIN’ FOR YOU

BUT TELL HIM YOU’RE TRUE
AND SEND LOVE MESSAGES TOO
WHILE HE FIGHTS ON
FOR THE RED WHITE AND BLUE

BY PVT. B. H. BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


FROM THE CLOUDS IN A NEVER ENDING STREAM
PLUNGING EARTHWARD WITH ITS PIERCING SCREAM
A SHRIEKING BLAST THAT CUT OUR BREATH
A THOUSAND TIMES WORSE THAN DEATH
BOMBS BURSTING BENEATH A SKY
HELL ON EARTH WHERE CHILDREN CRY
OH GOD ODN’T LET MY MOTHER DIE

AT LAST IT STOPPED, ITS FURY SPENT
WE GAZED ALOFT—EVER VIGILANT
AGAIN THE CAME BUT COULD NOT DENT
THE SURGING PRIDE THAT GAVE US STRENGTH
TO BREAK OUR SPIRIT, TO KILL AND MAIM
BUT THEY RECKONED NOT WITH A PEOPLE FREE
OF A LIFE WE LOVED AND ITS LIBERTY

AND WHEN IT WAS OVER WE BOWED OUR HEADS
PRAISED OUR HEROES AND BURIED OIUR DEAD
AMID RUIN AND DEBRIS WE PROMISED THUS
TO DESTROY THE ENEMY AND HIS VICIOUS LUST
WHO DARES TO THREATEN OUR WAY OF LIFE
WHERE COPASSION REIGNS NOT STIFE

BY PVT. B. H. BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


My Job – back in ‘39
(and you guys think the Army’s tough!)

I work in an office five and a half days a week
(from Monday to Saturday Noon)
The work isn’t too hard and the hours not too long,
But, I feel like quitting it soon.
(‘Course, it might be worse – and, yet,
Few have my troubles, I’ll bet!)

I’m a secretary – and a darned good one, too,
But there are lots of other things that I must do,
Like playing nursemaid for my boss’ son –
A fourteen-year-old terror is that one!
Running errands for his other-in-law
And ordering groceries – oh, pshaw!
Those things are just a few minor detail
About which every secretary wails.

Now, I feel that it’s time to rebel,
I’ll tell the boss to go plumb to Hell,
For, when he and his friends lock themselves in
His private office and they all begin
A poker game, and play all through the night –
Then’s when li’l Mickey should start to fight!
‘Cause when I walk in the next A.M.
I feel like murdering those darned men . .  .  .

They leave piles of cigarette butts on the floor
And bottles of beer in the water cooler
Pretzels in filing cabinet, desk and sink –
And I must clean it up – say, what do they think?
That I’m employed to sweep and dust?
Huh! I call THAT colossal crust!
Something must be done and should be done right away
Or I’ll be headed for *Eleventh and Maclay.

Do you know, my worries are without an end;
Just listen to this tale of woe, my good friend –
My boss always runs off to the racetrack
And NEVER tells me when he’s coming back,
When his appointments arrive, I say, “What a pit
“Mr. Clyde Smith has just been called out of the city!”
When he’s not at the track, he never forgets
To have me call the bookie, and place his bets.

I must give him numbers for the Daily Doubles;
Didn’t I tell you there’s no end to my troubles?
That isn’t all – we have an oil well,
If it’s good, says he, my desk we’ll sell
And I’ll get the new one I’ve been asking for
Ever since August – or, perhaps, ‘twas before.

Mayhap, from this poem, you can readily see
The reason why I’m slowly going crazy.

*mental institution


DEAR SWEETHEART HOW DO YOU DO
I’M FINE AND HOW ARE YOU
I USUALLY START MY LETTERS TO YOU
BY SAYING THERE’S NOTHING NEW
HOWEVER I’LL CHANGE IT AROUND THIS TIME
I’LL PUT IT IN VERSE AND MAKE EVERY ONE RHYME.

THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS I COULD WRITE ABOUT
BUT THE CENSOR NO DOUBT WILL CUT THEM OUT
IF I SPEAK OF THE WEATHER OR THE ISLAND I’M ON
THAT TOO HE GROWNS UPON

NOW SEE HERE CENSOR THIS IS FOR YOU
IF I SAY TO MUCH YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO
AND IN THE EVENT YOU MUST CUT SOMETHING OUT
PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I’LL CHANGE IT ABOUT

HOW WE LIVE AND WHAT WE DO IS ALSO LISTED AS TABOO
HOWEVER I’LL SAY THAT WE WLIVE IN TENTS
EITHER WITH FOUR OR SIX OCCUPANTS
MOTHER EARTH MAKES A DARN GOOD FLOOR
AND IT’S WELL VENTIFLATED ON ALL FOUR

AND THERE’S SUCH LITTLE THINGS AS ANTS
WHO CRAWL INTO OUR BED AND INTO YOUR PANTS
BUT THAT’S NOT A NICE THING TO TELL
THAT I HAVE ANTS IN MY PANTS, THEN WHAT THE HELL

COOL OCEAN BREEZES SWAYING PALMS
BY A SLEEPY LAGOON IN A MAIDENS ARMS
TROPICAL MOONLIGHTS AND SOUTHSEA ISLAND BEAUTIES
IS SOMETHING WE SEE WHEN WE GO THE THE MOVIES

OF COURSE THERE’S MUCH MORE THAT I COULD SAY
BUT I’LL PUT IT OFF FOR ANOTHER DAY
BUT HERE IS ONE THING I JUST MUST SAY
I LOVE YOU ORE AND MORE EVERY DAY

PVT B H Blieden
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


STRANGE THOUGHTS MIGHT OCCUR
WHEN MAN IN NOOD
THAT BODES NOT WELL
BREAKS THE SHACKLES
THAT CAST THE SPELL
BINDS THE MIND
AND BODY AS WELL
FREES THE SPIRITS
AND LETS THEM TELL
OF THE MYSTERIOUS WAYS
WHERE THE DEVILS DWELL

PVT. B H BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


MAN IS NORTAL AND WHO IS HE
TO CAUSE DEATH DESTRUCTION ANDM ISERY
BORN OF WOMAN WITH THE HELP OF MAN
BY THE WILL OF GOD ACCORDING TO PLAN
WHAT FOOLS WE MORTALS ALWAYS BE
TO USURP THE POWERS BE MEANT FOR HE
TO CAUSE TO DIE WHEN HE GAVE LIFE
AROUSED HIS ANGER WITH RESULTANT STRIFE.


LIFE IS NOT A PICTURE PUZZLE
LIFE IS NOT A ROSY BUBBLE
LIFE CAN’T BE LIVED ACCORDING TO PLAN
LIFE IS NOT A BLUEPRINT NOR A DIAGRAM
LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE
LIFE IS NOT A DREAM BUT A REALITY
LIFE IS HARD AND SOMETIMES CRUEL
LIFE IS GAY AND BERY BEAUTIFUL
LIFE FOR ME BEGAN WITH YOUR
LIFE WILL END IF YOU’RE NOT TRUE


GOOD NIGHT SWEETHEART ONCE AGAIN,
IT’S TIME FOR BED I’LL SEE YOU THEN,
BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND COMB YOUR HAIR,
LIGHTS OUT, DON’T DESPAIR,
IN YOUR DREAMS I’ll SEE YOU THERE

BY PVT. B. H. BLIEDEN
23RD BOMB SQ APO 708


The Die is cast.  There shall be
No regrets.

Life is one choice after another, and
that decisions should be made promptly
and always with an ernest res-
olution that there would be no
(R)egrets if they out poorly.


Never lose sight of the progressiveness
of training – They must see that
all steps in training are logical
with ordered advance from the simple
to the more complex, and from what’s
known to the unknown.


(Heloise to Abelard)

Of a picture which is best a mute

representation of an object can give such
pleasure, what cannot letters inspire?
They have souls, they can speak, they
have in them all that force which exposes
the transports of the heart; they have all
the fire of our passions, they can raise
them as much as if the persons themselves
were present; they have all the tenderness and
the delicacy of speech and sometimes
even a boldness of expression beyond it