"In the puddle and drizzle,"
Aditya Bhaskara 

This rainy season I won’t
Stop my feet from dancing
In the puddle and drizzle,
I had decided already.

When the rain came by
Though, I was still as awe.
Speed of those droplets
Came slower than mine.

I could not find cover
Nor a will to hide
From the storm within
And I kept wetting.

When it all halted
I was numb to toe,
Like a cold bare rock
On a dismal winter day.

Eyelids fixed such,
My eyes glued at space,
Like an stanch old leaf
About to take final fall.

They might never’ve rolled
Again, had it not been those
Tears imbibing all pain
For the vision to return.

"drizzle kiss thy face"
Ace Malarky 

0



1

beat

1

beat

2

heart beat

3

right toe wiggle

5

right eye wink
hand open

8

place feet
on ground
stumble toward
mighty sound

13

must cry,
mustn't fall behind
drizzle kiss thy face
with dew
      amen, amen

21

may ears be deaf
to wicked lies
from cruelty, dread
I shield thy eyes
      softly spoke the truth
            whisper,
                   sleeping babe

34

lay thy being at thy fate
tousle I thy downy pate
      wouldn't solemn oath be kept
if demons lost their minds and
      wept?
Break them, they are within reach.
May strike land true.

55

wander toward thy destiny.
A carpet wove of dreams,
rolls ahead, lays a path,
tearing at the seams.
I lift thy body to the moon,
      Earth was in my way at noon.
couldn't dig like I know I must.
      When we get there we'll be dust

Heavens bless our journey,
      give us rest.

"the drizzle from her"
James Bradley McCallum 

A hippie hocked a louie on Sammy
when he landed in San Francisco.

Sammy didn't respond;
he just wanted to make
his connecting flight home.

Sammy wasn't proud about
some of things he did in the war;
so he figured he probably
deserved the garlands of disdain
an ungrateful nation bestows
upon itself in fits of self contempt.

Sammy shut down and tuned out,
soon his heart was as dead
as a tombstone until he visited
the monument.  

He would often recall the story
that as he approached the darkened
wall he could sense ghosts loosening
themselves from the black granite.   

Sammy swore that Jimmy Lynch
who went MIA on the final week of his tour
gave him a bear hug and told him
as long as the beer stays cold
and he don’t lose the church key,
everything's groovy and he’s
hanging tough until the rest
of the guys show up.

Jimmy pointed to the Lincoln Memorial
at one end of the mall and to the
Washington Monument at the other,
emphatically stating that our monument
was forever linked with the greatest Americans.

Yeah meeting up with Jimmy
helped Sammy to start shaken
off some real bad stuff.

Mazie knew her husband for a
month before they got married.
A week later Freddie was off to Vietnam.

Freddie was KIA during the Tet Offensive
and his repatriated remains are peacefully
at rest in the red clay of Georgia.

An always faithful Mazie
came to the monument
a few years after it was dedicated.  
She was struck by all the keepsakes
people left at the base of the wall;  
Zippos, baby pictures, a copy of
The Catcher in the Rye, a fifth
of Makers Mark, Pink Teddy Bears,
votive lights, a red 57 Chevy model,
a left handed catchers mitt, and
a pack of Lucky Strikes.

She palmed rosaries and
crucifixes that salved sore
running wounds and David’s
interlaced Star sounding a Shofar
pleading a case for peace.

Mazie is most moved by the names.  
Rows and rows of names. The scroll
begins in a modest manner and
as the wall climbs the names
of a country's vigilant sons and
daughters tower over her head.  
So much living history; spoken
in the unique accent of a country’s
diverse plethora of luminous tongues.

The stories written into the black granite
tell a tale from every state; claiming
the ears, heart and mind of every citizen. 
Each chiseled letter captures every bit
of sun and deep creeping shadow
inching across a great nation.

“I’m  71” says Mazie.  “When I look
upon the wall I see my 21 year old
Freddie as he looked on the finest
day of his life.  He will never look
any other way to me.”
  
“I didn't want to go to see it,” Franny said,
“a cold piece of stone won’t bring my son back.”

Franny did finally go...

When it rains the wall weeps.  
The wall wept all day,
the first time Franny went.

Many were rubbing
the impressions of
dearly departed names.

Franny too, kneels to the
presence of her son’s name.

With a mother's
grateful fingers,
she touches the wall's
damp surface; wiping
the drizzle from her
child's sodden face.

Kneeling before his semblance,
she rubs his etched edges
onto tiny bits of paper.

She sees him,
made manifest in the stone.
As if through a glass darkly,
a found son looks back,
onto the face of a caring mother.

Franny hangs onto the quiet
memory of his voice,
shimmering in the soft lilt
of a warm dark stone.

This deep core Vulcan gneiss,
at last emerged from the hardest stuff,
sculpts a perfect likeness of a tear stained nation.

The Harmonizing Four: Rock of Ages

In Honor of
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington DC

Oakland
Veterans Day
2013

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