Tick, Long Haired Warrior
is a Viet Cong veteran, a "long-haired warrior" as
the women vets are called. She enlisted in the VC and served first as a
courier after her school was bombed and destroyed by our American forces.
Amidst dead children
I follow my teacher
She met her future husband, who became a VC unit commander, while fighting
the war. Unlike American GIs, the Vietnamese troops were in the war
until it was over or they were wounded or killed. Their company commander
them in a simple jungle ceremony.
I speak my vows
to my man and country –
The couple grew of age and began their family during
the war. While fighting and struggling, they had three children.
fighting invaders –
war inside and out
Her husband was severely wounded twice, but the
entire family survived the war. They began a farm deep in the
where they still live with their families.
Mangos, chum chums,
dragon eyes, grandchildren –
tides in, tides out
Now they welcome us, offer tea and food, laugh
and smile with my group of eight American veteran visitors.
Tonight you dream
on my pillow.
travel, to write, to heal and make peace–these combine into
one integrated and essential activity of the soul for Edward Tick.
Born in the Bronx
in 1951, Ed makes his home in Albany, NY, near mountains he and
his wife Kate Dahlstedt love. Ed and Kate have 3 children. All
five practice poetry and other arts.
holistic healer, poet, writer, educator and journey guide, Ed directs
Sanctuary: A Center for Mentoring the Soul, in Albany,
N.Y. He also co-directs the Center on Violence and Healing at Sage
College. Every year he leads journeys to both Greece and Viet Nam.
His first complete
haibun collection, The Golden Tortoise: Viet Nam Journeys, will be
published by Red Hen Press in April, 2005,
30th anniversary of the end of the Viet Nam War. Ed has spent
25 years studying the war and helping veterans heal and come home.
Tortoise combines haiku and other poetic forms with travel narrative to
and reconciliation journeys Ed leads in Viet Nam.
Ed is also the
author of The Practice Of Dream Healing: Bringing Ancient Greek
Mysteries Into Modern Medicine (2001) and Sacred
With the Viet Nam Beast (1989). His next book,War and
will be published in Fall, 2005.
2005: Simply Haiku