We lost the game.
No scores to be had.

Living was copying motions
of same old ways,
from bygone days.

Immolated landscapes
Unconsecrated ground
Land now sand
Silence the only sound.

People as mannequins
shackled to consumerism
now free to be human
humanity is dead
turned to dust and ash.

Charred trees, charred bones
Libraries and ossuaries
Rock, paper, scissors
Sinners, readers, builders
All on bended knees
Pillars of salt blown away on the blast wind.

Flame extinguished.

© JLB
21/11/2017
02:21 GMT
Sincerely 14h

The raft inside of me
the parting of the red sea.
This civil war is painting
once happy memories, sharp as a dagger.
The once joyful voices now echo in disgust.

The broken skin, a horror-filled reminder.
My body is a battlefield.
These poetic lines are my arrows.
My thoughts are the cavalry.
The field of white daisies, disguised as roses.
Holiness to sinfulness,
virgin to blood.

His legs are hairless.
He's the strongest man I know.
Inside his mind he's 18 again, trapped in a constant battle against a now aged enemy.
He's a father, grandfather even.
He sits with his back to the exit, making sure he can protect us.
He is haunted but proud.
He came home on ships full of broken toy soldiers, wound tight and released into an unknown land.
They returned him in less than pristine conditions, cracked and frayed from a war they did not ask for.
His fears and dark thoughts settle in the lines in his face and on the thick skin on his fingertips.
Pill after pill, meeting after meeting, he is tired.
He wants to wash away the things he's seen that he cannot repeat out loud to us.
"He stirs in his sleep." She says.
Trouble and reoccurring demons fighting battles behind his restless eyelids.
He fought for my future.
He fought for my freedoms.
He is my troubled soldier.

I wrote this about my grandfather who was in the Vietnam war. I'm not sure if I will ever show this to him but he himself writes poetry. He's struggled with ptsd since the day he came back, I'm too scared to ask him what haunts him.

Words, Phrases, Quotes
Come together as one as I sit in front of the plasma screen
Wondering what this is for
It'll end right?

Look up and then look down
How much pain and anguish
Have we caused this world?

Read
Look
Think

Every war
Every building
Every breath

The path of destruction no matter how much we try to stop
Severe strain on this planet
Dark skies and burnt land

The whisper of the wind
Begging to stop
Begging us to stop

In the search for beauty and eternity
What have we done
What have we become?

01:14 thoughts while writing an essay

My brother came home
From Marawi today.
He had a bald spot on his head
And he says he’s gonna cut his hair the next morning.
Sixteen of his friends died he says
And that he has killed five men.
He says he feels like he should have killed eleven more
To even it out.
It doesnt feel like home he says to me. Says he doesnt belong here anymore.
I used to hate my brother.
I like him better now.

Linkuya 2d

Splitting withered leaves in psychedelic wonders,
Walking through the scenic forest of denial,
Weapons of mass destruction crash like thunder,
Manufactured warfare never out of style!

Backbones half grown marching towards death,
Many majorities persecuted by minuscule minorities,
Deciding grey pawns are expendable as a spare breath,
Come quietly now or we'll have to alert the authorities!

Come die for your government one and all,
Trust it's best for you to die in a foreign country,
Drown that PTSD in a little bit of alcohol,
Until you're prematurely buried under a tree!

Finality found in roads left barren and desolate,
Arid and topaz fields filled with suffocation await,
Innocent hopes and pure dreams now reprobate,
Humanity swiftly and succinctly drowned in hate!

“If you grow old, it is your own fault,”
I say to Terry as we climb
the mountain behind his cabin.
Terry is wearing a device that transmits his heartbeat
by cell phone to doctors at Stanford.
Terry has a flutter, nothing serious, probably.
Terry has a great heart, actually,
something serious, warm and wise.

We ascend this hill on Tuesdays every week
discussing poetry and plumbing, our twin passions:
the gathering of mountain water funneled into pipes,
delivered to homes,
the ordering of words funneled into pages
delivered nowhere, sadly.

We discuss friends fallen or falling,
the arc of marriages, parenthood, oddball relationships,
each a story and a puzzlement,
webs woven of love and rage.
That, and motorcycles, we talk,
pacifist veterans who walk still seeking sense
of an incomprehensible war that shaped our lives.
Objectors, conscientious, we realized too late,
not an easy path but better than following orders.
We walked away from war.
He, the Air Force; I, the draft.
Branded dishonorable.
So we hike, hearts pounding,
the simple friendship of two old men
seeking the hilltop
again and again.

First published in MOON Magazine June 2017

sinister concatenation pairs us
   with surreal morgue aisle
broken lives rent asunder
   from fanatics hell bent with bile
of poison spewing forth screwing
   up the moral compass dial

upending amity, comity,
excitability with ferocity,
hostility, indelibly, indubitably,
inexorably hissing illogic jabber
wocky justifiably linking extremist
deadly credos bred among western nations

indicting pursuit of life, liberty
and happiness wreaking deliberate havoc
   awash with crimson tide of blood –
   dead set to jam the life lock

viz Leviathan of personal freedoms
   bespoken via vernacular,
where secular westerners
   framed to mock,

where extremist storied devout
   die hard believers dislike rock
and roll of altruism, capitalism,
   liberalism, thus apply shell shock
tactics sans terroristic tactics
   with bombs silently tick tock

inevitably heightening security
   forcing ordinary citizens
   to be on high alert
watchful even at slightest com
   ment, perhaps even accidental curt

commentary invoking immediate
   military forces swoop down and exert
overpowering force donned
   with ammunition belt bristling girt
affecting innocence abroad and
   native population to freeze
   and become inert

casting dark silhouettes against
   autumnal reign of light
where Mithraism plays out
   with immensely brutal might
blotting out the radiance

   of heavenly bliss affording active night
life to become shuttered
   as cruel carnival masquerade
   pits pagan plight

against the jagged
   scrimmage line quite
arbitrarily drawn by maniacal foes
   for freedom trammel the right
to own democratic stance –

   for Jihadist Johnny come lately
   find a slight
lampooned their sacred
   Islamic catechism inducing tight
grip on Allah to fuel vengeance
   for intimated transgressions
   that doth in vite

which violent polemics purpose
   fully shear the very fiber of peace
pronounced with especial
   arduousness come holiday time
   foisting a crease

along the fabric of westernization –
   whereby founding fathers did grease
the figurative wheels of con
   com it ant moist meaty lifestyle
to experience strangulation
   from an invisible death knell lease.

Going to war
was a piece of cake
compared to coming back

In war I always knew
at least a few things
would always happen.

It became my home
because my family lived there
my comrades became
the stability to continuing on.

Each indifferent day
was a lasting piece of our humility to living
and our bond-ship to pride.  

I slept in trenches,
in the open air,
under the protection of some thin vail
that'd we all make it back together.

Here in the common wealth
I sleep in alleyways
and under bridges
with the aspirations
that someone will spare some change.

We're brothers
we met and bonded
in the holes dug
by our own shovels.

Creating parallel lines to our enemies
but as we sat across
two sides divided--
I could not help
but chuckle at the thought
of us being parallel.

Meaning we had
to have at least one thing in common;
explicit we  built tunnels
exactly the same way,

but inside
I knew these were people
heading in the same direction
that we were never able to meet.

they were no better than I
they are my true brothers
and having to kill
my brothers
was a tragedy.

They were the right people at the right time, but in the wrong place.  sic semper tyrannis.
Next page