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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quartered in Hell

Dollars to donuts only one out of 100 (most likely less) Americans know about American army troops being committed to conflict by President Woodrow Wilson under British commanders on Russian soil. For an online account, go to here. A great book with photos is "Quartered in Hell" by Dennis Gordon. Nearly all of the Americans killed were from Michigan.
Sergeant Roger S. Clark
310th US Army Engineers
Archangel, Russia
Christmas, 1918

This poem was written by an Army buddy of Mariah's Grandfather William D. Mayo during WWI while stationed in Archangel, Russia. No offense meant to any Russians, remember it was written during a conflict, by someone a long way and a long time from home.


When the Lord was designing Creation,
and laying out oceans and lands,
with never an hour's relaxation,
nor a moment to spit on His hands,
as anyone will in a hurry,
He let things get by now and then
in all the excitement and worry
that He should have done over again.

So, rather than mess up the outfit,
He saved every blunder and blob,
and laid them aside in the corner
to use at the end of the job.

The sixth afternoon of the contract,
the bonus expiring that day,
He bailed out the dregs of Creation
and shoveled the litter away.

He scraped all the wreckage and tailings
and sewage and scum of the sump,
and made on the shores of the Arctic
a great international dump.

He rushed the thing through in a hurry,
and because of the rush He was in,
He named the locality Russia,
and Russia it has always been.

And then, feeling glum and sarcastic,

because it was Saturday night,
He spotted the nastiest corner
and called it "Archangel", for spite!

It is there they do everything backwards,
and mud doesn't dry between rains,
where money and sawdust are plenty,
and thievery is better than brains.

It's the home of the glop and the bo-hunk,
and herring, and mud-colored crows.

My strongest impression of Russia
gets into my head through my nose!

It's the land of the infernal odor,
the land of the national smell,
the average American soldier
would rather be quartered in Hell!

It's back to the states for "Yours Truly"
a sadder but wiser young chap,
The Lord played a joke on Creation,
when Russia was dumped on the map!