Mulberry Trees

I think of you,

Through the mulberry trees,

Low and deep,

Like your love for me,

Berries as full as your lips,

Seeds as hard as your words,

The sweetness of your touch,

Drips down my lips,

Like the blood of a bully,

Who has done too much,

I lay under you,

And you shade me

From rays determined to darken my face,

I pluck the best parts of you,

From callous fingers red and blistered,

That strum taut strings,

That gives your voice its cadence to ring,

When your branches are bare,

And has lost all its fruit to share,

I’ll till the weeds that cross your feet,

Waiting til winter’s edge encounters its spring defeat,

And think of you through the mulberry trees,

Where the sun sits low,

And the moon begins to sing.

Ashes

The smoldering of ashes,

Once bright and dim,

Now frail and brittle like life’s little wind,

A monument built upon the backs of dirt,

A breeze assaults in,

Flanking to scatter what little respect we’ve hoarded,

We love what we do not know,

And grieve for things we dare not show,

Like a blow shocking and riveting,

We clutch to save the breath

That escapes through crevices of night’s summer’s edge,

The things we once gave our lives to,

Are bled through tunnels of false imprisonments:

Searching like a miner’s light to ores of redemption,

We dig till our fingers are bare of innocence,

While succession waves like a flag of pride;

Bowing firm to our dripping obedience,

Towards traditions drowned in puddles of hate,

Like a man in no man’s land,

We dig trenches to shelter us from the shelling of our dissonance,

As shells are washed away by the Fogginess of our cognitivism,

As the Salmon returns to the streams of birth,

We are ready to mate with elusiveness,

Burning the vestiges,

Until they become ashes,

Settling.

Monet

Like the brush of a Monet,
You are loose,
But your colors are not as honest,
Bright as you may be,
You bleed indiscriminate,
I painted you well,
A masterpiece some may say,
Captured your beauty in an artistic haze,
Reds become golds,
Blues fold into bands of judgements,
Whispers of delusions,
Canvas all that you are:
Unfinished and unrepentant,
Unmoving and dependent,
Hands littered with the casualties of making you beautiful,
Lines become blurred with impatience;
Naked with prudence,
Visions betrayed by the tinkering of emotions relayed,
Fingers moving with a hint of fidelity,
Until you are everything I think you are.

UndoneĀ 

How many men did he see,

Come beaten down after a tussle with insanity,

Who took refuge from love coming undone,

And the unwebbing of tightly coiled ego,

Frayed and twisted in a such a way,

That a prayer to God couldn’t save his fate,

Such a day laid in wait,

Where blues and golds sprung to stifle his gait,

An assault of conscience,

A ruse of pain,

A bitter sword

Left to strike its bane,

Streams whispering of currents anew,

As the battered soul trudges on with a betrayal

Of taunt and sinew,

And there he laughs glee as the spring’s morn;

The stillness as it quakes under the light’s dawn,

Grooves encroaches his brow,

Sweat nourishes his belly of solitude,

Leaves that have fallen a long time ago,

Brings warmth to concessions only he knows,

As one goes many will come,

To be held by the noon’s sun,

Before coming undone.
Support Me

You and Me

A world taken by iron and eagles,
With boys as young as 12,
Could I have stomached the grit of sand and blood at Normandy?
Or enraged frost of Stalingrad?
Lullabied by the rumblings of the Panzer,
And bouncing like a kid on the legs of his grandfather,
It must’ve been hell,
But who am I to know?
We shared the same oath,
And scoured the same earth,
Finding manhood,
In no man’s land,
But I dug no foxholes,
No rancorous winters at Bastogne,
When nights grew distilled,
We both drunk from an initiation
Only a few ever tasted,
As the sun snuggles into a blanket of horizon,
Silence heals our reprisals,
And it’s only you and me.

Epic of Grunt: Exile

Private Grunt and The Unfortunate Events of War


Canto I: Prelude. 

In the desert where sand filled light was dim,

There slept a sounding grunt who’s life was grim,

The stars blazoning a whispering wind,

As roaring calls were heard from armored kin.

As rounds earthquaked the rich metal sleet ground,

A Sergeant rushed in to find Grunt confound,

“Private, Private what the hell are you doing!?”

“I’m sleep I’m sleep!” Said Grunt his face blueing.

Grunt rushed forth, with a steel viper in hand,

To slay the beasts who crashed his slumbered plans,

It’s bite was quick a truth known to scare all;

A flash of light that dashed hopes of the fall.

“To the Fifty!” Sergeant said with a charm,

As brass rained down with gusto and alarm,

“Roger!” said Grunt, young face covered in mud,

But his weight was too much and he crashed with a thud!

He crawled and crawled till the Humvee was in sight,

His heart was quickened of fury and fight,

The moon hissed full with a glorious kiss,

As Grunt thought of all the family he missed.

But no, there was no crying in battle!

He hoisted himself; the turret rattled,

Into the gunners hatch he went full geared,

The fog of war masked all that he feared.

He raised his hand to caress the cool bolt,

The gun sighed a relief, sprung with a jolt!

The dust was thick, there was nothing he could see,

Only the muzzles of his comrades flashed with glee.

Boom boom, boom boom the night filled with a theme:

Of truth, and lost; of chaos and of steam,

Grunt eyes filled with the soft grains from a land,

That bury the dreams of green fledging men.

The .50 jammed! this must be some black art,

But the hue of the barrel did much of it’s part,

Dust quickened to a blinding slick ordeal

A whirlwind of chance, but none of this was real…

It all was a dream a cruel one at that,

You see Grunt was captured by men who hated him back,

Tried and true the fate of war has its due,

And time has its rhyme of the choices we brew.

Canto I: Exile.

Grunt sat up, sweat trickling in earnest,

Discerning his gaze upon the clay bricked furnace,

A tattered mat cushioned his taunt and sinew,

Brief reprieve from the onslaught that continued.

2 months in ruin he laid bemused,

As fall peeked in and summer amused,

A tiny window was the only light,

To wait for his brothers for rescue at night.

“Ameriki! Ameriki!”, was shouted with tease,

There stood Ufair the handler grinning with ease,

A bearded man well fed with hair full and drab;

Twinkling eyes that seduced all that they grabbed.

Grunt’s once clean face now littered with dust, And

An once shaven head clattered with distrust,

His eyes drew upon Ufair most of his day,

An inconvenience that highlighted his fate.

To the annoyance of Grunt, Ufair laughed a lot,

A sneer that could be felt through out his cot,

At daybreak the same dance was performed:

The rhythm of rough hands signaling the morn.

“Oh how are we today Ameriki? ,

Have you slept well and a bit less bleakly?”

Ufair said with a cheer, eyes without a sneer,

A trait foreign from the hearts of his peers.

Grunt sighed, turned, and tossed to his side,

To meet the gaze of his foe, there he lied.

“What do you want?” Grunt said with annoyance,

He had grown tired of Ufair’s flamboyance.

“Why are you mad?” Ufair said with a pain,

“Because sand is up my ass”, Grunt complained,

“You are an odd man, Ameriki” Ufair retorted,

A deep hearty laugh came low and he snorted.

“Your breakfast will be cold if you don’t eat quick”,

“The last time you brought me food it made me sick”,

“Ah no Ameriki you must be mistaken,

I’m the best chef in this land” his voice unshaken.

“Don’t be so sad Ameriki” Ufair proclaimed,

“God gave us this day, let’s not put it to shame.”

“I don’t care about your God”, Grunt wiped his lips,

As he freed his mane from the taut like grip.

“Your God has forsaken me to this room,

Filled with sand fleas and stifling sour fumes,

Excuse me if I’m not in higher graces,

To respect the musings of foreign faces.

“This barren room will eventually be my tomb,

And my head will be a trophy in this bitter gloom,

So when you lay and pray to your God tonight,

Let him know that he has won this fight.”

Ufair sighed and sat in quiet contemplation,

To study the words of this young American’s frustration,

As Grunt nibbled on his beard like a famished bird,

Ufair released his breathe with these chosen words:

“Ameriki, I am not a man to know these great things,

I don’t no why man’s pride consumes them like kings,

Or why Allah has given you this fate today,

But find comfort and not let your soul decay.

This war was started before you were born,

It will continue long after we are gone,

I’ve seen that moon come and go,

And man has not changed I ought to know.

My village to has been taken by hand,

From these men with long beards and devious plans,

Their hearts are black and perverse with hate,

We all must confront the choices in our fate.

But I’m an old man and protest too much,

I have seen this war turn rivers to blood,

My own brother met his end as a man,

When he took up arms to protect this land.

You’re not the only one to feel this sting,

Of war and lost, and how fate swings,

Tomorrow is too far to predict its date,

Ameriki, please eat before it gets too late.”

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You can also purchase my first collection of poetry titled War Poems: Over There digitally for $2.99 here.

War Poems: Over There is a gut-punching journey into the soul of a solider with striking imagery relating war experiences in Iraq and the latter acclamation to civilian life. It is a collection of deep and honest thoughts on war and its aftermath without glamour or flag-waving. Regret, suicide, love, lost, naivete, destruction, are deeply woven within the candid poetry of Over There. If you have ever wanted to feel and discover what Veterans face both in the great of battle and in the silence of suffering, Over There will open your heart.

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War Poems

Soar

Soar

In Winter,
The cold engulfed me like an enraged bear,
My head tilted to the sky,
And saw your eyes,
They were all your eyes,
Burning full and alive,
Taunting and seducing,
Lofty and unforgiving,
And I cried like a baby needing its mother,
Because those lights beyond the clouds were far;
The same distance as your love for me,
Like a mother bird I let you go,
Hoping you would soar,
Higher than my heart could ever take you,
I asked God if he could hear me,
And I felt a slight touch upon my shoulder,
It was the wind,
Blowing a lullaby,
Low and deep.

Streets

Anxiety starts to build into a roar.
Sweat glistens restless palms.
“What the hell am I doing?”
Escapes from the lips of a reserved man.
Delusions cease to confound confusions,
As passerbys are glued to screens with high resolutions,
And is it clear,
That I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Rising frost from my breath,
Jumps from a rising chest,
And frigid sleeping fingers,
Awakens like a discovered crest,
I fumble between heighten senses of elevations,
When spasmodic noises amplifies my frustrations,
And is it clear,
I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Congested roads slick with reflections,
Paints a man wandering and broken,
Grappling a pleading proclamation,
Besieging patrons for oil rubbed tokens,
His pleading eyes go unspoken,
And still,
I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Lost in a warm armor of drunken rage,
Shifting through bouts of confession and railing subterfuge,
I light a match and burn off these days,
Between splendor and despair,
Between darkness and light,
Between fury and flight,
I stumble along the path of fate:
Belligerent and sputtering.

Clouds

You tore my heart out,
And that’s ok,
I wasn’t using it anyway,
The holes you bored,
Have closed,
Now they murmur a sigh,
Maybe of relief,
Maybe of the freeing reconciliation leaves:
Like a cold brew during the summer tunes,
Or dust that blows against sleeping dunes,
Out of disappointment beauty blooms,
And you gave me more than I could ever chew,
I grew too use to your taste;
Forgiven my taste buds for their apparent lack of loyalty,
With fingers I rubbed you away;
Hands sprinkled with graphite and sweat,
And balled you up like a school house paper filled with regrets,
I let you soar on wings of air,
Rising higher and higher like a ballon on a birthday’s afternoon,
Freeing helium to find its way home;
Letting the clouds have their way with you.