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Friday, May 24, 2019

#MemorialDay #Veterans


Salute

The streets are lined again.
The crowd bustles about.
A few stores are open for patrons.
Children pull at their parents pants.
He takes it all in with grim determination,
the past enough far behind.

The assembly area is full of activity.
Organizers scurry about with a purpose.
For some it is there first,
for him, it is a lifetime of honor.

The clock approaches 10:00am.
The crowd becomes restless as children squirm.
Some stand by the curb for a good view.
Others are hoisted to shoulders.
Some sit on lawn chairs wondering why they came.
His eyes never waver from the street.

A gunshot is heard,
It marks the beginning of the festivities.
The shot makes him shudder.
He thinks back of youth lost,
He remembers the deep snow,
the hot tropics,
the smell of cordite.
He forces a tear back.

A cadence booms far away.
Is it the sound of gunfire,
or is it a lost memory?
His eyes strain to see the coming spectacle.

One by one, the lead cars slowly pass by.
He politely waves with acknowledging eyes.
The children jostle for the bits of candy tossed.
Moms and dads tousle with the little ones.
He pays them no mind,
for they are only children.
What do they know of the cost?

His hands gently move over his brass buttons,
making sure no wrinkles show.
His medals, all highly polished,
the Eagle shines brightly from his cover,
again, he fights a tear.

He knows why he came,
He knows the pain and the cost,
he was there.
He held men in pain,
he saw lives extinguished in a blink.
He fights back the memories,
the cries of help, the cries of sorrow,
the sounds of battle.
The memories are a heavy weight.

A toddler accidentally bumps into a wheel.
The chair wobbles just a bit.
He places a kind smile to the tot.
The child retreats to his parents.

There. There they are.
The sight of the banners fills him with pride.
He knows what it still stands for,
he knows the price of letting it blow.

The closer they approach,
the past creeps in with each perfect step.
St. Mere Eglise, Caen, Falaise, and Bastogne.
Was it only yesterday Joe fell, or was it Billy?
It matters not, for many followed them at:
Saigon, Khe Sanh, Hue, and TET.

He remembers the letters to parents of those who fell,
but never met: Tarawa, Tinian, Peleliue, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
He wears the pains of many with the medals.
They performed when called.
They shirked nothing, yet sacrificed all.

The memories almost overwhelm him with pride and grief.
A weathered hand gently pats his right hand.
“Sammy, are you ready?”
The voice is strong, yet comforting.
“Yes Martha.”

They are closer now.
He pushes the locks on the chair,
braces his hands and prepares to rise,
to pay tribute for those before and to come.
A tear slides down his weathered face.
A young voice is barely audible
as the banner becomes brighter and closer.
“Look mommy, that man is crying. Why?'
Her face turns a light scarlet.

They are ten meters and closing,
he summons the strength to stand.
He struggles to rise.
He must rise, he must pay tribute!
They are all his brothers.
He can no longer raise a rifle for safety,
he can only stand in honor for those fallen.
The effort becomes more difficult each passing year.

His strength fails when he needs it most.
He curses softly as his body fails.
They are only five meters away.
He must rise and stand!

Two young strong hands appear from the crowd.
Without a word, they lift him up,
ever standing vigil for balance.
He looks neither left or right,
but straight into the past.

The colors of the Armed Forces are now two meters away.
He straightens a crooked back,
adjusts his cover,
and with the forgotten strength of youth,
raises his right hand and salutes the colors.

The young men stop and return the salute.
The crowd stares in awed silence,
for the commander has stopped the parade.
They stand as straight as a pillar,
neither looking left or right.
The commander barks an order.
The men take one step forward,
and lower the colors.
They stand one meter from the old soldier.

The parade has stopped.
Organizers frantically run about,
the cause is unknown.
Then they see it.
It wasn't in the program,
but they feel something in the air.
Is it electricity or something more?

The commander barks another order.
The group returns a solid salute.
They salute the man and what he wears,
a small blue ribbon attached to a five point medal.

The young commander approaches his brother.
The street is hushed in silence as the words flow;
“Thank you, from a very grateful nation, General.”

He fights back the tears and the memories.
He fights for balance, yet the strong hands assist,
his weakened, aged limbs.
“No” comes a choked response.
“Thank you for remembering us.”
The tears pour freely.
The emotions of fallen comrades erupt as he weeps, never wavering
with his salute.
For an instant, life has become an eternity,
like a giant force, the crowd faces the men,
and without any prompting or fanfare,
apply and return the salute to the men.

The General slides back into the chair.
The squad returns to the street,
each deep in thought as their tears also fall.
Without a word, they proceed forward.
The parade resumes, but with a new force,
a force of arms, a force of purpose,
a force displaying pride and freedom.

It is Memorial Day for the fallen.
“Martha, till next year?”


Saturday, May 11, 2019

#Booksigning #Indie

Come join me at Half Price Books in Dallas, Texas Sunday, May 12th, from 1-3 pm. 
Address 5803 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231

Books on Hand
Loves's True Second Chance
Women of War
Life's Spectrum
Occupation
Sabotage
Gateway: Pioche
Destinations D.C.
Target: Berlin
Irving Titans

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#Rangers versus #Pirates

What is the Achilles' heel of the Rangers right now? Defense? Nope. That's solid. Offense? Nope They are scoring runs and hold their own. Starting pitching? Well, that goes without saying. it isn't the best line-up in the BIGS but it's serviceable. That leaves the bullpen. LeClerc. I understand Woodward showing confidence in these guys and letting them pitch out of jams, but with LeClerc, he consistently puts himself in a jam and costing the team games. Does he have he tools? Appears to. Does he exude confidence when he take the mound. I'll say yes. His problem is execution. He's not believing in his ability which leads to poor pitches and an even poorer results.I'll give him five more save opportunities before Woodward makes a move if he can't seal the deal. Other than that, the Rangers are performing way above projections and expectations.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

#TexasRangers #MLB #Baseball

I don't know what Woodward has told this group of players, but it's working. I know it's early and a lot of things can happen, but he is keeping the Rangers in an excellent position to keep competing. Who would have thought that this patchwork team would be this good? Not I. Odor, Guzman and Volquea are out. It doesn't matter. Sampson, Wisdom, Pence and Stanton are picking up the slack. That is the sign of a good manager.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

#TexasRangers #MLB

Who watched the A's/Rangers game? If you, how many thought Woodward would be on a suicide squeeze? I almost texted a friend to watch for it. You have Santana on 3rd, 2 outs with DeShields at the plate. You just got the feeling they were going to try it and they did. I was surprised Oakland didn't at least have the 3rd baseman coming down the line with each pitch, but then again, what are the odds of if happening in that situation? That is why it was a brilliant play. I'll admit I wasn't sure about Woodward becoming the manager but so far he seems to have a level head as he tries to piece this team together. We'll know more at the end of May where this team is headed.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Angelic Answers on Sale

For a limited time, Kathryn Magee's book, Angelic Answers Love Letters for Daily Life is only $.99!  This is a great work for spiritual rejuvenation and dealing with the trials of everyday life. It makes a great gift for some one you know is hurting and needs a helping hand. 

Click on the link below and get your copy today!

Angelic Answers

Friday, January 18, 2019

Radio Interview Press Release

It's been a month in the making but it's finally going to happen I will be featured on CUTV radio program with Jim Masters next week, January 22nd 4pm EST. 

Click on the link for the press releaseCUTV Radio Interview  

Looking forward to hearing from everyone! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Poetry for women who have served in the armed forces


One of the poems from "Women of War"


The Picture

How many times have I looked at it?
I’ve carried it around all these years,
The edges are frayed and worn,
The image is faded.
We were so young once,
and happy!

You were so stunning in your uniform
I wore my mother’s wedding dress,
something borrowed, something blue.
We never thought our
time would stop.

As I write this, I remember the songs from those carefree days:
“Seasons in the Sun,”
“Slow Dancing,”
“He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Tears cascade onto the paperwork. They are joyful remembrances, not sorrow.

You talked of coming back and being a rodeo star!
“Amarillo by Morning” just finished playing. It takes my breath away.

When I imagine you in a tight pair of wranglers and your worn cowboy hat.
My God, you were so handsome !...and then you were called up.

We put our lives on hold until you came back. But you didn’t. You couldn’t.
My life was so empty until our son entered the world.
I promised myself, he would know you, if only in spirit.

I held many jobs and never regretted a one. They kept us fed, clothed and sheltered
Times were hard and some days I didn’t think I could go on, but I had to.
For you, Jack Jr and myself.
God, how I miss you!

When James came into my life,
I was scared to death.
Over time he assured me
he would accept me, Jack Jr and your memory into his house.

With time, I slowly relaxed and let him bring down the walls I thought were sheltering me from more hurt.

I knew I was with the right man when he sat me and Jack Jr down,
“Jack, would it be all right if I married your mom? But, before you answer,
would you ask your dad too?”

I must have sobbed for an hour when Jack beamed up and said
“Daddy and I agree. You will make a great father to me and the best husband Mom could find.”

Many times our children, would catch me at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of coffee, cradling The Picture and crying.

Seldom did they intrude. Rather, they look to Jack and James for guidance and an explanation. The reply was always the same, “Mother is having a moment. Give her time and she’ll be back.”

“What is she holding in her hands that makes her so sad?”
“Someday, you’ll have to ask her. But not today.”

I never let on I heard them talking about me
I would pull myself together and place the photo back in
my pocketbook and return to the present.

Twenty years passed. We were as happy as a family could be. James and I supported them in all their endeavors whether they be: sports, arts or academics.

James planted a garden under my kitchen window, with different colored roses for each family member. That lush purple one? That’s you.

The day Jack Jr graduated from high school I was left breathless. When he walked across the stage I saw him standing by your side smiling and then you looked up and waved at me. 

When we came home I cried for an hour. Jack Jr. and James walked into the kitchen and sat at the table. They both placed a hand on mine, holding The Picture.

Jack squeezed my hand. “Mom, I felt him, too.”

I sobbed uncontrollably. “James I’m so sorry. After all these years, it shouldn’t affect me like this. I’m so sorry.”

He wiped a few tears from my face; brushed a few tear-soaked strands of hair away, then looked deep in my eyes. “Sweetheart, we all love you.”

I tremble as the love of this man fills me with strength.
He hasn’t replaced you, but he has planted a garden in my heart, once empty and barren. 

The kids are all grown and have lives of their own. James passed a few years back, but then I think you knew that.

I see my life flash by, a lush garden that grew from love.

I reach up, turn off the lamp, cradle your picture and take my final breath.

I’m coming home. 

copyright@2018 LDDJ Enterprises Publishing