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Some came back home with scars that would not heal,
Some were welcomed with ticker tape parades,
Some spit upon by cowards with much zeal,
Some draped in flags to rest in early graves.

They fought in all our wars asking not why,
For country, family, brothers in arms,
They fought that freedom should not, would not die,
They fought in cities, forests, fields and farms.

They bought our freedom with their sacrifice,
Paid with their blood, their limbs, their innocence,
They sought not thanks, though no thanks could suffice,
As payment for their great munificence.

Remember them, today and every day,
For those who live and all who died please pray.
Broken hearts still beat
In the lengthening shadows
Of past once-bright suns
Two decades passed since my first book of poems,
It was past time to publish volume two,
The sands of time weigh heavy on my bones,
And my road narrows with yet much to do.

Too many friends have now passed through the veil,
As have my parents and their siblings all,
My circle narrows, empty now my vale,
In sleepless nights I can but hear their call.

So many dreams deferred that now have died,
My negligence bereft them of their life,
So many doors left closed I should have tried,
No hope remains for me or for my wife.

Even my music echoes distant, dull,
But poetry can for a time pain lull.

____
If you would like to download a free copy of the eBook version of my second book of poems, Echoes of Dawn at Dusk, you can do so only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1035449 until June 20, 2022.
I've published twenty books to date,
I love to write, that's just my fate,
My textbooks tens of thousands used,
But my poetry needs a boost.

More write than read poems it seems,
And I won't pay marketing schemes,
Nor will I pay for book reviews,
In hopes of better book sale news.

The mortgage my non-fiction paid,
My publishers more profits made,
My first house fully paid by them,
My indie fiction's no such gem.

Judge not my poems by these weak lines,
They're as annoying as French mimes,
My books much better verse contain,
(So does graffiti on a train.)

For those still reading these my lines,
Download my first book free online,
You'll find it at the link below,
Until June 10, not one day more.

All eBook versions free through June 10, but only at one of the retailers where the book is sold: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/181370
Redemption

What if a long-dead beauty,
Let you see your failings in life,
Would you fight for redemption?


Modern Art and the Critics

How do we know that what hangs,
On modern art galleries now,
Merits our calling it art?

The above hakus are teasers for two short stories by the
same names that you can download free until May 31
but only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1138974
An extinction event looms,
Death arrives in under two years,
Riding on an asteroid.

Earth's future is sealed,
Salvation not possible,
Can humanity prevail?

Will chaos rule our waning days?
Will we give in to despair?
Or will we refuse to yield?

Will we sacrifice our last days,
For the slimmest ray of hope,
To preserve our human seed?

Will we face our end,
In triumphant defiance,
Or embrace despair?

You can download a copy of my eBook science fiction short story by the same name free until May 15, 2022, but only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/428820
My first small book of poems, still one I love,
That scans most of a lifetime's pain and joy,
A journey rendered in very few words,
Songs of myself and of far better souls.

Of all I've published it is the least read,
Yet one I hope survives me when I'm dead.

___
Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems free in all eBook formats only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/181370
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