Monthly Archives: June 2016

Breathing Ashes

Two hearts beat at opposite ends of the earth. One thuds slowly in the heat of the day while another races to sleep on a cold winter night. Human, they share the beat of a different rhythm.

Like minds stretch across continents to join a conversation of cosmic concern. One contemplates the trials of hunger while another struggles with life under fire. Human, they share the trials of life with an empathetic tone and open mind.

We share characteristics and chemicals the transcend borders and flags, but the words between us are garbled in the distance. I see you in plasma and pixels, I hear you in surround sound, but you must be more than an excerpt.

The currency and thick hands that strangle us are illusions, our blood is real, warm, and too precious to dye sidewalks and sand. Hate is the mirage that those crows caw and flap their wings at trying to stir up grit and thermal winds. If we stop for one second and look past their shiny feathers and listen to the silence we can share the wind and warm our souls, rather than scorch the earth.

I know your human, I know outside your temples, mosques, and churches you love me, I’m you, human and flesh. You can’t think of me as a person, then your dogma transgresses humanity. Silence those voices that scream and twist our humanity into a competition for an afterlife that rots in a tomb.

Now is important. You and I together can remove our amamah’s and ties, leave our books on the table, and share a meal to celebrate enlightenment from man and all his fears or greed. No one has, nor ever will, own this earth. We will all return to it and become one in the end.

Two dreamers hungry for the truth that we stand on. Feet firmly planted in souls instead of soil. We go unnoticed like the insects that forge their lives in the dirt. It’s important work, handshakes and smiles, kind words and thoughts, just two dreamers lucid and true.

Two souls dancing in a boreal existence. Colors and directions swaying between the realm of possibility and and the reality that the only places we’ll ever meet is within the wind as long as we breathe and within the earth when our ashes become dust.

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I sit in calm silence watching, listening
Branches sway and leaves rustle in the distance
Birds chirp above the distant vehicles rumbling.

This battle for my attention pulls at my intellect
Nature surrounds my soul interrupted by noise
Street sounds, mechanical babble, and human neglect

Sometimes it’s just rubber rolling on asphalt
The wind picks up and my senses return to a place
A place where only my DNA has dwelt

Moments of peace return
cardinals darting in the breeze
Red or grey flecked moments burn

And here i dwell between peace and prosperity
Wedged in a time without tense
Holding into what little still makes sense

Moments of Naïveté

I’m running through my life like scenes on a slide projector. I pause at the beauty of the rolling green fields surrounded by hedgerows and forest. Light shards bisect my path like narrow gorges of hope falling into an illuminated abyss of joy

Everything stops but my breath rolling like thunder beneath beads of sweat. I stand transfixed at the possibilities of love and fear embracing in a twisted affair of the heart that strangles the minds ability to discern good and evil.

The air is thick and humid with indecision as I realize it’s time to move on. The beauty of the moment has passed and now I smell the pungent grass and the rancid decay of insect infected stumps rotting unnoticed. The world feeds on unseen horrors.

Then a gentle breeze turns my sweat to a film of past glories. Yesterday’s love and conquest become the wind at my back gently encouraging my efforts to move towards a life of bliss in a world of storms. There are no good or bad, just life to live and enjoy.

I no longer stop at the site of a beautiful moment, but pause and smile and keep moving with the naïveté of youth. Life is to be lived, not observed, and the only way to enjoy this world is to know beauty when you see it, then leave it as it is for others to ignore.

Hello can be as enthralling as the stream falling in bends and turns through a moss covered gorge. It’s the aura of the moment that captures the spirit of humanity to halt or move our hearts to a rhythm that only love can flow.

Shadow Vets

Are Viet Nam and Korean era vets still sitting in the dark unnoticed. We need the truth about vet suicide and hyperbole like “22 a day”! We need this truth from the Veterans Administration, not these groups, organizations, or charities looking to start a business off the backs of service members.

I’m proud to have served with the Viet Nam era soldier as my leaders. The work we did to uphold and improve training, leadership, and morale over our careers set the stage for the “100 Day War” and subsequent wars in the Middle East. The success of these wars is a direct reflection of the “Viet nam era” soldier who stayed the course and became leaders in the Army.

After researching veteran suicides and PTSD in today’s headlines it seemed as though we were leaving these “vets” behind again. At first glance you’d think there was a serious recruiting problem with the numbers being thrown around. In reality many of these numbers are misleading and when that happens someone usually gets left behind.

Any veteran committing suicide is one too many. What war they fought in, or even if they didn’t fight, makes no difference. The military looks after their own no matter. Having said that, the stats from VA indicate the the majority of suicides are from soldiers around 50 to 70. Within that age group are “Viet Nam era” soldiers.

Our collective conscious is shaped by stories, news feeds, and documentaries surrounding “Post 9/11 service members. The hype created by folks out there starting organizations to participate in the economy of post war enterprise has many viewing suicide as an Iraq/Afghanistan war issue. As I noted earlier, it doesn’t matter where a service member served or with whom the served, they all deserve recognition and support. My fear is the Viet Nam and Korean War era soldiers are still out there feeling unwelcome in the narrative of post war mental health issues.

There are many voices out there discrediting the Veterans Administration Health Agencies. Their campaign is an attempt to get in on the post war health boon. Ill caution/solicit those service members that retired in the 90’s to remind other service members how privatizing our healthcare with Tri Care left us paying for the free health care we were promised in the 70’s.

Veterans have pride and don’t take hand outs well. We were trained to adapt and overcome. As Veterans we need to support our young service members by enlightening them, while not forgetting those that trained us and the struggles they live with.

The Viet Nam and Korean era soldier were largely ignored as veterans, and in some cases as soldiers performing their duties. I hope with the popularity of war today, the last of the WW11 soldiers, and the “special units” out there promoting themselves as “elite” we aren’t leaving many service members behind. The Korean and Viet Nam war veterans are largely left out of the suicide/PTSD conversation and seem to be left behind. Awareness is a 21st century buzzword, and those that know these service members know that they are a proud bunch who will “make do” before they bother other folks with their problems. They’ll take their problems silently to their graves and be proud of it, to our great shame.