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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As many know, yesterday was Veteran's Day in  the United States. I've written many poems over the past few year, detailing for the most part, American Veterans. I'm going to take a stab at writing for our countries veterans, whether they be German, British, Russian or French. All countries have veterans who have also sacrificed all for different causes. Death has stalked families across the globe for the advancement of ideals, glory, riches and land. Other were thrust into conflicts to preserve their way of life. The following a tribute for those who clung to the banks of the Volga during the dark days of October-November 1942. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

They, Called it Hell
As I child, I remember her cool waters.
We and Ivan would dance and play,
with Rowina and Sasha.
Our days were filled with wonder and beauty.
The dark blue skies gave us,
Humble residents hope and joy.
The sun’s rays would warm the cool air,
glistening with untold strength,
to the might river, where we frolicked.

It seems so long ago.

Mine and Ivan’s eyes have grown cold and weary,
We longer think of skating on her vast
mountains of ice.
We no longer remember the endless days,
 lying with  Sasha and Rowina.
Instead, we can only see death.
It stalks at every corner.
There is no place to hide.
We warm ourselves with pitiful fires.
We eat what few rations,
Journey across her breadth.

She is the lifeblood for our salvation.
Every day is a challenge to survive.
Order are give and followed.
Fewer and fewer of us return,
But she keeps feeding the carnage.

When will it stop?

Surrender isn’t an option.
Our struggle must end in victory.
The once proud city is no longer,
a teeming metropolis.
The trams stopped operating months ago.
The citizens left, huddle in the oppressive
piles of rubble.
How they live, I do not know or care.
A tear with no emotion, trickles down my
dirt encrusted face.
I watch the bodies and debris ebb and flow
with her currents.
The stench of death brings an unknown comfort.
For in death, there is no pain, no terror, no missions,
Just peace.

To ache for it would be criminal. Too many have perished
at the hands of the aggressors.
They brought this unwanted war. They raped our land, our
women, our crops, our livestock.
They’ve burned our villages, shelled our cities, killed our children,
rounded up our old.

Ivan, Sasha, Rowina and I must fight. We must live to destroy
the invaders.
We will avenge the deaths of our comrades.

We will kill them in their sleep, when the walk,
When the drink, when the snipe.
Yes, we kill them without remorse or thought.
We will shed no tears as they fall
like sticks in the wind.
We trample them as one would a wounded
animal; no remorse or feeling.

They have hardened our hearts,
They have taught us how to fight.
They have taught us how to kill.
We have learned the lessons well.

The order to move comes.
We pick check our weapons of death:
Scopes, stock, bullets, barrel, bolts.
We are ready. We are ready to hunt
the sticks; riding them from our land.

We all stand, looking at the might Volga,
remembering a distant stolen past.

It is time. It is time to remind them
why They ,call it Hell!

Copyright@2013 LDDJ Enterprises Publishing 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Today is Memorial Day in the States, where we honor those gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. But many times we overlook our Allies: Canada, Great Britain, Russia, France, Poland, Holland, Norway, Belgium, and yes, Germans and Japanese fought along side of the allied forces. Sixty-nine years ago those countries put aside their difference and combine to launch the largest amphibious invasion the world ever witnessed. This a tribute to all the veterans who took part in D-Day, June 6,1944.


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 it there first,
For him, it is a lifetime of honor.

The clock approaches 10:00am,
The crowd become 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 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 not minds,
for they are only children.
What do they know of the cost?

His hands gently move over his brass buttons,
making sure no creases show.
The medals are 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.

He smiles at a small toddler,
who accidentally bumps into a wheel.
The chair wobbles just bit.
He places a kind smile to the tot.
The child retreats to his parents.

There, there they are.
The sight of the banners fill 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, Falaisese, 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 remember 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 on his right.
"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 small tear slides down the 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 become 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 return the salute,
and then stop.
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 the electricity in the air.
Is it electricity of something more?

The commander barks another order.
The group return 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.
"No" comes a chocked 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,
for 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 slowly (with help),
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?"
Copyright@2011 LDDJ Enterprises Publishing

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yes, the system has passed us by, but it's bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard. For those who haven't heard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, two years ago they were hit by a storm just as devastating as the tornado which slammed into Moore, Ok. two days ago.
I want to share this article concerning Oklahoma. For those familiar with the perils of living in "Tornado Alley," it's a great perspective which can also be applied to Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. I'm in no way undermining the other states which have been ripped by "Mother Natures" fury. Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama and even New York and Conneticut have been hit.

Have a safe day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life in Tornado Alley

Good morning folks, Until this massive system has dealt its last blow, I won't be posting any promo's or  book reviews. Growing up in Tulsa, Ok. and helping on some clean-ups in the past, I know how violent these storms are. Jarrod,Tx. Wylie-Sachse,Tx. Dallas,Tx. Moore,Ok, Tulsa,Ok, Joplin,Mo. Tuscallossa, Ala, Seagoville,Tx. and the list goes on. I thought about posting some pics, but the media has that well in hand.

If you are a follower and live anywhere between Dallas/FT.Worth to Chicago, Illinois and fifty miles either side of this line, you are in the danger zone today. My greatest fear during this time of season is how focused people become on only the areas the Weather Channel or local meteorologists are with the "high risk" areas. Yes, those are the most volatile, but that doesn't mean the rest of the areas are safe. Do not be fooled and do not let your guard down. The entire area is at risk. Just because you don't see storm chasers or hear watches and warning in your area, does it mean the all clear has been sounded.

I'm reminded of a tornado that touched down SE of Dallas in 92 or 93. The family and I lived in Kaufman (25 miles SE of Dallas). I spent the day doing lawn work and auto repairs. The skies were not nearly as threatening as the current system.The wind was blowing out of the South all day. Moisture and humidity levels were reasonably stable. I had no idea what was going on NE of us. Point is, do not be lackadaisical and complacent. They can erupt anytime, anywhere. Stay vigilant and alert.

For those of you who live east of this powerful system, Ken. Tenn, Ohio, Lou, Miss, Ala, Fla, Carolinas, Virginias, and all other states; slowly but surely, the system will start trekking eastward. What happened in Moore,Ok is coming your way.

Be safe my friends.

Monday, May 20, 2013

This a public service message. The following link is a live feed of the tornadic activity in  Oklahoma. If anyone who follows this blog is the area, please take shelter. The tornado that just hit Moore is reminiscent of the one which hit Moore in 1999. Please, take shelter. Mother nature is fooling around today. For all of those no in Oklahoma, be advised, this system is stretching from Dallas, Texas in Lake Superior. The next five to six hours are going to be very rough. Please, turn on your radios, tv's, I-pads, tablets, whatever you have and stay up-to-date. This is very powerful and dangerous system.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This week I wanted to spotlight authors who have served in the armed forces. I thoroughly enjoyed their stories.

SAT &BAF! Tales of a Tower Rat
Since I read both of his books, we start with Doug Depew. He was in the army during the turbulent 80’s. His job: security at a Pershing Site. For those of you in Germany, it is a great tale with no fluff or imaginary stories. According to Doug , the town the site was stationed at was very excited to here he’d written a memoir for not just his comrades, but also of the wonderful people he met during his stay.

Recall: Return of the IRR
His second work takes on a whole different flavor. After serving his tour, he hoped he wouldn’t have to go back. Not the case. The papers he signed with Uncle Sam stated, “if we need you again, we’ll come a calling.” And that is what they did. Imagine starting a career, ready to join the world of commerce and then get a call that all of your plans have changed. Needless to say, he wasn’t really excited about not being able to finish his training in the recording business, getting in shape and having to go through all the fun of boot camp again. Despite his life being put on hold and severely disrupted, in the end, the path he ventured on turned out to be a godsend. We never know what doors will open until we walk through them.

Bringing the Thunder
Our second author is Mr. Gordon Bennett Robertson Jr. He recounts his days of training and flying the largest bomber of his day: The B-29 Superfort. This is a nonsensical story of all thirty-five missions he flew. Some are exciting while others are not. That is the beauty of the story. Just the facts. I can not imagine being in a bomber for sixteen hours at a stretch.

Blood on Red Dirt
Do you have an interest in Vietnam memoirs? If so, Gary Cowarts’s recollections of those difficult days in the war that should have never happened is a compelling recount of his adventures. Unlike Mr. Mason’s “Chicken Hawk,” this is an upfront personal account. Mr. Cowart is inducted and assigned to an artillery battery. He finds the work exciting and challenging. He respects the grunts on the frontline, but has no problem with his position in the rear. If he can make their lives easier by wiping out the enemy with 105’s , life is good. But fate has a funny way of throwing him into the front lines on a clean-up mission with dire consequences. An excellent story!

Siegfried Knappe is our guest author this week. He provides the insight of a German soldier thrown into the depths of mother Russia as a tank driver. He holds nothing back in describing the failed attack at Sevastapol and the fear of being overrun by Rokossovky’s T-34’s during Operation Uranus. Excellent insight from a soldier called to perform his duty. 

After reading the above works, one will appreciate that no matter what army you served with, there is a common thread between men who serve. They weren’t mired down in politics or the ideals of the country they fought for, they were concerned with the men standing to their left or right: their comrades in arms.

One final note, a good friend of mine lost a close family member. Wallace Russell passed on 5-13-2013. While I didn’t know him long, his take on the war and life will leave a lasting impression. The following is my tribute to him and the millions of men who fought in WWII.


Her steel decks glistened,
In the Virginia sunlight.
The call to arms,
Was a distant sound.
She patrolled the Atlantic,
Dodging U-boats and planes.
She moved through the canal,
Scraping paint and steel.
The mighty Pacific would be her home.
December 7, she rested no more.
Wally answered the call,
Like many of his day.

They boarded the decks,
Prepared to fight the Japs.

The captain said, “American Samoa.”
American what? Where? When?
“And then the Gilberts and Marshalls.”
Gilbert—Sullivan? Glenn—Miller?
“Guys, sounds like a grand time.”

The claxon sounds disrupting the boredom,
“Man battle stations,
Enemy aircraft approaching.”
We ask no questions,
we answer the call.
“All hands to battle stations,
This is not a drill!”

The smoke cleared,
The danger passed.
We breathe a sigh of relief.
Back to Pearl for replenishment.

“Men, next stop Coral Sea.”
Coral what? Where? Why?
“All hands to battle stations.”
She dances on the calm sea,
Avoiding the white tails of death.

We fire fast and furious.
One by one the planes fall.
“Be careful of the boys flying CAP!”
We aim straighter and tighter,
Splash one, splash two, splash…
Thunder and smoke drown our voices.
“Damage control to lower decks!”

Sixty-six dead,
Scores wounded.
A dreadful baptism of fire.
The day was ours,
But the cost?

Back to Pearl,
Replacements, supplies, repairs,
And a needed leave.

“All hands back on board.
Midway is in peril.”
We know the score,
We know the cost,
We know we must fight!

The air fills of tension,
They’re coming, we’re ready.
Despite our efforts,
The battle is shifting,
Scratch three Jap flattops.

The victory is short lived.
She takes one in the stack.
The smell, the carnage of,
diesel, flesh and death.

Boilers down,
Flight deck smashed.
Fragments of comrades stuck on bulkheads,
Planes smoldering, ammunition exploding.
Chaos should reign,
But calm and resolve fill us.
“We will go down fighting!”

The end is near. The day is won,
But the loss is high.
She was my home,
She was my piece of the war,
 As the sun fades, the mighty lady,
succumbs to the sea.
I salute her, one final time.

Closing my eyes for the final salute,
  I join the minds of my comrades,
   submitting my soul to God.

Wallace Russell.
RIP 5-12-2013
                                                    Jeff Dawson @2013 LDDJ ENTERPRISES PUBLISHING

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I know I'm supposed to be posting book reviews, but I couldn't help sharing this. Tim Greaton brought it to my attention in a tweet this morning. Those are the trailers for the book Vaempires: Revolution by Thomas Winship. Yes, that is the correct spelling for they are a mutated version of the creatures. Seriously, check this stuff out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good morning to all. The next feature will be from some talented writers who served in the armed services. While compile the tribute, I wanted to give a "shout out" for the upcoming event in Dallas,Texas. The company which designed the new t-shirt is hosting an event for Independent Artists May 25th. Here's the link: Very appropriately named: INDIE in the Big D.

With that out of the way, let's throw a little humor in the mix. This is an excerpt from the critically acclaimed, "Goober and Bill." Maybe not so critically acclaimed. Can't win 'em all.
Yes, this is a picture of me and my youngest, Shawn. Enjoy our adventures! Are they true? Well......

Goober and Bill
Part One

Goober is preparing to embark on an evening of wonderment and excitement. His first date in thirty- five years! What an accomplishment. One would think that the father would be proud that his son has finally taken some initiative and is going to venture out of the house at age twenty-five. Wrong! Bill has endured his son for so long that the last
thing he wants is some twinkle toed little girl to seduce his son and take away the father’s errand boy and housekeeper.

For years, Bill has badgered his son to get out of the house and see what life has to offer. Goober would wave his hand with a dismissive flick and mumble, “Old man, worry about yourself,” then walk into his room and slam the door. “Old man,” the dad would yell out. “Old man!" Bill yells out. "One day son, I will show you the meaning of “Old man.” He could hear words coming from behind the door that weren't discernible, but he knew what the son was saying.

Date night is rapidly approaching. Bill believes he has a fool-proof plan in place and the date his son is so looking forward to, crashes and burns. Not many words have been spoken through the week other than the customary salutations:

Goober to Bill, “Old Man, Crabby, Grumpy, Smelly,”
Bill to Goober, “Idiot, Stupid, Lazy, Moron”
Yes, can you feel the love?

The day of the Goober's date arrives. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Goober has not been able to save up enough cash for his own wheels and dad knows he will be asking for the truck keys. Hey, it's not like the son hasn't been working hard. Going to school, working out ,and umpiring for extra cash. Irrelevant. If the boy would have ventured out at an early age, dad would gladly have opened the door and slammed it as the boy went down the sidewalk. But that day has come and gone. He had his chance and there is no escape! Or so dad thinks.

It does not look good for the son. The son has detected the building tension and shrugs it off as “old man crabbiness.” Little does he know that a fatal show down is lurking just around the corner. The boy will not get out of the house without a fight!

The night arrives. Bill is watching a baseball game. Goober is milling about as If he has some type of nervous condition. His constant puttering has gone on long enough.
“Boy, sit down and quite pacing around like a stray cat but while you're up, bring me a beer." Goober stops for a moment, stares at his dad and very and I mean very begrudgingly goes to the refrigerator to obtain the desired cold beverage. As he grabs the can the following thoughts worm through his brain, “if that old man doesn't give me his truck keys, I am going to open a can and then stomp a mud hole in him.”

The requested beverage is delivered without mishap. Bill pops the top without thanking the son (Hell, it's his job to bring the beer anyway), and settles in for the game.
Goober believes the moment is right and asks for the truck keys. Dad responds with a small quiet laugh. He looks at the boy and replies, “not on your best day. You aren't going anywhere. Enjoy the game or go to your room. You are interrupting the peace and quiet.” Most sons' might actually listen to their father's wishes, but not this time. The son stands up and demands the keys. “Look old man, I brought you a beer, cut the grass, and I have a date. So give me the keys or I'll stomp a mud hole in you!”

Bill is not impressed with the outburst but is more disturbed that the ball game is being interrupted by his son's outburst. He slowly gets out of his chair, reaches deep into the pockets and removing the keys He looks down at the keys, slowly raises his head, looks his son in the eyes( a small smile is creeping into the corners of his face) raises the hand that holds the keys and speaks. “Son, I guess you deserve this tonight.” He holds out the keys with his left hand. Goober makes a move to retrieve them. What he didn't see is Bill's right hand (with the bottle of beer) heading pell-mell towards his face. Dad's fast moving right hand splits the Goober's lip wide open. The son replies with a strategic shot into the left knee, dislocating the old man’s left knee that had been repaired twenty years ago from a roller skating accident. Old men roller skating. Must have a hover round ring.

They evaluate the wounds and how the next round will be played.

Time for a score card. Bill 0, Goober 0

They both take a seat on the couch. The son is in insistent on the truck keys. Dad
delivers a short jab to the abdomen, which in turn is answered by a knee to the forehead.

Score is still deadlocked at 0.

Preparing to speak, Goober interjects that he has no intention of marrying this girl (I caution the reader to remember that it is very possible the son has studied the manual
concerning picking up girls. Remember the Warning…Warning chapter three of
“Unmarried with Children”. Bantam Books 1998 by Herr Dawson. Found in fine grocery
stores everywhere). Lost track. Ah yes, let us assume the son has read that chapter. Dad has, he wrote the book! Goober is just going out on a date.

Bill starts laughing hysterically at the thought of his son just going out on a date and slumps over faking a heart attack. As the son leans over to assist him, he is met with a wicked uppercut that jars his senses to the moon. Bill, feeling he has gained a point and the upper hand, stands over him triumphantly (more like hobbles with the damaged left knee) thinking he has delivered a knockout blow. As he is about to pat himself on the back, a burning sensation is felt in his groin and is progressing rapidly to white flashes in his eye. Temporary blindness can be a very frightening thing. The son reiterates (while rubbing his sore jaw), that all he wants to do is grab a burger (the word fur is mysteriously left out) and catch a movie with her.

Current score. 1-1.

Copyright@2011 LDDJ Enterprises Publishing

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Good morning. It’s been a very busy week what with promotions and preparing for the 5k Vampire run tonight at Fair Park in Dallas,TX. Enough excuses, let’s jump right in, shall we?

The Hunt, by Linell Jeppsen. This is one of those books you scratch your head and wonder why in the world it isn’t leading the pack. Linell places her novel in Washington State (long before Stephanie Myer did). She has a wonderful voice and paints a very dark, descriptive story in the fog shrouded forests of the Northwest. You can taste and feel the scenes. A brilliant work!

Bloodline I, by Drew D’Amoto is something different. This is more of a history of the development of vampires. The best part of the work is how it is a narrative. It provides the reader with a sense of sitting in and writing the autobiography of an active vampire. Very entertaining work. I believe there is a second one in the series. When time permits, I’ll be reading it.

Shrouds of Darkness, by Brock Deskins. This is a chilling tale. Instead of a Mexican cartel, we have a vampire cartel set up in the heart of the “Big Apple.” What happens when a Guardian uncovers the technological plot to control the world? Well, the action never stops. I suggest this to those who enjoy a good faced paced thriller.

Let's throw one in for the YA crowd. Don't want anyone to feel left out. 
Bound by Blood, by Cynthia Eden. Another gripping tale for the younger crowd that like falling in love with vampire or werewolves. What makes this different is how our undead ones are forced to unite to fight the demons of hell. How's that for a plot line? 

Bloodskies, by Steve Montano. I'll say this much, the descriptions in the book are at times phenomenal. Maybe a little overdone at times, but still, this is very dark,dark read. You will actually believe you are sloshing through the thick morbid landscape which was once planet Earth. 

Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Enough said. He set the bar for the genre and writing style!

If you like what you read, feel free to like the review. 

UPDATE: We had a great time at the 5k run. No, I didn’t run one foot. Stayed and manned the booth with two great helpers. I would be walking around mingling with the folks and one of the helper decided to walk behind me with a poster over my head. It generated a lot of interest. Most thought the posters were a band. Nope, a book. A good time was had by all!
Stay tuned for upcoming events in Dallas. Will be doing another signing on May 25. 

Have a great week!