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Sean Kassab Jul 2012
It was in the earlier part of November, 2005 when I was called to the garrison HQ to receive an emergency Red Cross message informing me that my grandfather had passed away. I was in my third year of service as a direct contractor to the Army and my duty station was in Iraq. More specifically, I was at Tallil AFB near the city of An Nasiriyah. I was granted an emergency leave so that I could go back to the US to be with my family so I stowed my gear, packed my duffel and made the long trip home. This was the first time I would make this trip, but I’m getting ahead of myself so let me back up a bit. You see, my grandfather had served in the Second World War, actually both of them had. They were brothers. PFC Eddie Kassab, the one I’m speaking about here, had survived WWII through some pretty tough odds, including being on the third wave of the Normandy invasion at D-Day where thousands had died during the beach head assault. His brother, SFC Joseph Kassab, who married my grandmother, was killed in that war, He was a bombardier and his plane was shot down during the Guadalcanal campaign. It wasn’t until 27 years later that the wreckage of the aircraft and remains were found and recovered. When Joseph died leaving behind his young wife and new born son, Eddie began looking after her, sending home money for her and the boy, my father. They wrote back and forth to eachother after the dissappearance of Joseph and when he returned to the US after the war they courted and were eventually married. Joseph was laid to rest with the rest of his flight crew in Arlington with full military honors. Eddie, who died much later in life, was also afforded a military service there. That was my first time being in Arlington National Cemetery, a place reserved for men and women who had served their country in a military capacity. It is difficult to describe just how immense and powerful that place is, the impact you have on your life just from standing on those grounds is indescribable. If I had to try I would say it’s a mixed feeling of Honor, pride, sorrow, and a profound sense of loneliness. There are row upon row of white marble markers spanning miles of emerald green grass and broad shade trees. The markers themselves are simple, nothing fancy, but the respect they command is beyond contestation. There are also wall vaults for those who were cremated, one of these would become Eddie’s final resting place. The US Army's honor guard performed his service, while a trumpeter played “Taps” and his flag was folded and presented on behalf of a grateful nation to my father who Eddie raised as his own son. In the distance a 21 gun salute was given by seven riflemen firing three shots each. It would be the only time in my life that I saw my father cry. We took the time after Eddie’s service to walk to Joseph’s grave marker as well, passing thousands of other markers and I found myself wondering how many of these people were forgotten by the years. How many of them left behind young children. Were they killed in combat? How many of them were laid to rest with a grave full of unfulfilled dreams? The sacrifices they made weighed heavily upon me. It was a feeling I would carry with me long after I had left that place.
Years had passed and I found myself still working in Iraq for the US Army, I was stationed at Camp Taji this time, on the edge of Sadr City, a real dust bowl. I was in my eighth year of service when I was again called to Garrison HQ, another emergency Red Cross message had come through informing me that my Father had passed away. It was December 29th 2010. For hours afterward it felt as if I had been punched in the gut. I called my Mom as soon as I could to make sure she was ok and to see if there was anything she needed before making arrangements for yet another emergency leave. I again stowed my gear, packed my duffel and headed out. Now, it’s only fair to give you an idea of whom I’m talking about here, my Father, Jan, had been a Navy man and had been stationed on submarines as well as destroyer class ships during the Vietnam War. He signed up for service when he was just 18 years old and when he left the Navy he went directly into the Maitland Fire Department in central Florida and stayed there for many years. Eventually he expanded his training becoming the 80th paramedic in the state as well as a certified rescue diver and instructor. More importantly, he was a great father who raised two boys as a father should and later in life, he was a pretty good drinking buddy. His teachings and advice have helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. It was because of his prior military service that he was also awarded full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. There was a waiting list of about 8 weeks at the time because of the high volume of casualties from the wars in the Middle East so it wasn’t until February of 2011 that he was finally laid to rest. This time it was the US Navy’s honor guard who performed his service. I remember it well; they stood in their dress whites throughout the ceremony in the biting cold as the wind whipped by mercilessly.  The honor and discipline in these men was no less than awe inspiring and through my sadness I couldn’t help but feel an amazing sense of pride for who my father was during his life. We all stood as a trumpeter again played “Taps” to the folding of my Father’s flag which was presented to my Mom on behalf of a grateful nation after a 21 gun salute was ordered in the distance. My Father’s remains were also placed in a wall vault that became his final resting place; his marker being only about 20 feet from Eddie’s marker in the adjacent wall and even though it was freezing that day, we took a little extra time to visit Eddie and Joseph again. Walking the grounds of that place again awakened all the feelings I had felt the first time, probably even more so. Again, I have to tell you that words couldn’t accurately describe how that place makes you feel. The grass had turned brown by now but was still immaculately manicured, and the precision placement of the grave markers was flawless. There were thousands of names that dated all the way back to the American Civil War. I went also with my brother to pay my respects at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was an impressive mausoleum that is guarded twenty four hours a day by the US Army’s horror guard.  After it was all said and done and we had left Arlington and met as a family, my Mom, my Brother and his family, myself and my family and some close friends to remember him for a while over some food and drinks, and though nobody seemed to really have any appetite we still stayed there for hours. That was the first time in eight years that I had seen my Brother and would be the last time I saw him alive, but that part comes later. Eventually we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, each having a very long way to travel back home and I had to get ready to go back to Iraq, heavy hearted or not.
I had only been back in theater (that means deployment) for a few months when I was reassigned to Al Asad AB as my permanent duty station. It was a place in the middle of nowhere and was originally a Marine base but transferred to Army and Air Force some time in 2010. I had made some good friends there, settled in and finally started coming back to myself when I received a message from my brother’s wife asking me to call her, said it was important. Thinking back on it now, I remember feeling a little angry that she wouldn’t tell me on email. Internet I had in my room, but a phone…well I’m no general and I had already settled in for the night. It was about 21:30 hrs. (9:30 p.m.) on a night in late July so I got dressed and made the quarter mile walk to my office where I could use the phone, cursing under my breath the whole time. It took me about 20 minutes just to find my phone card in my cluttered desk drawer, but when  I finally did amongst more unsavory mutterings I made the call. She answered quickly enough but her voice sounded strained so I calmed down and asked her what was going on, I figured something wasn’t right so she didn’t need me jumping her case on top of it. It was then that she told me my Brother’s body had been found in his home in Whiteville NC. He had been having a hard time with depression since our Father passed as well as marital problems and he had made the decision to take his own life at the age of 36 leaving behind his Wife, Stepson and Daughter who was only 5 at the time. I was blindsided to say the least, no one saw this coming, and he left no real reason as to why so there still is no closure, no understanding. I was angry… no, I was furious! But I’m getting ahead of myself again. She had called me not only to inform me of what had happened, but also to ask if I had Mom’s phone number because she didn’t have it and didn’t know how to get in touch with her to tell her. I told her not to worry about it and that I’d take that on my shoulders and get back to her. It had only been five months since we laid our Father to rest and to say I dreaded making that phone call was a ridiculous understatement. It was easily one of the toughest things I ever had to do, but it had to be done all the same so I dug Mom’s number out of my wallet…and stared at it…I don’t know how long but it felt like a long time. What else could I do? What could I say? It’s not like I had an instruction booklet for delivering bad news and this was as bad as it gets. After a few deep breaths I dialed her number and decided to take the direct approach. She answered the phone and we exchanged hellos, and I asked her what she was doing. She was out shopping with Robbie at the Tractor Supply Co. He was a longtime family friend and all around good guy. I told her that I had some pretty bad news and asked if she could find a place to sit down there, but she told me it was ok to just tell her what happened so I did exactly that. I gave her all the information I had at the time, I didn’t know how to sugar coat it so I didn’t. She took it pretty well up front, not breaking down until later that evening. My Brother, SPC Troy Kassab, had enlisted in the US Army with our Father’s permission when he was only 17 years old. He was a combat medic assigned to Ft. Carson in Colorado before transferring to the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft Brag NC. He deployed to Cuba among other deployments overseas before being attached to a Ranger Unit as their medic and doing other deployments that he never would talk about much. After the army he lived in NC where he worked in restaurants while attending school on the G.I bill and volunteering on the Hickory Rescue Squad as an EMT. He eventually completed school in Winston Salem NC where he got his PA degree in general practice. Troy was a self-educated, brilliant man who wasn’t perfect but who is? He saved lives in the Army, and then continued to do so in the civilian world until his death in July of 2011. He was a husband and a father, a brother and a friend. He was important to us. It was because of his past in the Army that he also was awarded full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. This time the wait was much longer and his funeral wasn’t held until November 15th of 2011. I remember that day and the days leading up to it like it was yesterday. I had ended my deployment in Iraq on November 3rd, making it back to the US on November 6th. From the time of his death I had stayed in contact with Mom and his wife Andi to make sure they were ok and help in any way I could with the affairs and expenses. When I finally did get home I pulled my truck out of storage had it inspected, fueled and ready to go. It was unfortunate, but my wife was in college and had work at the time so she couldn’t come with us so my daughter and I made the long trip from Houston TX to Hickory NC to see Troy’s wife and kids. While I was there I also picked up a close family friend of ours who needed a ride and made the long drive to Arlington VA...again. The US Army’s honor guard met us there to perform his service and again the attention to detail, the respect given to the deceased, and the discipline shown was flawless. There were more friends this time than family in attendance but I was there with Mom, Robbie, my daughter, and some very close family friends, some going all the way back to our childhood. The ceremony was the same, every time the same. I remember thinking I hated the way “Taps” sounded as they folded the flag and I was angry and hurt when I stepped forward to claim my Brother’s remains and walk them to the wall vault that would become his final resting place. I have to say though, that through my grief and anger, I was a little bit pleased to see that he was placed so close to my Father and Grandfather. I left a pair of my own dog tags in his vault, it made me feel better that he wouldn’t be alone in there. I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense now but at the time it did.  I stood over his marker and said a silent prayer before heading out to see Dad, Eddie and Joe’s markers and pay some respects. The grass was that brilliant emerald green again, and the sense that I stood in a place of honor reserved for our nations fallen still struck me through the heart.  After that we just kind of faded away from that place making our way home. Troy’s wife Andi had decided not to come, she was angry, she felt betrayed and abandoned, so on my way home I stopped back in Hickory NC, dropped off Michelle and made the drive to Andi’s house to present her with Troy’s flag as it had been presented to me. I remember hoping that her decision wouldn’t leave her with later regrets, but it was too late to change it now. The drive home was a long one, one that rekindled so many unanswered questions. Three generations of my family laid to rest leaving me as the only surviving male member of my family; something that still weighs upon my heart today.
But this is their story, and though it seems a sad one, that is not its intent. This story was written so that you the reader could understand that there is a place where over a hundred thousand Josephs and Eddies, and Jans and Troys are resting.  Each one of those stone crosses and stars have a face, a name, a history, and they made a sacrifice for you and for me. They were people who gave up their futures so that we could have one. They were people who had dreams, families, and who put all of that aside for what they believed in. They weren’t perfect people, but they deserve to be remembered. If you do nothing else after reading this, at least take the time to think about the freedoms that you have, freedoms that have cost us so much…
There are those who came before us, who paved the way for the lives we now live, their voices whisper to us through our freedoms and we are a greatful nation. Listen and remember...
Jim Davis Apr 2017
In the last
three decades,
after we became one,
I touched
amazingly beautiful things,
horribly ugly things,  
unbelievably wondrous things

I touched nature's majesty;
hued walls of the Grand Canyon,              
crusty bark of the
Redwoods and Sequoias,
live corals of the
Great Barrier Reef,
dreamlike sandstone of the Wave

I touched magical and strange;
platypus, koalas and
kangaroos Down Under,
underwater alkali flies and
lacustrine tufa at Mono Lake,
astral glowing worms
in the Kawiti caves

I touched holy places;
Christianity's oldest churches,
the Pope's home in the Vatican,
Hindu and Sikh temples and
Moslem mosques in India,
Anasazi's kivas of Chaco canyon,
Aboriginal rocks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta

I touched glimmers of civilization;
uncovered roads of Pompeii,
fighting arenas of Rome,
terra cotta armies of Xian,
sharp stone points of the Apache,
pottery shards from the Navajo,
petroglyphs by the Jornada Mogollon

I touched fantastical things;
winds blowing on the
steppes of Patagonia,,
playas and craters of Death Valley,  
high peaks of the Continental Divide,
blazing white sands of the  
Land of Enchantment

I touched icons of liberty
and freedom;
the defended Alamo,
a fissured Liberty Bell,
an embracing Statue of Liberty,
the harbor of Checkpoints
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie

I touched glorious things
made by man;
the monstrous Hoover Dam,
an exquisite Eiffel tower,
a soaring St Louis Arch,
an Art deco Empire State Building,
the sublime Golden Gate Bridge

I touched sparks from history;
the running path of an
Olympic flame just off Bourbon,
the last steps of Mohandas Ghandi
at Birla House before Godse,
******'s Eagle's nest and the
grounds over Der Führerbunker

I touched walls of power;
enclosed rings of the Pentagon,
steep steps of the
Great Wall of China,
untried bastions of
Peter and Paul's fortress,
fitted boulders of Machu Picchu

I touched strong hands;
of those conquering
Rommel's and ******'s hordes,
of cold warriors of
Chosin Reservoir,  
of forgotten soldiers of Vietnam,
of terrorist killers of today

I touched memories of war;
the somber Vietnam memorial,
the glorious Iwo Jima statue,
the cold slabs at Arlington,
the buried tomb of USS Arizonians,
Volgograd's Mother Russia  

I touched ugly things;
shreds of light in
Port Arthur's prison,
horrible smelly dust
in the streets from 9/11,
ash impregnated dirt
in the pits at Auschwitz

I touched oppressed freedom;
open ****** plazas
of Tiananmen Square,
smooth pipe and concrete
of the Berlin Wall,  
tall red brick walls
of the Moscow Kremlin

I touched constrained freedom;
heavy ankle and
wrist slave chains
in the South,
little windows
in Berlin's Stasi prison,
haunted cells in Alcatraz  

I touched remnants of madness;
wire and ovens of Auschwitz,
stacked chimneys and
wooden bunks of Birkenau,        
Ravensbruck, and Dachau,
the tomb of Lenin,
toppled Stalins

I touched hands of survivors;
of Leningrad's siege,
of German POWs and
of Russian fighters
of Stalingrad's battle,
of Cancer's scourges  

I touched grand things;
deep waters of the Pacific and Atlantic,
blue hills of Appalachia,
towering peaks of the Rockies,
high falls of Yosemite Valley,
bursting geysers of Yellowstone,
crashing glaciers of Antarctica and Alaska    

I touched times of adventure;
abseiling and zipping in Costa Rica,
packing Pecos wilds and Padre isles,
flying nap of earth Hueys to Meridian,
breaking arms in JRTC's box,
fighting Abu Sayyaf, and Jemaah
Islami in Zamboanga City

I touched through you;
wet sand beaches of  Mexico and Jamaica,
mysterious energy of the monoliths of Stonehenge,
rarefied air in front of the
Louvre's Mona Lisa,
ancient wonders of Giza,
Egypt's tombs and pyramids

We shared soft touches;
drifting in Bora Bora's
surreal waters,
joining hands camel trekking the
Outback's dry sands,
strolling along Tasmania's
eucalyptus forest trails

basking in swinging hammocks
under Fiji's bright sun,
scrambling in
Las Vegas' glittering and
red rock canyons,
kissing under the
Taj Mahal's symphony of arches

We shared touching deep waters;
propelled in gondolas
through the city of canals,
Drifting atop Uru cat boats on Lake Titticaca,
Swooping in jet boats
up a wild river in Talkeetna

Racing in speed boats
around Sydney's great harbour,
skimming in pangas in Puerto Ayora,
paddling the Kennebec for
East's best petroglyphs,
cruising Salzbergwerk's underwater lake

We touched scrumptious things;
Beignets and chicory coffee at DuMonde's in the Big Easy,
Hot *** with sesame sauce
in the walled city of Xian,
Peking duck, dimsum, scorpions,
snake and starfish on Wangfujing Snack Street

We touched delicious things
Crawfish heads and tails at JuJu's shack
and ten years at Jeanette's,
Langoustine at Poinciana's, Fjöruborðinus and Galapagos,
Cream cheese and loch bagels
at Ess-a' s in the Big Apple

I touched your hand riding;
hang loose waves of Waikiki,
a big green bus in Denali's awesomeness,
clip clopping carriages of Vienna, Paris,
Prague, New Orleans, Krakow,
Quebec City, and Zakopane,
the acapella sugar train of St Kitts

We shared touching on paths;
the highway 1 of Big Sur,
the Road of the Great Ocean,
the bahn to Buda and Pest,
the path to the North of Maine,
the trail of the Hoh rainforest,
and time after time, the way home

I could spend
the next three decades,
in simple bliss,
having need for
touching nothing,
other than you!

©  2016 Jim Davis
A poem I wrote last year for my wife!  Posted now since it matches the HP' theme for today - "Places"
John F McCullagh Dec 2011
Three friends in a row
On a windswept hill there
Had they but eyes to see
It’s a spectacle rare.

Three friends in a row
on a former plantation.
Three soldiers confined here
just for the duration.

It was Robert Lee’s land
Before terrible war
Made it a plantation
Like none was before.

There are soldiers and sergeants,
Many heroes, few saints.
Some are here since Antietam
since the war between States.

Marse Robert’s plantation
takes the proud and the few.
No serfs and no slaves,
only freeborn and true.

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  


High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55 Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
SøułSurvivør May 2015
Beautiful tribute
Tended lawns
Snow white crosses
In their throngs
Men sent out
To right the wrongs
Some were knighted
Some were pawns

There are lovely
Spreading trees
Bowing in the
Scented breeze
In the winter
There to freeze
There our nation's
On its knees

There are many
Stones for heads
Punctured by
The flying lead
There are widows
For those wed
The hearts are countless

They, too, are dead.

Memorial Day
(C) 5/25/2015
If the hearts of wives, children,
Mothers, fathers and friends
Were to be counted the earth
Wouldn't contain the dead.

teaching a wild creature to feed from your hand is a feat maybe maybe not Mom taught me from a young age then never let go in June 2013 the estate will cease all the coats hats shoes scarves skirts dresses blouses belts purses from Ultimo Saks Neimans wherever steaks from Gene and Georgetti’s Gibsons whatever will be consumed and she will be forced by the bank to resign her condo on lake shore drive and go live with her sister and i will be left with nothing

nothing feels better than fighting back gathering the strength courage to do that to fight until there is no daylight

the world is a mysterious place it is Sunday December 26th 2010 6AM pitch dark outside in several months daybreak will come earlier a remarkable surprise yet always been this way in several minutes firmament turns light i open eyes stretch legs look out window pink blue gray blue morning skies tree tops mountains watch flock of birds maybe 30 or 40 flying back and forth east west why do they do that how would you like to be one of those birds flapping around searching from above at the earth hmmm what if everyone had a ***** and ****** feathered wings fin distinctive tail floppy or pointed ears what if you could share breakfast or lunch with Kim Gordon Patti Smith work on poem with e. e. cummings James Joyce William Faulkner paint with Mark Rothko Anselm Kiefer play football with Payton Manning Drew Breeze jam with Jimi Hendrix Keith Richards race with Secretariat sniff with Lassie mix with Max Ernst Georgia O'Keefe Donald Judd meet with Gandhi and J.F.K. make love with Charlotte Gainsbourg Kate Moss dinner with John Lennon Friedrich Nietzsche dance with Albert Einstein Isadora Duncan share a smoke with Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) Sam Shepard last drink with Sylvia Plath Virginia Woolf then go to sleep next to Sphinx Pyramids wake with Cleopatra Mata Hari on Bali beach look up at tiny puffy clouds that resemble strange script do you understand the possibilities mysteries of everything

old is lecherous but i’m still trapped in childhood hurting wanting to be grown-up

i think i said i don’t know how to talk i was speaking to this **** greedy landlord trying to negotiate between 2 different spaces long distance and i meant to say i can’t talk right now i’m in a restaurant or shop but instead what came out was i don’t know how to talk he was insulting me bullying hollering at me on cell phone accusing me of dickering about price lease and it slipped out my terror from Dad my childhood fears repression inability to negotiate i froze fumbled finally uttering i don’t know how to talk then disconnected

i’m running scared gasping for breath heart pounding yearning praying crying for love beauty happiness success i’m smart creative powerful yet inept too shy or fearful to know how to properly spontaneously speak in person

what if consumerism is realized as a mental disorder a method to suppress genuine hunger with fetish products

what if money is identified as disease actual legal tender found to source fatal viruses

what if humanity is discovered to belong to an alien predatory race independent from Adam and Eve or monkeys

what if all knowledge is found to be deceptive invention concealing real world truth

what if existence is a chess game or trial enacted by higher forces and your every thought feeling recorded in eternity

what if progress is the enemy and primitivism the remedy

my whole life i’ve learned about infidelity my mom sister dad uncle i don’t understand i’ve never been unfaithful to a girlfriend (one is enough one is more than i can handle) why do people speak those vows then get married only to violate themselves their mates maybe that’s why i am afraid to ever get married infidelity is the most painful betrayal to find out your partner with all your shared secrets compromises them with someone else oh god

April 19th 1995 a bomb explodes in Federal building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people injuring 759 what are Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols thinking did they act alone there are so many lunatics running around out there so much misunderstanding disenfranchisement in America

Arlington Street Asheville North Carolina June 1995 Odysseus and his dog Farina keep mostly to themselves something is wrong with his voice he sounds hoarse when he speaks it is uncomfortable to talk he goes to free clinic and waits half a day elderly doctor attempts to stick long metal instrument down Odysseus’s throat Odysseus gags coughs elderly doctor becomes irritable he warns Odysseus to quit smoking Odysseus wonders what it would be like to be loved possibly married in loving positive relationship to know all the endearing enduring connections between caring couples other people manage it why can’t he? he thinks i’ve never been a good provider nor placed enough value in money i believe in freedom and love i chose to make art and pursue a life of self-discovery experiment dang i am wrong from the moment one’s work hangs in a gallery the artist’s integrity is compromised individuality becomes commodity typically people who buy paintings have so much money they scatter a trifle on art the artwork provides the consumer with a look of ‘soul’ to be shown off to their envious friends the artist becomes needy pet of dealer and client maybe converting one’s spirituality into commercial merchandise is like making deals with the devil he thinks about Native American artists whose work is immediately esteemed and utilized in their culture he has spent his whole life seeking validation in art world he wonders how many other unknown artists feel similarly useless discarded he considers i’m forty-five years old now and i don’t have a penny to show for all my troubles i still believe i have much to give insights to reveal but no practical plan for survival i don’t know how i’m going to get through this existence the world wants young promising talent not some older painter striving for another chance women want nothing to do with an impoverished aging dreamer my dog loves me she knows who feeds her i’ve got academic degrees a long resume of legitimate shows i know how to use a computer solve problems fix toilets sinks strip and paint serve food and liquor but i can’t land a decent job i never learned how to properly market or barter my work and i’m not interested in the position of sacrificial lamb i want a home and female partner like other men have i want to be needed respected loved a creative member of a community instead of an expendable outsider working menial jobs for minimum wage what good are paintings if no one looks at them what good are noble values in a corrupt society the world runs on money and greed not freedom and love
undefined Apr 2013
She said, "They use to call me busy-body, now I'm just a no-body,"
as I stroll up, headphones to unplug, to sit and wait for buses of school children to come up.
Feeling kind of broke of a sort that wont shut down, inside I'm meaning, reeling for home unfound.
Prospecting, working, commish here and there, "case management" on my case breathing till no air.
Looking and ardently searching for something that's not there, a plain jane job, to just give room for air.
Plans on paper, sound right in my head, but seem less and less practical in practice of what's read.

"Help? Daddy has a headache and sickness with no want to help baby,"
as she fashions a meal from play food in a play kitchen to make me feel better.
But I wont sit at her table, I wont play with her dolls, not today, when I've got the world at my *****,
biting and stabbing me in the back of my brain,
no, now I'll just put on a movie and try and sleep for a change.

"I love you's" are exchanged as I cover my head,
and the ultimate weight that is me lies in my bed.
Troubled, down, pierced by the bad negative points of life,
I'll rise later again looking for a "re-set" button to make alright,
while she sets the table with guests to an imaginary meal
cooked to perfection in hopes to change the way Daddy feels.
wrote this couple of years ago...
just looking back at some things now in my journal
Jeffrey Oliviero Jan 2016
Sometimes the flashbacks
Can be picture perfect like a gallery
Every once in a while
I struggle with what life's like actually
As the memories resonate
Depression eventually catches me
It always baffled me
and still rattles me
Why did my best friend
have to be a casualty

I'm setting my GPS
as I pull down the street
For Arlington Cemetery
in Washington D.C.
Whenever I feel the need
I just sit there with him
No reason to speak
I let the ground beneath me
relieve some of the grief
Then just before I leave
I about face and say
You'll always be with me
Semper Fi my brother
Rest in peace Marine
Nate Evans Dec 2011
Six men carry a coffin to it's resting place.
They fold the flag, and present it
to the mother who hugs it tightly,
fighting back tears.
Her daughter, maybe five or six years old,
asks, "Is it over? Can daddy come out now?"
I had this dream a few night ago that I was on a plane and the ******* plane malfunctioned and we started falling from the sky. I just ******* started crying because I knew I woulf probably die. I don't remember anyone else being on the plane. I think it was just me and the pilot. We were both about to ******* crash into the ocean and die. Anyway, when I woke up, I was crying then too. I'm a real pathetic 18 year old baby. How old are people usually when they're in first grade? Back when I was in first grade I would cry during thunderstorms. I remember when Katrina came by. I was really ******* done then. A remember telling my parents that I loved them. I remember I used to have anxiety attacks because I thought that when I died I'd go to hell. I thought I'd go to hell because when I was in 2nd grade I stole like 10 packs of Pokemon cards from some gas station. I still feel guilty about it, but I don't think much about going to hell.
The plane is crashing and it's just me and the pilot. I don't even know his name but I know that we're going to die together.
A Thomas Hawkins Aug 2010
Why is it those with least to lose
are first to give the most
To walk the fields of Arlington
with too many other ghosts

The generations rested there
sacrificed in all those wars
Do they still feel nobility
when its lacking in the cause

For what is war but posturing
sacrificing others sons
in the name of "threats to freedom"
where most blood shed, decides who's won

Then afterward come treaty's
bits of paper end the war
and I have to ask the question
what was all the killing for?
Neville Johnson Oct 2018
They’re recruiting me
And the CIA
Land sakes alive
Dual citizenship
No hindrance to me
Helps to have a major in Slavic languages
And an Oxford degree
How they latched on to me
I don’t really know
That Dad worked at
Arlington might have put them in the know
Interesting life choices being offered
Investment banking has its rewards
That’s on the table
I’m inclined to VC
I could have a capital time
Avoid DC and endless bureaucracy
See the world
It’s nice to be wanted
I feel like the girl everyone wants to dance with
I’m still at the prom
I’ll ask my parents
I know they’ll have thoughts
A new secret agent poem
"Hello baby, how have you been

You know I'm coming back there soon,

I'll get to tell you of things I've seen

As we sit beneath the moon

I miss you so with all my heart

And till we meet again

It's been rough to spend this time apart

So, I will wait until then.

To hold you once more in my arms

And look upon your face

You know I'll keep you safe from harm

You make my heartbeat race

We;ll have our wedding in the churchl that

We were christened in as kids

You know there church where we once sat

And as children we once hid

We'll soon be one when we are wed

Our family has begun

It;ll be like we both said

We;ll be stronger now as one.

You know I miss you every day

But you keep me alive

A safe return to you I pray

It's the goal to which I strive

It's been three years that I've been here

In this hell hole of a war

But I've been strong and shown no fear

With your love at my core

My time is short and I must go

Our squadron has to part

But in two weeks you know I;ll show

The love that's in my heart"

As I look out upon the  field

The green grass specked with white

I really think how beautiful

To see this scene so bright

There are those who've come beofre today

and stood here just like me

Of those who come for JFK

Who died in sixty three

You see I am in Arlington

To lay my love to rest

He died when he was fired on

With five more of our best

He wrote me that love letter

Post marked two weeks ago today

Our lives would be much better

When he got home from the fray.

His squad was taken quickly and

Not one of them survived

They're together now on sacred land

And my letter just arrived.

Hello baby, how have you been

You know I'm coming back there soon,

I'll get to tell you of things I've seen

As we sit beneath the moon

I miss you so with all my heart

And till we meet again

But now we're not so far apart

Now he's in Arlington.
Alyanne Cooper Jun 2014
Did you hear about
That girl at the party
Last night?
She got so wasted!
Jumped up on the bar
And danced and danced and danced!
You shoulda seen her!
Them moves of her hips!
Sweet ******* lips!
Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!
I'd'a taken her home
And shown
Her a **** good time.
Mmm mmm mmm!
Where were you last night?
How come you weren't there?
You missed a helluva time!
Yeah...buddy...a helluva time..."

He taps his fingers
Three times on the marble
Then he looks up
Walks away

"A helluva time."

Ross Andrew
Medal of Honor
Jun 14, 1987
Dec 4, 2006
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
*Iraqi Freedom
PFC Ross McGinnis threw himself on a grenade that had been thrown into his humvee during Operation Iraqi Freedom. By doing so, he saved the lives
of his 4 brothers-in-arms
who were with him.
kenny Apr 2014
Where the soil demanded a sacrifice
Of the girl with the sunflower tattoo

Where I left a lot of blood
Defending your honor

In ICU where I woke up with
Angels at the end of my hospital bed

Where I woke up
on the phone
with my best-friend's ex

Arlington Heights
Where we attempted
to find our lost minds together

Arlington Heights, was kind of a funny story

I've given you all
and I'm still here *******.
All is forgiven
When one side gives in
You know that it's over
And will happen again

Two sides, one victor
But who does decide
If a man died a hero
Regardless of side

A President taken down too soon
In a Dallas motorcade
A hero now has fallen
And to rest a hero's laid

Two more shot dead
No war involved
both supporters of a cause
The questions answer never solved
It makes us think, take time to pause

Another hero laid to rest
Now his time is done
Some are resting where they fell
And some in Arlington
It doesn't matter much to me
They fought for their beliefs
Now they lay where heroes lay
May their soul now find relief

A simple man with nothing
Just a family by his side
Gunned down by errant gun shots
He still deserves a hero's ride

What makes someone a hero
Not war, not even peace
The fact they are remembered
And the battle does not cease

Two men of music passed our way
Both died within a year
They were both considered heroes
Though one, you rarely hear

Man, woman or child
A hero has no age
No colour, race or interest
Will mark a hero's page

Another hero laid to rest
Now his time is done
Some are resting where they fell
And some in Arlington
It doesn't matter much to me
They fought for their beliefs
Now they lay where heroes lay
May their soul now find relief
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Too skeevy for prime time.
Careena Feb 2014
She fears him, and will always ask
   What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask                  
   All reasons to refuse him;
But what she meets and what she fears
Are less than are the downward years,
Drawn slowly to the foamless weirs
   Of age, were she to lose him.

Between a blurred sagacity
   That once had power to sound him,
And Love, that will not let him be
   The seeker that she found him,
Her pride assuages her, almost,
As if it were alone the cost.
He sees that he will not be lost,
   And waits, and looks around him.

A sense of ocean and old trees
   Envelops and allures him;
Tradition, touching all he sees
   Beguiles and reassures him;
And all her doubts of what he says
Are dimmed with what she knows of days,
Till even prejudice delays,
   And fades—and she secures him.

The falling leaf inaugurates
   The reign of her confusion;
The pounding wave reverberates
   The crash of her illusion;
And home, where passion lived and died,
Becomes a place where she can hide,—
While all the town and harbor side
   Vibrate with her seclusion.

We tell you, tapping on our brows,
   The story as it should be,—
As if the story of a house
   Were told, or ever could be;
We’ll have no kindly veil between
Her visions and those we have seen,—
As if we guessed what hers have been
   Or what they are, or would be.

Meanwhile, we do no harm; for they
   That with a god have striven,
Not hearing much of what we say,
   Take what the god has given;
Though like waves breaking it may be,
Or like a changed familiar tree,
Or like a stairway to the sea,
   Where down the blind are driven.
I love this poem because it makes me see what would have happened if I went back with the other one. Life would have been so unhappy, but I see that breaking up stung and hurt a lot, but it really was for the best.
thevagabondking Apr 2013
There is an innocence in the first beer of the night.
when the mind is still free to breathe
and the legs free to walk
and the eyes free to see
and the heart beats on its own

As the cap twisted off
and my *** got comfortable in
the chair that knows all to well
how long this hell would last
I knew that the innocence would end fast

Time seems to fly by
while you sit and
do nothing more then
observe it

And I crave that dialog
that swims from my eyes
to my mind, like this secret
symphony played only for me

But you see, everyone sees
the same things that I see or
you see

This symphony has always been
that for all of us
but some of us listlessly rummage
in the darkness that anger breeds

Like seeds tainted with the devils
come it penetrates the hardest of
shells and births the **** we see in
the shadow of societies twisted ties

I’ll never understand why it is that
I am so enamored with watching this
destruction cross my mind but I am
and in the end it will too, end me.

It’s after the second or third beer that you become
cognizant of that candle that’s burning
in the front of your face

It smells like ginger and reminds you of
your grandma’s house for some reason

But everything reminds you of your grandma
when you’re into the bottle deep and wishing
you’d spent more time listening to the words
she tried so hard to give you

You remember the times that she wrote you
letters when you lived in a house with no
cable television, no phone, no VCR, **** there
wasn’t a computer let alone the internet

So forget about Tumblr or Facebook or
emails or any other way to avoid the mutiny that
mankind has become

Walking the plank was real and
no one wanted to be told to take that walk
so everyone acted like men and women
with respectful fingernails and clean socks
that could be seen when pant leg
raised when sitting down for dinner with
your neighbor

I always wondered what she would have done
if she’d been born instead of me
with all these tools
and resources at her disposal

She was a smart cookie for
the time she grew up,
writing poetry on a ledger that
time has forgot

And here I am just waiting for the
garbage man to pick me up
because I never had time to drive over to

her house before or after happy hour
always told her I tried and that’s not
a lie

You see there is a rush hour for drunks
like me

The traffic is stand still and
bitter and you can see the pain in the way
the driver in front of you clenches the steering
wheel, hunched over and ready to drive through
as many cars as he or she has too

Just for that dollar off a drink he or she
is going to drink regardless of the time
or deal they make

And it’s about that time that my right foot
begins to shake because I remember that
I am nervous even when I am three beers into
a black out night.

I’m never safe and you aren’t either
so says the sigh as I finish number three
and order number four

And one more before I hit
the door and cross the street
to buy the party treats for the
rest of this ******* night

Eighteen beers and a pint of

Eighteen beers and a pint of

Eighteen beers and a pint of

Eighteen beers and a pint of

So I settled my tab and I shook the old man’s
hand who had sat and told me about all the
various things that could break a man

I checked them off one by one in my
head like a baseball card checklist that
at one time was the way I killed time outside
sitting in a summers sun

But now I *** stale cigarettes
and used up ***
to pass the days
as time slowly kills me

The indian with the ***** beard
has my beer and pint on the
counter waiting for me

He sleeps at ease at night
knowing that he’s slowly
killing every drunk that
walks into his seven

Looking for heaven
looking for salvation
looking for ripe virgins
to sacrifice
for the betterment of a
whiskey night

American terrorists we are
when the dark hits the
tip of our cigarettes and we’re
fine with shutting our minds off to
the plight of everyone’s fight because
we have enough liquor tonight to

ward off the demons that come out to
play when happy hour ends and your
back in the thick of rush hour
The walk from that seven
eleven to
home is lonely
possibly the loneliest
walk you’ll walk
because you are left to think
about what you’re about to

See society has tied us up in
it’s restraints, painted us a picture
of wholesomeness that
ends up burning down the white picket
fences and ****** the daughters
while the son’s fail out of school
and end up in a trade
shuffling feet on desert land
dying at the hands of
the real monster
the monster with a real face
and no trace of giving a **** if
the enemy is man or woman
sinner or saint
just another enemy at the gate
trying to take
what ain’t

At the door now
you can feel your arm pulse
your ears twitch
your soul scream
you’re about to pour the first drink
fire the first shot
pretend that tonight
one of them won’t be blanks

I’ve retained this habit of keeping the caps of
my bottles next to my drinking area
or inside my pockets

I’m not sure when I began this
habit but it’s ruined a few washers
a few dryers
and at least one ****

At the end of the night there’s a little
graveyard of caps
a drunks Arlington
where you can morn the passing
of one bottle
after another
senseless, this war
you laugh as you keep pulling the
necks of these brown *******
drinking their life’s spirit away
with little remorse for them
or yourself

And that, in the end, will be your
My magnum opus
A cyclist in a purple turban and salwar pants
whizzed past us as we trudged up the steep hills

of Arlington, Virginia

His gaze caught mine 
just a starry
flash in the bucket

wordless soul communion
that said so much

Do you know what religion he is?
queried my hubby, David
"Sikh...I think" still reflecting
on our brief exchange

David and I were in town for our niece's wedding 

and also on vacation
enjoying the sights and plethora
of attractions that flourish in the capitol
city, Washington, DC

As I surveyed the beautiful capitol
abounding with lush gardens, parks,
magnificent magnolia trees and
fragrant pink and white crepe myrtle

I couldn't help observing the rich diversity
of people and cultures working and living


"Where are you from?" I asked our taxi driver

"I'm originally from Ethiopia,"
a waiter in a restaurant told us
he was from Morocco...another person from Egypt...
India...China and so on…

USA has a diverse topography
heavenly mountain ranges, verdant forests,
fruitful farmlands
span outward to luminous blue shores

The racial, political, cultural diversity of our
great nation is what makes us so 

unique and special
It's in our DNA, and literally in mine, 

a real melting ***

All Americans have one thing in common:
our thirst for liberty and freedom

These words from the Memorial of Abraham Lincoln
are brilliant with truth and timeless with love:

"I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty
will burn in your bosoms until there shall
no longer be a doubt that all men are
created free and equal." ~Lincoln
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Don Bouchard Aug 2014
(This poem posted in tribute to the life &memory; of Robin Williams...Rest in Peace)

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
(Edwin Arlington Robinson)
RobinWilliams RIP...sad this morning....
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

ሪቻርድ ኮሪ

ሪቻርድ ኮሪ
ቁልቁል ወደ ከተማ ሲወርድ፣
ሆነን በእግረኛው መንገድ
እናየው ነበር::
ከጫማው ሶል እስከራሱ፣
ተክለሰውነቱ፣ ቀጭን ጌታ እንደንጉሱ፣
ሁሌ ድንቅ አለጫጭ አለባበሱ!

ብንደምረውም ከኛው ጎራ
‹‹እንደምን አደራችሁ!›› ሲል
የቃል አወጣጥ ስልቱ፣
አቤት ማስደሰቱ፣
ድንቅ አረማመዱ አክሂያዱ!
በጣም ሃብታም--ከሃብታምም ሃብታም፣
የንጉሱም ሃብት ከሱ አይጠጋም--
አስፈላጊውን ትምህርተ ሁሉ የቀሰመ
በእውቀቱ ያስደመመ፡፡
በአዘቦት፣ሁሉም ሃሴት የተሟላለት
‹‹ምነው በሱ ቦታ በሆንን!›› ብለን
የሱን እጣ ሽተን
እናም በለት ስራችን ተጠምደን
ብሩህ ተስፋ ሰንቀን
ስጋ ተነፍገን ዳቦን እረገምን!
ሪቻርድ ኮሪ
አንድ ጸጥ ያለ ምሽት
ገብቶ ቤቱ አኖረ ጥይት
በራሱ ጭንቅላት!//
Measure not life with the prism of wealth or,creed ,class or knowledge!
Joseph S C Pope Feb 2013
Ornamental graves set like feasts
                                                                             for unfaithful lovers,
                   the broke marrow of virtuous phantasms,
                                                                      now swaddled rapture
                                                                      chanted as basilisk verses.
                                           Scarred Alice wraps it around
                                                             torn limbs--
                                               festering gauze--the cynical made anew.

                         "Creation moves," the gluttonous moper speaks again,
                                                     "to erase itself."
                                            Alice's children blasts
                                            the afterlife caboose
                                            to the front of the freight
                                           --saeculum saeculorum--

               "Wake again and again
                          without ghosts and wrath,
                                 dear children." The wind whispers their souls
                      back to her--"the molding of men
                      and women attend to sponge the graves dry."

          They will raise themselves
                            --chanting the basilisk verses,
                mother Alice
                               departs her children twice
                      to the corridors of rose fields
                      in her naked cloud.

                                                    "Come back, dear mother...."
                                                    "Come back, dear mother..."
                                                                               they chant,
                                                     "Your salted epitaph
                                                        still lingers in our throats."

            Not fit there
                   or here.
           Nowhere, Miss, nowhere--

                                     Sin is the party
                                           that doesn't die
                                  and neither does the health
                                               of lyrical sand.

                              --Floaters like discontent
                                     recreate the world,
                                  --our world with
                                 pastels and finger-paints
                doodles on Arlington headstones
                                             --messages for our ear bones
                                             --disasters on eleven
                 turning stones roll over--tortoises play dead
                                                            but whisper,
                                               "Clergy cerebral
                                                 won't wisp away
                                                  beds of jewels.
                              I pity people who think
                                          themselves powerful.

                    "Frost-bit devices dilate
                   like the hands of a watch
                          tearing time apart with
                     rusty blades.  

                                                                                      "Counting fingers--useless freedom
                                                                                                                     --bothersome slavery."

         Alice knows what the basilisk knows,
                              we would sacrifice
                              the only righteous heart in *****
                                                                           & Gomorrah
                                                                           to save
r Feb 2014
So you lost your innocence
    in a darkened cemetery in Fallujah,
do you go looking for it
     on a grassy, sun-drenched hilltop in Arlington just because the
light is better?  No, not you.
     You return to that dark place and break every marker, leave no stone unturned, disinter all  ghosts tossing them to the wind and shout     
     "Want more?".
 Marching upright/quick-step/head high
     back home to Bethesda to find your peace.

r ~ 15Feb14
Semper Fi Gunny S., Co. B, 1st BTN, RCT 7, 8th Marines.
Sarah Treaster Jun 2012
There was a loud knock on the door. Callie froze.
“Hello? Anyone in there? Daryl! Open up!” The muffled voice of Ginny could be heard outside the lab door. Callie hurried into the back room.
“Daryl, your wife is here...” she said worriedly. “What are we going to do??”
“Oh my god. Just... don’t make any noise. If the boss knows we were here, using his lab, he’ll **** us. I know. I’ll call her and tell her that I’m on my way home.” Callie wrung her hands as Daryl paced back and forth, muttering to himself.
“Heyyy, Ginny. Sorry, work kept me out late. I’m on my way home now.” Dayrl spoke into the phone sweetly. “Alright see you there.” He hung up. Callie’s eyes were wide.
“I heard her leave. Let’s get out of here.” Callie grabbed her purse and her sweater off her desk and opened the lab door slowly. Daryl followed quickly behind Callie as they tip toed their way through the dark hallways of the Laboratory.

As Ginny left the lab and was walking back to her car, her phone rang. “Hello?” She listened as Daryl spoke quickly. He sounded very nervous. “Okay, Daryl. I’ll see you at home.” She hung up and stopped. Her husband was acting very strange tonight. She had been knocking on the door to his office and even his boss’s office. What is he up to..this doesn’t feel right. I trust him but... Ginny turned around slowly and made her way back to the dark, tall gray building. If he’s cheating on me I swear... Her mind was running through hundreds of possibilities, her anger and worry growing. Nearing the front door, she removed her heals and crept into the building. She listened carefully before ducking into a room that had a nice view of the elevator and the exit. Peeking through the blinds, she waited and watched.

Callie held Daryl’s hand as they left the elevator, walking towards the front exit. “Okay we’re clear,” Daryl whispered in Callie’s ear. As the young woman walked past Daryl, her rose infused perfume drifted into his face and he shivered as the scent filled his nostrils. Grabbing her hand and pulling her towards him he kissed her passionately. There was a loud choking sound behind them and they turned around suddenly. Ginny was standing in the hallway, eyes wide, fists balled up in shock and anger.
“Wha...what is going on, Daryl?” Her voice shook, and she didn’t take her eyes off of Callie. “Who is she?” Daryl was as stiff as a stone. “Who. Is. She, Daryl. What is going on?”
“Ginny, it’s not what it looks like. I love you. She was forcing me. I promise.” Callie took a step back.
“Excuse me?! Daryl, you started this between us. Do NOT act like you are the innocent one here. You told me you loved me more than your wife. That you were going to leave her... are a *****, ***** liar.” Callie broke into tears and fell to her knees.
“Callie...Ginny! Ginny I don’t know what she’s talking about. I love you. You know I love you.” Daryl stepped towards Ginny. She held up her hands defensively.
“Get away from me, you creep!” Daryl stopped.
“Come on, Ginny. Let’s go home. I love you, please it’s not what it seems. Look, I ******* up. Come on, I’ll get the car.” Daryl backed up slowly, and then headed for the door. A terrible scream was heard and the next moment, Daryl was on the floor, blood spurting everywhere. A large glass paperweight dropped to the floor with a loud thud and a ****** as a corner shattered off. Two pairs of wide eyes stared down at the body silently.

When the police had arrived, Callie and Ginny were sitting together on a bench, shivering in the cold night air. A young girl in her late teens, early twenties was sitting across from them, her eyes dry. “Ladies, may I ask what happened here? There’s a man in there, dead. Which one of you did this?” A policeman came up to the women with a pencil and a paper pad.
The young girl looked up. “I killed him.” The girl stood up. “He’s been leading three different lives. One with me, my mother, and my little brother in Arlington. I knew about all of them. I followed him a lot. I found him leading one with her, that lady there.” She held up a finger at Ginny. “And then he was having an affair with her.” She moved her finger to Callie. “I couldn’t deal with it anymore. He was a greedy, selfish *******. I did it. I killed Daryl Stevenson. I killed my father.”
Audrey Nov 2014
In search of the yet unknown they roam,
Young faces carrying old burdens
They have seen too much.

Man the trenches, takes up arms, pick the nation
Onto your shoulders, for that is what
Soldiers do.
They have seen too much, far beyond tears
His eyes blank, her hands trembling with repressed
Memories of somewhere far away.
He didn't mean to ****, though he meant
To do his duty.
She didn't mean to see the bodies, though she meant
To help her brothers.
No man left behind.
The blood felt sticky as it seeped through his uniform,
Carrying a fallen comrade,
Trying not to think of anything but the steps back to

When I played Taps it was cold. November 1, because
The veterans all had work on Tuesday the 11th.
My heart and my salute to America's servicemen and women
Poured through my trumpet with as much
Solemnity and remembrance and love as I could muster.  
24 notes that reminded me of my great-grandfather's flag,
The picture of my father in his dress whites,
Rows and rows and rows of white crosses at Arlington.
I cried, and I wasn't even ashamed of it.

To all who have served our country
To all who have sacrificed of their minds and bodies
To all who have lost lives and limbs and peace of mind to
Protect us
I salute you.
Posted 11:00, November 11, 2014.
Please take time to remember our veterans today.
Reading an anthology of
Classic poems
On quiet a night
With wings of
Enlightenment and delight
My soul took flight
To far-off lands bright
Rife with musical poems
Some brain racking,
While some savory but light.

When I saw celebrated poets
From my dream plane
I decided to alight
So that the messages
Encoded on their poems,
To me they further explain.
Cognizant that
Hearing things from
The horse’s mouth
Like Antarctica
Will not make things
As far south.

I saw Helen Steiner Rice
Reading whose works
Like  ‘Christmas Guest’
Is nice.
When she me behold
This to me she told
“Till your corporeal being’s
Turn come to be a sod
Never desist to
Put your hope in God,
Who foresees and shapes
That will unfold.
Always dwell
In the vineyard of
The Lord. ”
Drew close James Stephens
With Helen
You are right nod.
“Chap, if you look around
You will behold
On everything
The hallmark of
Creation stamped by God!
Also excellent, from
The ordinary extra,
Your will hear
Nature’s God praising
Orchestra! ”
Willian Henery Davis
Courteously came by
To say <<Hi!>>.
“Be content with
What you have
You will be happy
When that you learn to love.
See you not why
The example set
By the butterfly,
On a rough rock
That sleeps content
Without a blanket! ”

Soon I met
Enda St. Vincent Millay
Whose fame
Surfing the tide of time
To date that does resonate.
“As the saying goes
‘The world is lovely
And the loveliest is enough!’
To be happy
Try to nurture the culture
Of admiring nature.
Waste not time
Go to the mountain
The secret of happiness
To you it will explain.”

After seconds walk
William Ernest Henely
Approached me for a hard talk
“When beset by challenges
Never give in
That is a great sin!
As for me, whenever
I fall
Soon I get up as the
Captain of my soul.
Though in the darkness
God seems far,
For the downhearted
He is a lodestar.”
I saw Elenor Frajeon
By a roadside
With a book in her hand.
“Love to books
Is a launching pad
To a wonderland,
Where readers meet authors
Of different brand
Hence, a window to their
Soul they will stand.
Also read my poem
That draws attention
To mother-to-child affection
That defies description.”

I met anon
Austin Dobson
“A rose
To itself
A question
Opted to pose.
‘I wonder why
This hoary-headed
Gardner refuses to die?’
But soon
A wind blew up
Its sun-withered
Petals to the sky.
The analogy teach
On the timeline
Brief, beauty to a grind
Will screech.

Patted me on the back
My son,
Ben Johnson
“Like a Lele
Being short and brief
Could render life
Ease and relief! ”

Sat on a rock
Samuel  Taylor Coleridge
To me a secret he broke.
With bitter smile
Waving his
Pen as a tool,
“Those who think
A poet is a fool
They will realize
Who is rather the fool
If they think with
A head cool!”
I saw Walter De la Mare
Exactly the way towards
Old Susan he used to stare.
“Susan taken away by
A romantic fiction
Past midnight
Sat on chair
Engrossed in a monologue
Culture rules
Is not fair! ’
One’s age
Did advance
Reading fiction
One stands
For reliving
The past
A chance.  ”

Soon, came William Blake
Me to the graveyard
To take
Pointing to
A headstone
“Now, my enemy,
Object of my anger,
Is dead.
Subject to a
Conscious pang
It is divested of a soft pillow
I go to bed!
You must not yourself find
An axe to grind
Otherwise, to a reason
You will become blind.”
For supper
Volunteered to be
My host
Robert Frost.
He stressed
“To settle
Punitive price
As lethal
As fire is ice!”
Came an invited guest
Edmund Spencer
To tell us
The mystery
That put
His phlegmatic dream object
And he, her
Ardent lover, asunder.
“When fire and ice
Are locked in a love’s dorm
Out of the norm,
One may not change
The other’s form! ”
Via the window,
I saw a graveyard
Past the meadow.
When my eye caught sight
Of Julia Caroline
I took steps
To sit by her side
The meaning of eternal love
To understand.

“A kiss on the lips
From a lover
Is a keepsake stamp
That transcends
An earthly map.”

There in the graveyard
I met Sara Teasdale
“Like a low hanging ripe fruit
In the gray time
When a lass
Is off guard
To ****** her
A chance a lad
May stand.
Also from affection
For conjugal felicity
Many a lass
Could give added attention.”
I posed
Why should you show bent
To profanity?
“My friend
A *** could not be taken naughty
For expressing man’s sexuality!
For the answer try to meet
                Anne Bradstreet.”

Before I asked
Her why she
Committed a suicide
She got clear
From my side.

Anne Bradstreet
I met
“It is tragic
To have at home
A child with
A down syndrome!

What lurks
In the subconscious
Of an author or a poet
Through his/her pen
S/he may seek an outlet
So to date,
“Why did I
Write this a taboo-seen
Seems some author’s fate.

I saw Thomas Hood
Amidst his harvest
That fares good
He told me
“From a perfumed
And well attired lady
Who belongs
To the top brass,
It is by far better
To tie a knot
With a provincial lass,
In her hair
With a fresh flower
Plucked out of the grass
She shines bright
Bathed by sunlight!”

Out on the street again
I met Lithuanian Salomejia Neris
I became happy
As I never wanted her to miss.

I asked her
About the heard-renting fate
She, her father, her mother, siblings
Neighbors and her age mate
“During the  World War II
Children, who
Otherwise were
Unfit for themselves
To fend,
Were forced
The brutal ****
To defend!”
Soon I met
Richard Lovelace
And John Scott
Locked in an argument hot.
The former
“I want to head to the front
It is a source of pride
To fight on
Nation’s side.”
The latter
“Paying a price grand
I cannot understand!”

Edwin Arlington Robison came
To tell me the story
About Richard Cory
“Measure not
Your life by
The success of your object
Of admiration,
The one a role- model
You hold or held,
I am afraid
Off guard
He can lodge
A bullet in
His head.”

I saw William Butler Yeats
, an Irish poet
Who raised an issue hot.
“How an
Angel helped out
A tired priest
A snap who
Could not resist
While a laity
In his parish
Was Ceasing to exist.”
Robert Herrick approached
Me this to speak
“I am smote
By grief,
To see a Daffodil,
Like human beings ,is brief.”

Said Emily Dickinson
“It is when you ere to hit
A target heart felt
You’ll understand
The meaning of
Having something desired
Under your belt.”
At last
I saw
Edgar Allan Poe
To make this to me
He made haste.
Though a pauper
“From my soul mate
No earthly or heavenly power
Is capable to asunder me
Top date.
After reading this much
I realized why
Poets never die”//////
Give me a feedback on this poem about  famous poets  and the themes of their poems.Google and read about their history and read some of their poems.I have trans
Thomas J Thiel Sep 2016
There was a Promise For Two
I am here, because, there was a promise for two.
     It was a commitment  to their bond,  
     a mutual elective.
But Maria’s beam disappeared after five hours.
     Separated from mother’s womb,
     her innocence was unable to endure the rigors
     of an indifferent world,
She was suppose to be daddy’s little girl,
     Mommy’s alter image and brother’s shining star.
Their expectations converted to muted despair.
     A balanced homecoming became questionable.
     and over time, insurmountable.    
The heartaches began to escalate, and eventually barricade concern for the mysteries destiny.
     Tears fell, for what never would be,
     tears for dreams,
     and tears for abandoned dreams,
     tears for Maria.
Two years past
     and I was the one chosen to replace her shadow.
     Conceived to witness the hearts vacuum.
     To kneel, with my back straight, next to an older brother before the hallowed space,
     where, under the tightly packed sod, among uniformed columns of god’s beloved children,
     sweet Maria lies in peaceful repose by the stone Grotto.
My adolescent hands squeezed the polished silver,
     as they pounded the cross into the unforgiving earth.
I pondered my existence, while questioning my replanted tangibility,  
     trying to comprehend the equity of life through a spectral identity,
     and  wondering where my place might be, if my sister had prevailed and flourished.
One day, I returned to place a wooden crucible where the silver once glimmered in the sun.
     I marked her name in burnt lettering.
Again,  the effort was pilfered by the same callous world
     Maria’s tiny fingers refused to touch.
There was never coherence, but, eventually I understood.
I am here, because, there was a promise for two
     and for a small coffin,
     that was lowered into the cold ground of North Arlington.
Aaron LaLux Nov 2016
Dear America,
what have you become,
so busy worried about where you’re going,
that you’ve forgotten where you’re from,

I am your begotten son,

and I love you,

I love you,
more than these wonderful words can say,
I love you but I don’t know what to do,
because I fear that you’ve gone astray,

like an abusive drunken Trump father,
or a used up distracted Hilary mother,

you seem so drunkenly enraged by greed,
engaged in a lustful want that you falsely believe is a need,

“Oh say can you see,
by the dawn’s early light”,
we bomb people we’ve never even seen before,
something must be wrong because nothing feels right,

why am I scared of you,

maybe it’s your violent tendencies,
maybe it’s your egotistical ways,
maybe it’s how you’ve created all these enemies,
and now these enemies won’t just leave us alone and go away,

“Oh say,
can you see,
by the dawn’s early light”,
you are my parents and I look up to you,
I love to see the Statue of Liberty’s guiding light,

but honestly,
at this point I don’t know what to do,
I am your son,
and even after all you’ve put me through I still love you,

but I am absolutely terrified at what you’ve become,
what we’ve all become,
and even when I run far away to try and escape,
I realize we are family so no matter how far I run,

I am still an American,
because I am America’s Son,

back home,
back to the times of apple pies peace and butterflies,
the drones,
and satellites appeared ominously like shooting stars in the summer skies,

let’s talk about life over home cooked pumpkin pie,

I’ve got some questions and I don’t mean to pry,

but why have we had to capitalize off destruction,
why do we still have war what is it’s real function,
why destroy when we can construct a constant connection,
a solid foundation with good intentions and clear instructions,

so we can finally heal and move forward as a family that properly functions!

Be a good husband,
be a good wife,
be a good person,
lead a good life,

it’s not that complicated,
see all us children would forgive all your murderous mistakes,
if only you’d just take the first step and admit that you made them,

he served two tours in Iraq gave his all and lost his life for this country,
and all he got in return was that Arlington grave you gave him,

God please save him,

he was a good kid,
even though he killed,
he did it because his Uncle Sam told him to,
please don’t place him beneath us in Hell,

Uncle Sam didn’t know any better either,
and it seems his parents had raised him quite well,
but Uncle Sam’s not his brother’s keeper,
I am and I know my brothers well,
and when any of us lose any of our lives,
we only pray we leave with a story to tell,

because maybe we believe,
that when we leave this life we lead,
at least we leave the world a little bit better,
from sea to shining sea,

at least,
a little,

what more do you want me to say,
I love you I am your son,
but I’m scared and that scared feeling won’t just go away,

“Oh say,
can you see,
by the dawn’s early light”,
I write by the light of the bright stars,
and through these words I’ve earned my stripes,

and since we’re on the subject when did the public,
go from stars and stripes to bars and fights?

Honestly America,

as much as I distrust and despise you I still put no one above you,
even though I’m ashamed of you for invading our privacy like an invasive enema,
I don’t even trust you anymore and the only One i used to trust was you,
you’re like a blemish on otherwise perfect skin like irritating eczema,

I am embarrassed,
of the ways in which you’ve behaved and all you’ve put us through,
but I am still your begotten son,
and after all you’ve put me through I still love you…

“Oh say can you see,
by the dawn’s early light”…

∆ Aaron La Lux ∆

Check out my new book now:
From Your Son..
From Reville promptly played at 0630
Untill the sunset Taps at Arlington
Remember Those in uniform
Because some gave all
And they deserve our thanks
They have earned our respect
Bow your heads in reverence
For those who fight
For those who fought
For those who are missing
For those who are prisoners
For those who gave their lives
Freedom isn't free and it never will be
Remember the price they pay

to all those in uniform or any one who has ever worn oone i salute you for your service to this great nation
Mariah Oct 2014
The convenience of death is too great
not to give in.
And I am found wandering
in old haunted battlefields,
searching for a place for the cannons.
Lay down in the outline of a dead Union soldier's body;
bullet holes riddle his blue uniform.
And the train has not come with the doctors and bandages;
they were all sent to Normandy.
Snow covers the flags and they are buried
in memories of more decent times
Even when I saw the explosions I was still sure
that everyone could make it out alive.
My grandpa's in bed; he's lost his sight,
tells me of losing his leg in a fight
with a German soldier over a piece of bread.
He leaned in and whispered,
"They say love is the only language everyone can understand.
That's not true. It's war."
I could barely speak when the door closed,
looked up and saw we'd joined another battle,
same enemy with a different name.
So I lay down my arms at Arlington National,
and rest in a child's grave.
There is no place like home
Where our roots have grown
Where speaking is only limited
By the words that you can make
Where you can go where you want
Because someone is buried in Arlington
Where life is precious
And victory is sweet
Where God smiled and thought,
*"Oh my that sure is pretty"

— The End —