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Michael Stefan Feb 2020
Heave **! Your cry astounds
Flummoxing your enemies ashore
Debonaire you brandish pistol and sword
Cutting down resistant scallywags

Thy treasure shall be mine!
You dash haphazardly between slashes
Excitement and *** course through
Fueling you to victory

Imposing is thy stance!
Booted foot on stack of cannon *****
Actioned-packed adventure
As you reave and raid the seas

Your adventure keeps me alert
But my ship's an iron beast of land
I think of daring combat
And your exploits give me hope

I load my rifle in hot anticipation
Prepared to write my own adventure
The giant steel hatch lowers
And hot iron rips through me

My adventure ends prematurely
My *** is without excitement and masks pain
A hospital bed now serves as my galleon
Your book by my bedside, untouched
This poem was inspired by 3 months of laying in a hospital, as I had major surgery on my back, kidney, shoulder.  It was a terrible experience that I would never want anyone to share.  I remember being so ******* reading books about glamour and adventure.  Rarely does adventure leave you without scars and war is far from glamourous.  War is hell.
Michael Stefan Feb 2020
Am I ever awake anymore
Or do I ever dream at all
This war-torn landscape that is my mind finds no rest
I watch the clock tick by
A scout in infinite cubicle farms
One thousand, four hundred and forty
Instances of repetition
My numbed sense of excitement tingles as the clock reaches five
Ticking by each second turned to minute turned to gray
What happiness do I derive from completion of work
I sit sullenly watching sitcoms through red-rimmed eyes
I don't think I'll sleep again
I don't know if I have ever woken up
My reality is fading out to textured grays
Maybe I will fade out too
But night turns to day turns to ash
As I slowly count away
One thousand, four hundred and forty minutes left of consciousness
After a tragic deployment to Afghanistan, I struggled with insomnia pretty badly.  I went weeks without getting any measurable quantity of sleep.  I spent what felt like years on my couch trying to slow down my racing mind.  It took a long time to adjust back to normal.
Ellis Reyes Feb 2020
The metal floor is slicky
Desert heat amplifies
The odor of ***** and blood
Mostly empty IV bags hang on their stands
Packaging from numerous medical supplies
Litter the ground

Quickly and carefully I clean and spray and sweep and scrub
I sort and pack and refit and reorganize
Preparing the chopper for the next call

Lives were saved
But
I don’t know what will become of them
Some will leave the Army
Some will come back here
Some will do the job the enemy couldn’t do
And take their own lives

I can’t think about that
This is hard enough
Another day in the life of my roommate, a combat medic.
Ellis Reyes Feb 2020
Turning
Burning
Learning
Yearning
Blackhawk turning, HIT, cockpit burning
Troops learning of war, yearning for home
Continuing to experiment with poetic forms. My first in a series of Tyburns.
Ellis Reyes Feb 2020
I can’t feel my legs
Stay with us, Buddy
The chopper’s inbound
I need some O-Positive

Stay with us, Buddy
Apply direct pressure
I need some O-Positive
Put that one over here

Apply direct pressure
I’ve lost the pulse
Put that one over here
Where’s the Chaplain?

I’ve lost the pulse
The chopper’s inbound
Where’s the Chaplain
I can’t feel my legs
18 Delta is the military occupational specialty designation for Special Forces medics.

This is the second in a series of Pantoums
Fenna Capelle Nov 2019
War
Even war is crowned with solemn peace
That crown passed on from reign to reign
And from king to king even the gold does fade
So does the glory in the sword that's stained

The sword was silenced and then was heard no more
The blood stained veil tore before my closing eye
Thus it is the dethronement of peace that's the coronation of war
Yet could ever a higher cause such a darkness dignify
annh Jun 2019
They wear their bodies inside-out, some are ashes but few are dust. Vacant orbits, oblivious to the incoming tide and the percussive artillery from the heavily fortified positions on Rue de la Mort, view the world with equanimity. Their bloodied stillness at odds with the surrounding tumult.

It’s at times like these - pinned down behind a burnt-out vehicle, the sand skipping around me with the phut-phut-phut of spent rounds - that I envy them their final freedom. Not that all deaths are as elegant and instantaneous as a well aimed bullet to the head.

It is a fleeting thought, hardly even that, a whispering somewhere in the background of my consciousness, like listening to a low-tuned wireless. And with victory as with defeat - with the ear-ringing silence - the whisperings become louder and more persistent.

Right, left; up, down; stop, wait; walk, run; sink, swim; live, die. Some pray to survive, other’s yearn for the sweetspot, the one shot ****. Regardless, there is no doubt that we who remain will fight on for weeks, for years, for decades and continue to live the uncertainty of the living - sweating bullets until kingdom ****** come.
‘They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.‘
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
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