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Monday, April 7, 2014

Women of the Armed Forces

I've started work on the second book of poetry. I'm going to dedicate an entire section to the women who served in the armed forces. I believe it will focus around the gals who suffered through the Vietnam War. We always think of the men who served and died, but what of the ladies. Many served in the Army, Navy and AirForce as nurses or aid workers. They did the jobs men wouldn't or couldn't do. They gave as much to the conflict as the men who faced the enemy. They were the ones who tried to patch up battered bodies and shattered souls. They listened to men recount their horrors as they slept. We never hear how they coped with the nightmares the wounded or dead filled their minds with.
And what of the ones left home wondering and waiting for their loved one to return home?

I believe it's high time they were honored. I hope I do them all justice.

Last Plane Out

I’d made the trip
More times than I can count.

I always wanted to travel and
See the world.
I never realized how traumatic
It would be.

Seven thousand miles back and forth.

We were the buffer to the
nightmares they all hid.

Pain welled my soul as they
Recounted their tales of fallen
brethren; in their sleep.

Cries of battle filled the metal
For some it was an escape from hell,
For many, it was a casket in disguise.

My colleagues and I would whisper
Trying to understand, why they did it.
It all seemed so senseless; the waste of
America’s youth.

I wanted to console each one,
Tell them it was going to be okay,
But their young, worn, haggard faces and
hollow eyes told a story we’d never understand
Until the final flight.

We were pulling out. They boys had given everything,
But it all seemed in vain.

The jungles and country were littered with their
Friends—comrades; broken dreams and bodies.
They’d given all for God and Country.
But for what? Freedom? Democracy? Victory?

We sat on the tarmac waiting. Waiting for what?

I looked out the small window, shocked!
Medics, nurses and doctors were scrambling around a bus.
One by one they reappeared, each carrying a small package.
What were they cradling with such compassion?
What could be so important? Why were we told to hold-and-wait?

One by one, they dropped their precious cargo in seats,
or removed a row, replacing them with small open containers.

Tears filled my eyes with the realizations of why

the boys had fought and died—children.

Copyright@2014 LDDJ Enterprises Publishing 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ever wonder why life didn't follow the path you mapped out? When Debbie died in 2009 I was devastated. In 1990, I lost my partner to liver cancer. 2005 my father to angiosacrcoma and then Debbie to breast cancer. I couldn't help wondering, why was I there to watch those I loved be devoured by this deadly disease.  The answers I desperately sought revealed themselves a year later when I was recuperating from back surgery. I was there when they needed me the most. When I realized why, I sat down and chronicled the last twenty-five years trying to put the pieces together, attempting to understand why I was traveling this difficult path.

Instead of just writing down what I learned, I turned it into a speech, with music and videos This is the opening few minutes

If you too have wondered why your life didn't exactly follow the path you laid out, perhaps there's another force driving your bus: Why Did Everything Happen?