When General Meade met General Lee
At Gettysburg in 1863
Sons of the South battled Northern brothers
And neither side has ever recovered
Fifty-one thousand lives lost in three days
Of a summertime swelter, July haze
Souls rose not to heaven from bodies piled
On blood-soaked battlefields spanning 40 miles
An on-scene photographer moved fallen men
To snap better images with his lens
Hats off to Alex Gardner if you please
Today picture-takers’ cameras freeze
At a large bouldered site called Devil’s Den
Sharpshooter hid, killed unsuspecting men
Travelers at night on Pennsylvania roads
Claim they see soldiers, hear cannons explode
A century after the Revolution
United our states to wage war as one
Virginians were forced to choose blue or gray
Mason Dixon Line divided that way
If only Tom Jefferson’s wise notion
Had not been struck from the Declaration
Slavery, the impetus for war and hate
Would have been quashed before State versus State
Gettysburg might have been a peaceful farm
Where soldiers had never succumbed to harm
But restless spirits, faces pale and gaunt
Never retreat from their Gettysburg haunt
Our nation’s darkest hour plays out each night
And passersby still marvel at the sight
Where sons of the South battled Northern brothers
For neither side will ever recover
As the waves forever kiss the shore
One shot leaves you wanting more
My heart and soul, strong and true
With all the love they hold for you
Sometimes my life leaves me bored
Like a swordsman with no sword
These are the times that I write
Memories can be hard to fight
I write out my heart and soul
Controlling my mind is my goal
Each new word released by my pen
Is another spiritual battle I win
The war rages on day by day
Through the poem prayers I pray
It's a war that I will forever win
Long as there is ink up in my pen
In prison I had quite a collection
Each one held it's own reflection
I saved them after they ran dry
Baptized with the tears I cry
I just couldn't seem to let them go
Little memories of my heart and soul
Sometimes I like to take them out
Little memories of what I'm about
What I'm about angel on my shoulder
Making this world a little less colder
I stood on a hill and screamed for peace...
Lost in the noise were friends that teased...
A mask that hides what's wrong and right...
Too many stones thrown that blinded my sight...
Wolves that prowled with a sheeps face and a devils soul...
Crept slowly in the dark where the truth was never told...
My cape is wrinkled and torn and bloodied from the day...
A battle well fought where being right lost its way...
Then left with a heart with blood still there to drain...
No need to ask the question, I'd do it all over again...
I don't write stories, I don't write make believe... I write what's in Me.... Michael
POW confined in a cage
Through Viet Cong jungles bullets raged
No sweat from his pores in unrelenting sun
Dehydration, famine, yet his needs were none
A tepid river so foul with blood’s scent
But the outcome of torture was not as meant
He tasted cool ice as his spirit soared
Freedom came fast once the war was ignored
Hovering o’er killing fields his soul’s eyes
Saw not the wounded, heard not their cries
Though his weak body lay crumpled below
Pain free he reveled on clouds, heaven’s snow
Through astral projection he’d been set free
Each day he survived, taking this journey
When rescued at last many months gone by
The US militia did not know why
GI Joe felt no hate, seemed so serene
And not one of his rescuers could glean
Why this soldier survived, what kept him sane
For they’d not escaped inside this man’s brain
The awareness he’d achieved spared his life
So he could return to his son and wife
Who’d prayed everyday that he would come home
Only to say they’d never been alone
Their spirits communed on another plane
And life as they’d known it would never be the same
*Entry for Caties Out-of-Body Experience Contest.
In dead-man's land
red poppies grow,
Fertilised by blood,
sun and winter snow;
And on widows' weeds
streams of sadness flow,
Lost freedoms seeds
beneath ignorance goes
To no-man's land
where,there were but crows;
With Spring's new life
real peace they can know,
In the Morning Star's
One Toy Soldier
Little toy soldiers are all put away
Training is over for this time of day.
Where do these little boys go now to play?
Away from their home to die in the fray.
Little toy weapons are no longer there
But boxed in attics by mothers with care--
Where keepsakes still hold a lock of his hair--
While rockets and missles challenge his fare.
Little toy bad guys and little toy good
Haze in the distance when misunderstood.
Where fall the lilies on long crates of wood
And each gave their all--as good soldiers should...
Little toy soldiers are coming back home...
Mothers are weeping, laments all alone
Where flags lie folded--the gift of Shalom...
As the long box is lowered...'neath the loam
One little toy soldier is placed on the top
Remembering All--so that None be Forgot.
Nightmares, jungles, blood on hands
Unjust war in distant lands
Scars that no one else can see
Memories doing battle with his sanity
Off to war, a rich man’s fool
Rich man’s son was off to school
Some came home in boxes, statistics mount
Media smiles announcing body count
Working man’s sons without a voice
Off to war without a choice
Coming home to hate, the fire fanned
Misdirected Anger in his native land
Dismayed with the war, activists groups
Pointing blame at the drafted troops
So many dead through the bloody nights
Protecting rubber trees and oil rights
After the storm, there was no calm
Soldiers coming home from Vietnam.
Dedicate to Vietnam vets who served valiantly,
unappreciated at home
Blood surges through the deep gash in his armor
while the brave knight writhes in pain and cries in anguish.
The battle is over now and the knight drops hard to the ground
knowing that his life force is ebbing and his strength is waning.
With the battle finished the knight begins his final fight
with Death in his inevitable glory and result.
The knight’s blood now slows to a quiet trickle like blood tears
while key moments in his life flash before him lightening quick.
The knight finds his comfort in love of family and country;
this is a moment of solace as his body tightens in Death’s grip.
His blood now seeps into the ground itself and his breathing grows shallow,
and twilight moves to darkness in the knight’s final conscious thought.
The knight murmurs: fighting, war, and duty to my king have been my life,
but now I must take leave of this mortal coil.
With that Death takes the Knight’s mortal body and the hand of God carries
his heavenly soul to everlasting eternity.
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved (September 9, 2014) (Distich or Unrhymed Couplet)
Peer pressure of the worst no matter who they are
They can be a boy or girl that they believe to become martyr's
Strapped to these young souls, is something they just don't understand
Yet the cowards who persuade them to miss, becoming a woman or a man
What, where, why or when, does this quest justify it's means
For it arises in the warped depraved, in twisted confused dreams
For in this book that they all crave about, this they cannot do
It's against their religion to request the suicide of you
For all their Cleric's whom they are, they sit and witness so
Not one has ever spoken out, to stop this exploding blow
Why is this I ask myself, for they fear the bullet of a gun
Because it's easier to suppress their young, terrorism has again begun
Its the morning after the night before
As i leave my new wife, whom i lovingly adore
My orders came through, overseas i head
With my band of brothers, not knowing what's ahead
Married for days, whilst conflict takes him away
Holding sheets where we slept, my memory bouquet
At the bottom of our bed, there lies a virgin white rose
With a note beneath i am in momentary froze
I sit and stare as to what it might say
Knowing this is the day my love flies away
My darling Tinks i leave this white rose for you
Its pristine appearance describes my darling so true
It symbolises you, so innocent so pure
With your love in my heart, i will return i assure
Think of the day, from these distant lands from beyond
For the morning after the night before, we will respond
This virgin white rose, so bridal so pure
You and its safety i will secure, for you to return for our future
The day you come home, it shall lay on our bed
And we will continue our lives, as you have always said
I will go about my tomorrow's, thinking of you every day
And prey that this virgin white rose, never turns deathly grey
In ancient times when knights were bold,
They dressed in armor, so we're told.
When they went out to face their foe,
Their armor protected them head to toe.
Christians we must do the same,
Or be struck down by Satan's aim.
His flaming arrows fly all around,
Intending to knock us to the ground.
So put on God's armor without delay,
We need His protection everyday.
For our struggle is not against what we can see,
But the powers of darkness are our enemy.
Stand firm then and dress with all haste,
Start with truth buckled 'round your waist.
Satan fights dirty by spreading lies,
But the belt of God's truth will make us wise.
Next is the Breastplate of Righteousness,
That God provides for all who are His.
It's the righteousness of Christ covering you,
That the evil one cannot stand up to.
Now cover your feet with the readiness of,
Sharing God's gospel of peace and love..
Take the Shield of Faith and keep it near,
To deflect Satan's arrows of confusion and fear.
Place the Helmet of Salvation firmly on your head,
It will keep Satan's lies from filling you with dread.
He wants to make you doubt your salvation is sure,
But the helmet will guard your mind and keep you secure.
Your armor is complete, but now you need a sword,
So take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of the Lord.
God's Word is sufficient to defend or attack.
With God's Word in your heart you can hold Satan back.
With your armor in place and your Sword in your hand,
Be strong in the Lord and in His power stand.
And pray in the Spirit at all times and all ways,
Cause the enemy trembles when Saints start to pray!
Based on Ephesians 6:10-18
What time is this
Where once we wait
Whilst questions stir up great debate
Upon this place a storm doth brew
Encroaching in on me and you
To make a stand or make a choice
Have a heart and have a voice
Be not thee fooled by lovely lies
Made to keep well in disguise
A truth thus far which few have seen
Veiled behind some wicked scene
Know what we are and why we’re here
Be not thee bound by useless fear
For power lies in focus held
In knowledge found and wisdom felt
Creative thought shall be the key
Unraveling untold mysteries
With hence unknown abilities
Bestowed with light we’ve yet to see
Transform a world of pain and hate
Into grandest dreams create
This time, this place
No more we wait
Through storms of violence, fear and hate
The very catalyst we need
To know the truth which sets us free
Born American, sixth generation of great-grands all German,
not much liking sausage or sauerkraut, English speaking all the way,
except the Germany of my ancestry was fought over and broken
so I’m a bit of France, Germany, Poland, Hungary all the Holy
Roman empire, dissolved down, fought over, egotized, horrified
and remade Into some new state where English is as common as German.
We share a love of flowers in the face of cold and rain, I drink less beer
and wine, meet up somewhere, anywhere around the world on a beach.
From my parents and grandparents, I know to serve up too much food
seven sweets, seven sours and drink and whirl the night away to a band.
Hardworking sorts, unafraid of a little dirt, loving dirt, the turnover
and young sprout brought to fruit, wearing overalls and then washing up.
To sit before a pressed linen table cloth, served up on the finest china,
the cha in my father’s name, the uff da, and other exclamations.
The morning rosaries, the blessed churches where we give thanks for all good
and the setting aside of pride while we work together to make our food.
Sure there are aprons for cooking. Shorts for summertime. A dive into any pool.
What do I know of being German, not much, it's just somewhere in my roots.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death;
I look at this war and I’m exhausted, and so out of breath!
I look to my spirituality for an answer to appear.
I’ve seen fellow marines die and “death” is what I ultimately fear!
The days seem to never end, and this desert is extremely hot!
I’ve witnessed the death of my friend and I ask God, why he got shot?
Yesterday, our platoon leader took a hit; two bullets to the back!
I want my country to know that we do this ---- for her and hope we make it out of Iraq!
I think about my family and I miss their warm and tender essence.
I wonder if my girlfriend thinks of me… I can’t wait to feel her presence.
I hope death doesn’t come for me; that I make it out of this hell hole.
I pray God forgives me for defending country; that I do not lose my soul!!
I watch with fascination; Mother Nature on a great warpath.
Thunderous drums sound warning; soon to feel her rightful wrath.
Thousands of black horses running boldly across the sky.
Warriors branding spears of lightning, mounted with such pride.
Angry at the white eyes, they circle with such speed.
A deafening wind now gathers, neath their mighty steeds.
We set upon destroying her, but her power is unbound.
Her whirling fingers now reach down and pluck us from her ground.
Her tears now flood our ugliness and wash it out to sea.
So vivid is my vision, but too late we will believe.
Written June 27, 2014
Sponsor: Shadow Hamilton
Blessed with ingenuity, he fought advancing tyranny
That stormed the sea in twenty-three great warships sailing furiously.
That day, October twenty-first, saw Admiral Nelson at his worst,
As cannons roared, while gunners cursed. The times were changed, the tides reversed.
Lord Nelson, as an admiral brave with all his fleet defied the grave,
His native land and king to save:-- his life for freedom's cause he gave.
In but a half a dozen hours he humbled Europe's finest pow'rs,
And toppled Tyranny's highest tow'rs; yet Vict'ry found him crowned with flow'rs,
And not a place the crown to lay, on him, nor all who died that day
In sending Britain's foes away, across the stormy seas of grey.
I sure do love you and miss you.
From this helicopter, I get a gruesome view.
Some friends are wading in the mud.
Carrying one wounded keeping him out of the crud.
I hate to say it, but Vietnam's like hell.
Everywhere you look you see fragments of blown up shell.
When will this war ever end precious one?
Will I see you at home or beyond the sun?
Keep praying for these copters to stay in the air,
and to keep us here in Vietnam, safe from all the fire.
Momma darling I must close this letter.
And we'll hope and pray all our days will get better.
Your loving son,
Jimmy Anderson "World of War: Vietnam" contest
Who can understand why war still exists where
there are clouds reflected in water here
History has proven its futility
even the breeze has a peaceful touch
The graves of the fallen state “they died for us”
Lizards bask on warm stones
where we could not imagine
the compassion of our enemies
Tiny finches twitter in the hedges
How the agony of dying haunts forever those who see
Bright red ti leaves, philodendrons and crosses
of comrades fallen
In dense shadows of shower trees
greatest jubilation comes
where Mynas squabble, good naturedly
Such a happy sound of morning
Another war is over”
If only peace could last forever.
Democrats vs. Republicans
Where oh where to begin
If one takes a dive into their lives you would see how one side always wins
For the red light is on, and times have certainly changed
We live in a world that is selfish and becoming more deranged
A house divided cannot stand
America is in fragmented pieces but they don’t understand
Words are cheap when actions lie
I vote for the man who’s in the sky
For he never changes and he really cares
Not these greedy politicians who point and stare
America is about the people who work hard in this life
Yet all our government seems to do is feed on weakness and strife
I am pro restoration,
I am pro family unity,
Not superficial comments spoken into our hurting community
A bitter game
It’s such a shame
It’s time for us to give America back its glorious fame
Speak with conviction
Hold up our youth
Burn all the lies and tell them the truth
There’s a generation that’s growing on welfare and government loans
Independence is being broken down by control that is clearly shown
A father fracture has intruded
Many hearts and minds are polluted
Do they care about restoring the family unit as a whole?
Or are they leeches sucking out all our young people’s souls
Purity has been banned
As they raise up sworn hands
I can see the coiling snakes
Oh dear America we have made a terrible mistake
What really matters has been perverse
Like a woman under a tragic curse
Vote for vitality
Not the pagan’s visions of immorality
Vote for untainted officials
Not for men who can’t control their own missiles
Restore the innocence to our children in our music and on TV
Someone be the voice stating that in bondage how can you call yourself free
Another chance, might be our last
Look to the leaders of Americas past,
Discern their virtue and read their soul
Then you will know which way you should go
Take the blinders and finally see
That we are being held captive to a rise of insanity
While we still got power take a missive stand,
Our land was blessed because of the convictions of man.
By: Sabina Nicole
Written: For such a time as this
Neath a distant sun drenched sky where the Southern Cross is seen
Two armies face to face they meet on a battlefield pure and green
Fear of defeat is etched down deep on each brave warrior’s face
As they wait the signal to engage their weapons they embrace
With green and gold held on high one fights for their native land
The other fights for God and Country on an alien foreign strand
Each man lives in his own thoughts as they wait for the command
They know that all depends on them this is the their final stand
A final pause an awesome hush then the order comes to engage
Fearless toe to fearless toe their wicked war they do wage
The soulful sound of leather is heard striking willow crafted true
If strife were decided on this oval ground all war we could eschew
Slowly breathing with a steady beat
Boots are crunching you feel the heat
You inch on closer, looking around
Watching your friends make not a sound
You have been told to kill this man
A threat he is to freedoms plan
Hold up your rifle, take careful aim
Let go of the guilt your not to blame
Orders you follow a good soldier you are
Try not to think the size of the scar
That this order will bring deep in your soul
We raise the flag on top of this soldier's hole
I will give support, I will lend my hand
So you can brother, continue to stand
To fight for the freedoms of people everywhere
Down your rifle I, with you, shall stare
He could fight and win battles, could this General Ulysses Grant!
Other of Lincoln's generals were continually sayin', "I can't!"
Though 'twas well-known that General Grant relished his schnapps,
Even soused he could concoct solid battle plans by studyin' his maps.
Becomin' frustrated with his other generals and their lack of action,
Abe suggested to an aide that if it would help them get some traction,
He'd like to know what Ulysses drank and where he got the stuff,
So he could send a barrel to every general to get him off his duff!
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(c) All Rights Reserved
The first damn bullet shot at me in anger
by some frigging commie with an itchy trigger finger.
I heard it zip by very close to my head.
I was glad I was still alive instead of dead.
All those months of training kicked in,
I hit the ground a shootin’ and a cussin’.
Then I was on my stomach and off my feet,
I was surprised that I could hear my own heart beat.
A few more scattered shots here and there,
a couple too close to my head and hair.
As quickly as it started it came to an end,
I was relieved I survived to fight again.
Fear is adrenaline gone wild.
In battle there is no meek or mild.
You would assume I am thirsty in this dire heat,
Or that my needles would cause others to quickly retreat,
You would conclude that my flowers were only for show
Or that if someone didn’t water me I would never grow,
But what you don’t see in plain eye sight
Is that I am flourishing with waters of integrity and might,
Under these thorns you call choked up defenses
Breeds the strength to survive all forms and pretenses,
To you I require little maintenance… but I know better,
I know how to absorb all I need in good and bad weather,
For I was strategically placed in this atmosphere,
All I need dwells in my structure enabling me to stay clear
Of beasts that lurk when sandstorms arise,
When mirages start to mesmerize,
When signs and wonders appear in fallen skies,
And soldiers forget to break ancient soul ties,
I stand my post and flaunt my spikes,
A cactus heart survives all flights.
By: Sabina Nicole
Written: In a Very dry Place
You whip out your weapon and wield it with ease
Your silent stiletto sends me to my knees
His back meets the cold, wet grass under him,
his eyes meet the blue endless sky hovering over him.
The cigarette from his hand dies out as it meets the sopping grass below
He feels the blood escape his body that now is no longer whole.
As he stares up into the sky,
he thinks of the girl he hated to leave behind.
He thinks of his mother, her tears streaming down,
his father’s proud hand, as it strongly grazed his crown.
He thinks of the men fighting for their life,
He thinks of his enemy, ducking for his life.
He thinks of the reasons war even exists,
Maybe this isn’t the way one should even live.
The sounds of his men approaching feels distant in his ear,
the struggle to save a life is unyielding,
when the bullet cuts through the heart,
there is no weaker feeling.
Slowly the sounds of planes hushes down,
The sounds of gunfire are stifled,
The missiles whistling in the background stop
and all of nature’s sounds just suppress, as they come to a halt.
The men become blurry as his eyes start to freeze,
The body that once fought, now turned to solid ice.
For the last time in his life,
he thinks of the girl he wishes he never left behind.
He thinks of his mother, whose tears will continue to run,
the father’s proud hand, that wont ever touch his son.
In these last few seconds, he does not feel scared,
as he spent this life fighting strongly for his homeland.
The phrase, "going to war", has always had ominous and forbidding qualities that can
reverberate to the very core of the soul. Experiencing such an ordeal has its own legacy. It
differs from person to person in varying degrees and the anticipation is usually far more
negative than the actual arrival into the area of conflict. Though each war has its own
realities with which to deal, it is not the war addressed by, "Going to War". The poem reveals
the war within when the psyche literally battles with the 'unknown' in its struggle to accept
the actuality of an event feared and imagined.
The eastern sky grew dark with night,
The west held light of day.
A lonesome plane in westward flight
Was taking us away.
When orders came for Viet Nam
And all the names were read,
They may as well have dropped a bomb,
Or shot us there instead.
Some few had been to fight before
But most of us had not;
Had never dealt with death or war,
Or fears of being shot.
Our words came scarce and laughter naught,
Concern was quick to grow.
The doubts and fears we all had brought
Seemed primed and set to blow.
A wave of silence dashed our youth
Against the rocks of war,
And in its wake, the naked truth;
We're little boys no more.
The time had come to set aside
The games of yesterday,
To give our step a longer stride,
To learn another way.
Now doubt looms dark and ominous,
A vulture from the blue,
That preys upon what peace remains,
From all the things we knew.
We pray to soothe our fears and dread,
For rest to ease our mind,
For guidance through the war ahead,
And mourn the 'world', behind;
And that one day we'll understand
Why people have to die...
Still, time grows near when we would land,
The miles were flying by.
The windows fog with quickened breath
In our descent to land.
We all are sure a brush with death
Is very close at hand.
We watch Siagon come into view
And wait to feel a blast;
Then hold our breath, as if on cue,
When wheels touch down, at last.
The war, for us, has just begun;
Our fates seem so unsure,
But we are warriors, every one,
Resolved we will endure.
©1971 by Jim Fish
We would get used to the heat
If not for the body-armor.
We could always taste the dust
Which made it seem even warmer.
Ballistic sunglasses blocked the glare,
But didn't keep out the sweat.
The smell of raw sewage and rot
We would never soon forget.
I assumed the ground would be sandy,
But it was really all silt and clay.
There was so much fouled standing water
After their annual rainy season days.
The only time I wasn't over-heating
Was in January's rains in Mosul, Iraq.
After wading through so much filth,
I'm happy to never, ever, ever go back.
A gun is a deadly weapon
It can kill people with wasted reason
Authorized to have this
Only the army and the police
Don’t use it to point to a person
You will landed straight to the prison
A gun is an instrument for an unending war
Civilians traumatized for a painful scar
So please have some conscience not to use it barbarically
Coz it will cause our life and so don’t be a folly
January 29, 2013
For Gwendolen "Gun" contest
1ST PLACE WINNER
Oh Father I give to you my wife who gave her son,
he is one of two, the other life never really begun.
She held him as baby and made his lunch as a boy,
through strife and struggle he still is her pride and joy.
She loves him more than she ever said,
but each and everyday she tucked him into bed.
Watch over him father as he left to serve with much pride,
but please be with my wife who is struggling deep inside.
She taught him well and this will serve as a strong foundation,
but he needs you to perform the duties requested by this nation.
Give him the strength he needs for the tasks set before him,
for my wife awaits to hold him and see him laugh again.
This I humble pray as her husband...
Edward J Ebbs - Winter 2007