Thursday, April 27, 2017

You Say You Want a Revolution

“When in the course of human events.”
Thus tolls the bell of fervent appeal,
This declaration,
         This new beginning,
This fledgling flight from the eagle’s nest.
 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident.”
That these rights be not taken by trial or ordeal.
That liberty’s grasp is secure and unending
And freedom endures when held to the test.
 
And if there be violence,
          Let there be violence.
We shall not wither though cannons may reel.
For independence is ours for the winning
And we will not settle for second-best.
 
For they shall not govern without our consent,
Or throttle our fervor or stifle our zeal
Lest we send them whirling, reeling and spinning
With our vigilant vigor that never will rest.
 
No patience for despots or tyrants or kings
When Liberty, sweet Liberty, opens her wings.
 
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Duel in the Sand

Some might say it was “not our concern,”
But when humanity meets rebuff
And sovereignty vanishes with the wind,
Someone must stand and say “enough.”
 
The storm has been brewing for quite some time
From cauldrons deep beneath the earth
While tyrants bask in newfound wealth
Without regard for human worth.
 
And now these rogues have crossed the line
That’s drawn from civil decency
To stake a claim and conquer all
In lands extending to the sea.
 
But gainsay forces disapprove
As cannons gather in the sand
And form a fearful peerless shield
To still the manic firebrand.
 
Now brash defiance steeps a tempest
Building to a violent storm
To sweep across the burning dunes
Determined as a hornet’s swarm.
 
But even when the dust is settled
Under the flaming desert sun,
Each side lays claim to victory
And no one knows who really won.
 
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Wall

I haven’t seen it (yet),
          But I survived it
Along with hundreds of thousands more
Who left no small part of a poor man’s soul
Lost and confused in a “no-man’s” war.
 
Fifty thousand two two zero
Carved on a wall of shimmering black.
FIVE-EIGHT-COMMA-TWO-TWO-ZERO
Brilliant brave souls who didn’t come back.
 
And tens upon tens upon thousands more
Who came back unwhole in body or mind
To be spat on, cursed and ridiculed by
A nation that seemed to be out of its mind.
 
But the wall stands tall and long and proud,
The message loud, the statement clear;
That these represent the best of the best
Who gave everything without question or fear.
 
So, we view them with pride
          --With their brothers-in-arms –
When we pause to reflect and recall.
And should we forget what true honor is worth
We need only stand close to the wall.
 
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Greatest Generation

Their numbers dwindle.
All too soon they will be
But a memory,
This selfless generation of a nation
Sworn to liberty.
 
A world gone mad a second time,
The coils unflailing yet again;
An evil Axis from the Rising Sun to
Blitzkrieg’s bitter train.
 
A peaceful flock may be mistook,
Might look as though they just don’t care.
But woe to one who throws the stone
And dares to wake the sleeping bear.
 
And the hibernating masses rose
Unquestioning the narrative,
They gave and gave and then gave more
Til there was nothing left to give.
 
So many perished in the quest
To bring perdition to an end.
A generation sworn to serve;
We’ll never see their likes again.
 
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

… To End All Wars

Didn’t want to get involved, but
Someone had to end the mess;
Those adolescent-acting oafs, so deep
Entangled in distress.
 
A spider’s web of horror
Overshadows “over there”, and
They need to halt the madness
E’er it migrates “over here”.
 
So, off the Doughboy goes to
Crush the Kaiser’s horrid hordes,
And vows he’ll not return until
He’s stilled the rattled swords.
 
Through the muck and mist and mire of
A wretched no-man’s land,
Inch by inch and trench by trench
He clashes hand to hand.
 
Into the deep perdition,
Arising from the catacomb,
Fulfilling every promise
Til sweet victory brings him home.
 
And now the task, the fearful task
That victory implores,
That this ungodly struggle be
The war to end all wars.
 
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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Blue or Gray

Different time – Different agenda –
Different mindset – Same old story.
Unapologetic profiteers
In search of gore and glory.
 
Clouds of conflict born in anguish
Pirated o’er angry seas.
Beast of burden – sold – debased
With brash delight for all to see
 
Passing decades shape a wealth
That disavows upright mores,
Casting shadows on a troubled land
Begetting blues and grays.
 
Now the angry argument is
Launched upon the killing fields
As both believe their cause is just,
And losses rise as neither yields.
 
But when it’s over a promise begins,
A covenant to consummate
Where all are equal and all can be free of
Gross divisiveness and hate.
 
And what was it they fought to free?
The blessings of sweet liberty
And equal justice for all men
Regardless of their shade of skin.
 
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Sunday, April 02, 2017

We’re Not Perfect

Utopia is but a dream
With multicolored feathers
That flitter as they flutter
Through a phosphorescent night.
No qualms, no trepidation,
Only peaceful coexistence, 
So lovely to envision,
So fleeting in the light.
 
Alas, we are not perfect.
We can never know this Shangri-La,
This paradise of worldly wealth
Where pure nirvana touches all.
 
The best that we can hope for is
A land of opportunity where
Each on each might have a voice
And all may share the waterfall
Where none need fear the tyrant’s rage
And no voice need be still,
Where kindness, hope and charity
Are wealth to compensate the bill.
 
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Saturday, April 01, 2017

Hiroshima

No one wanted to be the one to
Unleash the beast of devastation,
To be the first…
          First to give the order,
          First to fly the fateful craft,
          First to target and release a
Mass destruction never known.
 
Decisions often can be fearful,
Some are near impossible,
To take a life to save a life
In multiples unknowing,
Both enemy and innocent
Reduced to vapor in an instant
Leaving the victor to wave his flag
And to glory in pure triumph.
 
Yet hesitation haunts the cloud
In fountains of uncertainty.
But might is right. The end must be now.
Next target, Nagasaki.


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Show Your Colors

Show your colors loud and proud to
Watch them soar with glory.
View with eyes that chase the prize of
Passions age-old story.
 
Let your flag unfurl with flourish
To a brash brass band to
Inspire the spirit of the masses
All throughout the hinterland.
 
With red on white on white on red
The purest rays of valor shine as
Starlight dusts a field of blue
Where faith and justice intertwine.
 
The peerless quest of freedom’s child
Glides towering on eagles wings
Inspiring loyal partisans
As throngs of grateful choirs sing.
 
And though she be not faultless
In her bearing or her scope,
She is still the perfect symbol of
Unending boundless hope.


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Friday, March 24, 2017

Freedom

Freedom is a hummingbird,
Fleeting, fast and fragile with
Bright wings that sing in rhythmic dreams
The perfect jewel of joyful faith,
Seeking out the beautiful, the
Flowing flowers of the field,
To drink the nectar of her bloom and
All her gifts disseminate.
 
Freedom is a golden eagle
Sailing on a wafting zephyr,
Unencumbered by the straining
Baleful bonds of gravity.
Confident that none may rise to
Purloin his emancipation.
Soaring over mountains high
He sets his own alternatives.
 
Freedom is a mountaintop
Rising where no roads may tread,
Wearing robes of purest white while
Bleeding rivers rife with hope.
Tendrils flush with provender
Reaching meadows near and far
To nurture countless leas of flowers
And feed sweet freedoms hummingbird.
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

For Family

“Were you in the war, Grandpa?” Tommy queried.
“Yes, I was, son,” he said. “Why do you ask?”
“Mommy says war is bad, she says it’s evil.”
“Yes, son, it is. It’s a horrible task.”
 
“Does that mean you’re bad, Grandpa? Why did you go?”
“It’s hard to explain,” he said, “But let me try”
Hard to defend why the young and the innocent
Rush to a cause where so many might die.
 
“Nobody wants war,” he says with a sigh, “but
Sometimes you just have no choice.
When enemies threaten the ones you love
Someone must stand to give them a voice.
We have to protect. We need to defend
Against those who would take our freedom away.
You’re young and it’s a mystery right now,
But you’ll grow and you’ll understand someday.”
 
He paused for a moment, then softly he spoke.
“I’ll tell you one thing for sure that is true.
You want to know why I fought in the war?
I did it for family.
I did it for you.”

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Friday, March 10, 2017

A Grateful Nation

A grateful nation welcomes home her heroes
When the fight is done,
Reaching deep to heal the wounds of war
So they might carry on.
 
A grateful nation mourns the loss of
Those who paid the final price,
Comforts those they left behind
In honor of their sacrifice.
 
A grateful nation knows that freedom
Must be bought by blood and sweat.
Forging on with confidence,
No second guessing, no regrets.
 
A grateful nation prays, although the gift
Is oft misunderstood.
A psalm of praise to one on high
Whose grace provides all that is good.
 
A grateful nation will not falter,
Will not waiver on its course,
Seeks to lift the people’s spirit,
Moving on with no remorse.
 
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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Basic Soldier

Not for glory, fame or fortune,
Not for gratitude or praise
The basic soldier serves in silence
With a watchful steely gaze.
 
Not a slave to needless causes,
Just a cog on grinding gear that
Keeps the locomotive charging forward
Without doubt or fear.
 
Some may speak of God and country,
Friends and family, hearth and home,
But when the bombs of battle rage
The soldier never stands alone.
 
Brothers bold and sisters stoic,
Banded by a single bond,
Sing the same brave song of freedom
Marching, marching ever on.
 
Hail and greet the basic soldier.
Millions now, millions then,
Millions when their cause is noble.
Shall we see their like again?
 
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Monday, March 06, 2017

Open the Cages

Open the cages and
Let loose the lions.
Set free the spirit that

Nature bequeaths to
Rule vast domain and
Roar into the fury,
To know the sweet victory
Freedom affirms.
 
Dangerous prospect in
Waking the beast whose
Heart knows no fear,
Whose angst knows no peace.
An unsated hunger that
Drives ever forward
Giving no quarter,
Accepting no terms.
 
Open the cages of life
If you dare.
Challenge all foes,
Let the full world beware.
 
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Saturday, March 04, 2017

To Weather the Storm

Caught in the maelstrom of twisted confusion,
Fickle chameleon dancing to dirges of
Lonely lost causes, so long forgotten,
Misbegotten paltry plans.
 
Tightly attuned to the vast range of changes
All muddled and muddied by dark empty urges,
Hiding in corners, alone and ashamed,
Unable to think, unwilling to stand.
 
Too long the victim.
          Yes, far too long to
Writhe in these shadows while Satan cajoles and
Controls every nuance, first to last,
As quivering fools suffer under his hand.
 
Now is the time and here is the station where
Heroes stand tall and courage unfolds
Like an unfurling flag defying the wind to
Inspire the spirit, boasting command.
 
Shielding the precious, the cherished from harm,
Finding safe harbor to weather the storm.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Old Veteran

Reposed in silence, back to the wall
Reflecting on those glory days
He can’t forget, won’t forget til end of time,
Searching reason without rhyme.
 
Shoulders not so broad as then,
Stooped forward in a awkward sway
Except for when Old Glory passes
In review as Souza plays.
 
Grizzled chin and wrinkled brow belay
The swagger known in youth when
Worlds were open, energy unbound and
Fear an unknown truth.
 
Answering the call to service he
Never stopped to question fears
Even though he knew his choice would
Bring his mother lakes of tears.
 
Raspy voice, much slower now reflects
The glory known to few
Of battles fought, brothers lost,
Fears recalled as darkness grew.
 
Let any who might need to know rush
To seek his sage advice.
There is wisdom from experience,
The offspring of self-sacrifice.
 
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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Flag Retirement


Crisp Autumn frost biting noses and toes as
A reverent assemblage awaits the occasion.
No anger or protest, no mock revolution,
Just love and respect for the symbol at hand.
 
Young men in uniform move briskly with purpose
To tender the flame’s resolute preparation.
They gather their linens, all tattered and worn,
The emblem of liberty throughout the land.
 
In staid ceremony, a crisp call to order,
A calm benediction of gentle persuasion.
“The line forms right here
To bring forth your banners”
To place on the pyre through the dirge of the band.
 
I stand at attention, hat in hand.
My eyes are aghast with the realization
The flame purifies, sanctifies, canonizes
In ways nary a soul will misunderstand.


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

She Stands in the Harbor

A gift.
A magnanimous, thoughtful gift
From her sister nation across the sea.
Born from the love of freedom
And faith in the kindness of humanity.
She stands in the harbor overlooking
The portal of hope. Her torch held high
To hail the ships, to light the path in
Silence, never asking why.
 
Behind her the never-ending sprawl of
A steaming behemoth rides the horizon.
The mountains and trenches of concrete and steel
Scream a challenge of vast expanses beyond.
But she never waivers in her daunting task.
Her silent resolve makes a solemn decree.
She beckons the weary to enter her shores and
Accept the bold challenge of sweet liberty.
 
She cannot deny them,
Will never forsake them,
Shall always enfold them in welcoming arms.
And all who believe in the bright torch of freedom
Forever defend her and keep her from harm.




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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Founding Fathers

There were no blueprints in those early days;
Just ragged tomes and scrolls from eons past
With cryptic jargon and philosophies
Of overstated misbegotten text.

The pieces are all there in scattered scrawl
Laid out before the gathering to weigh.
The gallant and outspoken breathing fire
As they beat their chests and cry for liberty.

Consensus fails to fill the room with glee
And harmony is but a poltergeist
Who manifests in vague chimeric veils
To dance and shift and gel to solid type.

And in the end their grand epiphany  
Befits the will of all who would be free.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Valhalla Awaits


The Ancients conceived and believed in the dream of
A golden land where the vanquished abide,
Those hero-inhabited hallowed halls,
          The splendor of Valhalla.
And the warrior weathers the
Flames of distress without fear or regret
For he knows in the end
His reward will surpass any
Wounds he may bear
As honor becomes his most trusted friend.

With valor and verve, he soars his spirit
To unnerving heights on rarefied air.
No task too consuming,
No quest out of question,
He fights the brave fight to
Defend what is fair.

He must not fail.
He will not fail.
This valiant sentinel of war.
And when his sword and shield shall rest
He strolls Valhalla forevermore.