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101st Airborne In broken building’s barricade,
a rest from war’s eternal call,
on foreign soil my feet have trod
to pause me here, beside this wall.
Where great the lives of past have dwelt,
whose thoughts imagined, curious,
to bless mankind with creative hands,
or debate life’s truths in furious
banter and gesture strong,
with passioned art and voice,
and so propel God’s gifts to man
as just and right in human choice.
Today, the battle rages,
with cost to life in wrongs thought right.
Today, by wall in broken hall,
the battle calls to stand and fight,
the fight of freedom, truth and life
that faces a black oppression,
by men who seek to force their will
upon the weak without concession.
Tho’ my life may end here,
away from home and those I love,
my choice, my right, my duty’s here,
to ensure the liberty of those I…
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Atop the knoll where cannons keep
a watch for those here lain,
I cast my eyes ‘cross this expanse
of hills where once stood grain.
In aging testimony,
this hallowed ground is turned bone white,
an endless sea of crosses roll
through oaks and summer’s light.
A gentle whisper calls a tune
in timeless, ageless memories,
thus stirs the oak and ash to grant
a moment’s cooling breeze.
The summer’s heat peaks weariness
across my furrowed brow,
yet begs I cross the distance
to feel the hearts around me, now.
To count the rows and call the names
through every battle fought,
to share the living knowledge gained
these wounded hearts have wrought.
Bone white and worn, fading names,
others only numbered souls
lost to season’s secret,
held here ‘tween the oaks and knolls.
‘Tis sad, this lengthened journey,
when reach the distant rows,
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Once upon a battlefield
I stood where heroes fell,
where brothers, sons and lovers paused
to hear death’s tolling knell.
Once upon an open sea
I sailed where deep remain
the bodies of courageous men
who, by war were sadly slain.
Once upon the azure blue
I drifted through the crimson cloud
where valiant fighters dealt with death
to die alone in sullen shroud.
I’ve felt the moments summoned.
I’ve seen the grave despair.
I’ve witnessed every breath so gained
and every soul laid bare.
I’ve shed a tear not meant for me,
but for the uncaressed
that ne’er again felt warmth of love
before their final rest.
To their souls my prayer,
my honor and my truth,
that they be blessed eternal,
and blessed in memory’s youth!
Beneath the gentle dew of spring, I wait…
Resolved to yearning, lengthening my patience in this state…
Droplets hold their morning spark, all my world reflected here,
as sunbursts gain corona gold, horizon’s azimuth waxing near…
Aaahhh! This rush! Beckoned by returning day,
stands my leaflets, once reposed, called into the sun to play.
Ah! This breath of dawning glory!
Ah! This heart in season’s fold.
Teaching me another story of winter’s whisper aging old…
In stretching bliss, my passion this, one fleeting push through softened soil,
in dew drop’s sparkled smile on me, my heart bursts glad in how I’m spoiled…
photo courtesy public domain
The years upon themselves will close,
once folded then unfolded,
as unaged born, to ageless turns,
through aging’s twining scolded.
Through years of moment’s pleasures,
grafted to the ether’s breath,
whispered dreams in flags of prayer,
escape the truth of death.
When just the pyre’s ash remains,
when autumn’s hushing gently stirs,
when absence seems too stark to hold,
life’s long red thread endures.
Stitched through laughter’s echo,
knotted through a true love’s seam,
hung as memory’s bunting,
graces truths we’re left to dream.
For these will not escape us,
born free above what ash remains,
as time reclaims its holdings,
these memories, this life sustains.
for Judy Arterburn (July 25, 1944 – January 5, 2016)
Bend the moment upon me.
Steer my heart to mend my soul.
Force the truth to boldly stand that I may feel its hold.
What of this hate enflamed in cause that steals the youth from ancient lives?
What merciless torture waits beyond the face of hatred’s eyes?
I stand in solidarity, but frozen to this day remain.
Can I not move to change the fabric of what this hatred’s lain?
Are words in rage and anger torn upon this page enough?
Is something deep within this well rising ‘gainst the rough
and calloused turn of man that through his selfish rage is born?
Is there nothing here to stem this growth of ancient hatred sworn?
My God! My God! What is this hell that from this heaven’s shore is breached?
Can love return upon the soil where blood was spilled, by God beseeched?
No faith I’ve lost, believe me, but how I can stand still
when through the acts of cowardice we’re forced another bitter pill?
Love, I cry, it’s love say I, that stems the hatred left in wake,
but seems to drift to hollow halls that such these shadows make.
So I pray… for peace,
for some greater understanding,
for hope of resurrection born from all our souls, demanding.
In honor of 7-December 1941 and all of the young men and women who gave of themselves and sacrificed so much to protect our freedom, I wanted to re-share this post from 2012 for all of you.
Please take a moment to pay tribute….
In the Field –
I’ve joined the fight to do what’s right
in aid of land and liberty.
I’ve stood my soul from head to toe
to fight as men who’re free,
Through mountains insurmountable
and trials that no man should know,
I hold my creed to do what’s right
that through it all this truth will show –
“God bless the loved ones of my home,
relieve their worry and their fear.
Grant them peace in knowing
that we fight as free men here.
Protect my brothers beside me,
bless their step that they’ll not fall.
Grant compassion’s wisdom,
that they’ll do right when anger calls.
Find me in your vision,
grant me strength when I’m alone.
Guide my hand with wisdom
that I may carry truth back home.
Forgive injustice when it’s played,
grant me strength to forgive in same,
that if You call for me here,
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Another own for Halloween! Enjoy!
Softened shadows follow me
between the temporal poles of light
as dawn is echoed hauntingly,
reflected in this dusk, this night.
Yet heartfelt scent
on whispers lent
does bathe each silent moment spent,
that stands me breathing sparingly
amidst this hallowed fright.
The footsteps in the corridor,
in pensive creaks and strain,
bear the question still once more,
“who’s there?” in feared refrain.
The words once said
thus beckon moans from one long dead,
that freeze me at the bedroom’s door
in pounding heart and vein.
Long the silence holds me still,
afraid to move or breathe,
as courage seeks to gain my will
and from this frigid posture leave.
Yet curiously held
by what befell
the one who moans beyond death’s knell,
I wait in silent pause until
I hear the voice in heaves.
“Tis time immortal spent in haunt,
a penance price, my dues,
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Worthy of another visit…
Spirit’s heart at horizon’s length,
‘neath azure skies that strike the sound
of echoed desert silence,
does rise in rhythm, call in strength
to speak no lies and bless the ground
with feet so drummed, no violence.
Expanse of land and eagle’s call,
draws canyon’s echo above, below,
so still the morning air –
plunge to valley’s depth in fall,
feather swept in roll to show
the fabric of all living there.
Yet great expanse, by nature’s hand,
grounds the very soul of me –
blends me insignificant,
yet carries tall the truth I see.
This balance here, all I’ve sought.
This fabric found in passion’s tones,
bleaching red and grey in sum,
culling canyon’s echoed heart
and where imaginations run,
so in holds this lesson taught –
“We stand amidst these finer things
of nature’s truth and simple love.
We, but moment’s beating heart
to draw it in and…
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