Call of Duty

We will not be written in books,
As names,
But numbers.
We will fade into the dust of time,
Our sweat dried from the escaping cracks
Of ground.
And we will carry whatever remnants
We have left,
In the coffers,
Brazen with smiles behind broken lives.
We hide in the early hours of the night,
Our faces enamoured with killing objects
on digial screens.
Yelling into a microphone “fuck you dude!”
Bitter between championed teams.
Mountain Dew fuels aggression and suppression of innocence stolen.
Chips are crisp with salt and plucked from fingers that pulled triggers.
Memories blare like trumpets inside lucid dreams,
And a drink soothes the nerves of a dream deterred,
Or so we heard.

We pray that light will shine,
Maybe for a few precious moments our minds drift off into a bliss of calm and contentment.
If we are mindful maybe our resentments will transform into forgiveness.
And addiction doesn’t run rampant,
Unchained in a field riddled with avoidance,
Transported to console the suffering.

Still in the lonely hours we needle every thread that quilts us to a time,
Where heroes dined on succulent dishes of mission.
Now we are confined to living our former lives through pictures,
Depicting a time where life and death were a line shorter than this sentence.

The Click

The sharp touch of metal,
Caresses my fist,
As the light,
Devours a lonely glimpse,
Of what life has become,
For the boy,
Who left the shielding arms,
Of Apple pie and Monday night football,
To save a world from evil,
Without a uniform or flag.
As the faucet drips,
The tune of the forgotten,
Is lulled to sleep,
By the lullaby of the safety.
Click, click, click,
Is the rhythm of thought,
That dances between,
The present,
And forever.

War Poems: Over There

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I’m very grateful to announce my upcoming book War Poems: Over There:

War Poems: Over There is a gut-punching journey into the soul of a soldier, with striking imagery relating war experiences in Iraq and the later acclimation 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, naïveté, 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 heat of battle and in the silence of suffering, Over There will open your heart.

It will be available to purchase this upcoming summer through Kindle, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin. Follow me for more details and announcements as we move closer to the launch.

The Burden

War enters a person and never leaves. It’s never over for the ones who have to see. War takes away something inside of us that we can never get back, our innocence. Some of us can cope better than others. Some of us are destroyed by it. We don’t fully comprehend what the experience has done to us. Can we truly heal? Can we replace that thing that has been taken away from us? Is it better to forget about healing and find a way to cope with our existence?

We can never get back what we have lost. We can always try to make a life by using what we’ve gained. How do we find meaning through suffering and destruction? We must live on for the ones who have gone and the ones who still remain by our side.

War is never over for those who experience the horrors of it. Welcome home parades or free dinners cannot erase the memories. Compliments cannot remedy the inner conflict we face as we arrive home to a world we don’t know anymore. Through my experiences, I realize I underestimated how quickly things change. Time continues to move with or without you. People don’t stop their lives and wait for you with bated breath.

Continue reading “The Burden”