Coming Home In Viet Nam (Tia Chucha Press, 2021)
Seeking the most powerful healing practices to address the invisible wounds of war, Dr. Ed Tick has led journeys to Viet Nam for veterans, survivors, activists and pilgrims for the past twenty years. This moving and revelatory collection documents the people, places and experiences on these journeys. It illuminates the soul-searching and healing that occurs when Vietnamese women and children and veterans of every faction of the "American War" gather together to share storytelling and ritual, grieving, reconciliation and atonement. These poems reveal war's aftermath for Vietnamese and Americans alike and their return to peace, healing and belonging in the very land torn by war's horrors.
Excerpt from this review by John Ketwig in The Veteran:
"Ed Tick's kindness and compassion have overflowed across the entire planet! He teaches that PTSD is not best understood or treated as a stress disorder; it is best understood as an identity disorder and soul wound affecting the personality at its deepest level.
Like a teacher who walks into a classroom and teaches a familiar lesson in a refreshing new way, Coming Home In Viet Nam is classic Ed Tick. It is infused with sadness and loss, but also with an optimism that is Zen-like and ethereal."
Excerpt from this review by Steve Pfarrar @ The Daily Hamsphire Gazette:
"Poetry allows others' voices to sound through ours," Tick writes. "Some of our most moving experiences in country have been shared poetry readings in which veterans' hearts and souls speak and survivors from each side grab the others' verses to exclaim, 'You story is my story. We are the same.' "
In work such as "Song of the Vietnamese Women," he touches on the country's long history of resistance to more powerful nations — China, France, Japan, the U.S. — as well as what he calls the untold stories of civilians, especially women and children, caught up in the Vietnam War.
"I will grow my rice besides your craters. / I will place my body before your tanks. / I will give my hands to stop your helicopters / and give my legs to cut your wire … I will give my father, my husband, my sons, / and bless their leaving though I never see them again. / I will pray you return to your mothers' arms / and forgive you though you take everything I have."
Excerpt from this review by Gianluca Cinelli for the Close Encounters in War Journal:
"Coming Home In Viet Nam is a book about friendship, which is something to achieve through love, understanding, and goodwill. War may break the spirit and the human bonds, but like life that blooms again over the battlefield, friendship can be born again out of hatred and enmity..."