My parents were separated by two countries. My mother was in Fascist Italy. My father was in America. They were separated for approximately fifteen years.

My brother’s name was Giuliano Quiliano. He chose to fight for America during World War II. When he was drafted, he was assigned to the amphibious 77th Infantry Division of the US Marine Corps. Ernie Pyle, the beloved journalist of the GI’s was killed in action at le Shima, Ryuku Islands while accompanying the 77th Infantry Division.

Giuliano survived five battle campaigns, including Iwo Jima. One of his duties was the flame thrower. He took out the snipers that targeted the flame throwers. He took out a pillbox in order to save himself and the other soldiers in his group. Most likely he should have gotten the Medal of Honor for that but he was a quiet man and never asked for anything nor did he talk much about the war. He left the military with the rank of Corporal.

The introduction and this poem is dedicated to all those who fought, died or survived that terrible war. I tried to capture the essence of the war.

Dance With the Devil

One can say

war is hell, to say

that WWII Pacific theater of war

is hell a PROFOUND understatement

Love for fellow soldiers

Hate for the enemy

young soldiers thrown

into brutal battles, murderous fire

Uphill fighting

pillboxes waiting

Battleships it by Kamikaze

Enemy rummages in the jungle

and yell in perfect English

“Go to hell”

Every minutes a soldier is

killed or wounded

Smell of death, all around

Racing thoughts, this.

their last time on earth!

Run and shoot

Enemies fading into jungle

Trees appear, like human skeletons

Now in hand to hand combat

Being wounded in Iwo Jima

was the Rule!

Shells whizzed overhead repeatedly

Flashes of gunfire

Blasts of bombs

Flame thrower

flames into tunnel!

Running over dead bodies

Special courage

to survive the carnage

It came down to

Kill or be killed

Surprises, sinking black sand

Hidden pillboxes

Massive tunnel systems

Enemies determined with ferocity

Americans equally determined

Americans possessed a unique bravery

in the face of such determined brutality

Humanity has left

Hatred has taken over

Battles beyond bloody

heat and sun  unbearable

Water hard to find

More torn bodies

broken equipment and body parts

litter the landscape

Images become memories

That will never go away,

They are etched into one’s soul

The hate so profound, so alive it consumes

Act of bravery

pillbox appears

Thoughts race

it will have to be taken out

Or, buddies will die

Against almost insurmountable odds,

creeping into dangerous territy

Tossed a grenade into pillbox

For a moment in time,


For a moment in time,

happy to be alive

But only a moment

Death and destruction all around

Living and dead tossed upward,

downward, inward

The black sand seems to whisper

“Be brave, do not fear” and

I dance for the joy of surviving

My dance with the devil

on the edge of infinity