America the Free ~ America the Brave ~
Freedom with price Capitalism attacked
the many taken hearts broken still
one World try to rebuild
sadness and tears fall hard with fears
guilt by association many accused still
souls evaporated shattered dreams
tears fall on innocence left with anger
The proud fearless knew the inevitable
policeman fireman many lives lost
grieving does not stop 12 years later
New York city once proud & shameless
refusing to let fears in protecting ours
left in shock still question's unanswered
nothing learned nothing gained
ready to attack many left behind
anger greets denial anger meets rage
unacceptable still refusing new love
wanting days to rewind let us go back in time
acceptance allowing the victims leave in peace
the brave taken young leaving us sadly old
haunting dreams lost spirits dwell
no answers to hate never forgetting that day
Evil entered suddenly unforgiving fate
entering our City we stand with the fallen
How to fix how do we Change
This can be read many different ways ~ This is a poem I am so proud to write ~
A people persecuted beyond imagination;
To help them he felt, was his obligation.
He joined the army in World War II;
Not knowing his hell would be Eyes of Blue.
When he reached Normandy, the beaches were red.
Crawling over his brothers who lay already dead.
To give this tyrant, this devil his due;
Not knowing his own demons, would be Eyes of Blue.
He rounded a building securing a town;
A young German soldier was just coming round.
He plunged his bayonet, the quicker of the two;
Killing the young soldier, with Eyes of Blue.
He knelt down beside him with tears in his eyes;
How long this moment would last, he did not realize.
He closed the eyes as he thought he should do;
Thinking never again to see those Eyes of Blue.
The victor over many in Germany and Japan;
It was always difficult taking life from a man.
None would haunt him, this he now knew;
As long as the soldier, with Eyes of Blue.
He died an old man, to heaven he went;
For this honorable soldier, mercy was sent.
First time since the war, so sad but true;
A peaceful sleep, not seeing Eyes of Blue.
Song of a Warrior’s Bride
He counts on me for beauty:
His eyes blurred by bloody spurts of war,
Scarred by deadly blasts of bone
And tissue, his vision marred
By chunks of men that shook him down
Into the oozing mud of sorrow,
And unscrewed the sockets of his soul,
Blasting windows that once shone luminous,
Into dark pools of madness, mocking
The watch he had to keep that night.
He stopped his ears against
The final cries of men turned babes,
Moaning for mama or a medic,
Gasping for a hand upon their head,
As prayers and curses were sucked
From bodies by the piercing blows
Of guns, while rockets puked
Hellish flames that blotted
Out the stars, until darkness
Swelled into a symphony of pain,
And his heart choked with agonies
He could not stop to heal.
I have learned to fasten his gaze
With the soft gauze of understanding,
A fabric thrown across the room,
Rich with memories between us,
Like rose petals sweetening the air.
I can still delight his eyes and lure him
From the tangled jungle pits he digs
And show him patterns of new mercies,
That reveals the hidden weaver of our days,
The keeper of our steps upon this turf
Of life, turned gentler now.
I drape and wrap, twist and thread
My warless arms around him,
Still fingering the loom of prayer.
Murmuring vows over his embattled brow,
I draw him underneath our tent, pitched
In the heat of hard fought love.
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:
Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Today is the day we honor,
the noble and the brave,
the men and woman who dedicated their lives,
and the sacrifices that they have made.
When America had an urgent need,
they were the first to raise their hand,
without thinking twice about it,
they were proud to take a stand.
Some came back from war with battle scars,
others in flagged draped coffins,
even though their flesh may have left,
their spirits will never be forgotten.
They unselfishly and knowingly,
put their lives on the line,
so when you see a veteran, thank them,
cause without them, freedom would have died.
For those who lost their lives in battle.
Their photo still rests upon the mantel.
They gave their lives, to fight for freedom.
They gave their lives, with spirit and wisdom.
Army boots and bags.Navy Seals and rags.
Air Force wings and badges.Marine Corps
boots and buttons.Helmets of steal which
truly toughen.Toughen the fighting men who
wish to be free.Remembering the lives we
lost for freedom.Remembering the days
we had to dig in.While fighting the wars on
land and sea.Defending our flag, for the
right to be free.A twenty one gun salute, for
all our brave men.Who battled at war, until
the very end..
Veteran's Day Poetry By Kim Robin Edwards
All rights reserved
November 19, 2001
Dear Doc and Doris,
It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you. I believe it was some years ago at the Sims reunion. That was several years before we moved here to Florida after my retirement.
I talk to Dorothy and W. D. fairly often and got your address from them a couple of months ago. I also have a recent picture of you that was taken at Mike’s funeral in Marlow.
I suppose it was something about that picture that caused me to begin reflecting on when I was a kid in Cameron many years ago. We lived down below the railroad tracks there just south of the jailhouse. I was just a kid 6 or 7 years old. Then later we moved to Houston where Dorothy and Daddy went to work in the shipyard. I remember during those years thinking often of my cousin Carl Sims and his brother Melton Sims who were far away fighting the war against the Germans in Europe. I still have pictures of you somewhere showing you in your uniform. Doc, I remember how proud I was to tell everyone about my cousins in the army and how I wanted to grow up and be a soldier and fight the Germans.
In the last couple of years those memories have been revisited with the release of the movies “Saving Private Ryan” and even more recently, “Band of Brothers.” Having never experienced the horrors of war, I look upon these two movies as the most realistic presentation of wartime action ever made. Even at that, I’m sure they haven’t portrayed what it was really like.
Doc, I write you now having much more hindsight than when I was an impressionable kid. But the years have not robbed me of the pride I have in calling you my hero. I think of those years when I was but a child and you, a young soldier. I remember how excited I was to hear any news about my cousins in the army. And I remember the sadness in hearing of Melton being killed in action.
Though time has painted a different picture for each of us, those things that linger in our memory can still be seen through the eyes of a child and a young soldier. I look at that recent picture of you and still see my hero. I see a young soldier in uniform and feel the same pride well up inside a young kid in Cameron.
Doc, I wanted you to know these things. I could have kept them hidden inside my heart and never told anyone. But, they are mine to do with as I please. And I choose to send them to you and Doris with the love I have for you. As Christians, we know that the love we are sharing in Jesus Christ will be eternal. I believe the respect and admiration I hold you in for what you did will also last forever.
Maybe we will get back to Texas one of these days. If so, I hope to have the time to come by Mexia and see you. If not, who knows, someday a kid may tug on the sleeve of a young soldier. The young soldier might turn to find a freckle-faced kid, joyful in the presence of his hero.
Doc, if not before, I’ll see you in Glory. I send you respect and most of all, love.
With eternal admiration,
When on Remembrance Day
There is no one at the parade
The war is lost
Dead heroes’ died in vain
This shall be a countries shame
Note: Written for Remembrance Day Nov 11
Dedicated to Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945)
I'd fought a hundred battles
through the ages past and new
I'd been a lowly foot soldier
But at times commanded too.
I was a witness of Arab mothers
Fleeing cities under-siege ;
A new age liberator,
The commander of the third.
I had served with Ceasar's legion;
The Carthaginians; and the Greeks.
When Arthur was in his Kingship,
I was a captain of the knights
A horseman tough and skillful
Of medieval cavalier;
But ages had transformed me
to dash with iron wheels
The only time I meet MacArthur
Was in the salient of St. Mehiel
We both stood erect, calm, and unmindful
To the guns and bursting shell.
Oh well take a look at Monty
Too slow for his advance
He didn't expect me to take Palermo
or Mesina to my plan
I was reproved of my harshness,
They knew not that I was somber too
I cared not of my language
As long as my point would get through
I'd mixed my words with profanities
That my orders surely stick
My men would always remember every word
While they're in the battle field
Oh my, I hate those yellow bastards
They have no place on this earth
I sent them to the frontlines
That no more they would breed
Those swivel chair commanders
Discounted my two days time
But brave soldier deserved to be rescued
Before his dog tag stops to chime.
So my men made it to Dunkirk
To the delight of McAuliffe
"Surrender!" yelled the Nazis
but "nutz" was all he said.
I was cut off of supplies and fuel
For Market Garden's sake
But after pissing the flowing River
I held the Fuhrer's nest
So soon another war was ended
Mine enemies had lost
The iron carver claimed the glory
And relieved me from my post.
A FOREIGNER ASKED THIS QUESTION OF ME
“WHERE CAN I IN U.S. FIND SOLDIER TO SEE?”
HIS ENGLISH WAS BROKEN, BUT CLEARLY RECEIVED
YET, HOW COULD I BEST EXPLAIN WHAT I BELIEVED
THE ANSWER I GAVE TO THIS QUESTIONABLE TASK
SURPRISED HIM ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAD ASKED
I SAID, “AN AMERICAN SOLDIER WAS MORE….
THAN SOMEONE ENLISTED OR SENT OFF TO SHORE”
“AN AMERICAN SOLDIER HAS MORE TO BE SEEN….
THAN A MAN OR A WOMAN IN CAMOUFLAGE GREEN”
HIS QUESTION HAD MADE ME LOOK DEEPER WITHIN
BECOMING AWARE OF HOW BLESSED I HAD BEEN
I POINTED MY FINGER AROUND SO HE’D SEE
THAT ALL THOSE AROUND US WE’RE SOLDIERS TO ME
INCLUDING THAT SMALL CHILD NEXT DOOR PLAYING BALL
THAT PERSON SALUTING THE FLAG STANDING TALL
THAT FATHER AND SON OUTSIDE PLAYING TOGETHER
THAT MOTHER AND DAUGHTER EMBRACING EACH OTHER
THAT DOCTOR OR NURSE SHOWING CARE TO THE ILL
THAT ELDERLY VETERAN-QUIET AND STILL
THAT CASE WORKER HELPING THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
THAT MINISTER PRAYING FOR ALL TO BELIEVE
THAT BANKER AND POSTMAN WHO WORKS ALL DAY LONG
THAT ARTIST AND SINGER WHO PAINTS US A SONG
THAT SINGLE MOM DOING THE BEST THAT SHE COULD
THAT TEEN WHO CONTINUES TO LIVE LIKE HE SHOULD
THAT AMERICAN IMMIGRANT LEGALLY HERE
THAT MAN IN HIS WHEELCHAIR YEAR AFTER YEAR
THAT PROTESTER MARCHING AND SHOUTING HIS VIEWS
THAT SPOKESPERSON GIVING THE SIX O’CLOCK NEWS
THAT CHRISTIAN WHO’S KNEELING AND PRAYING ALONE
THAT MOTHER OR WIFE WORKING DAILY AT HOME
THAT WOMAN WITH CANCER IS ALSO A FIGHTER
THAT WIDOW WHO CLINGS TO HER MEMORIES TIGHTER
THAT MERCHANT THAT SELLS US OUR FOOD AND OUR OIL
THAT CHILD BEING BORN ON AMERICAN SOIL
THEY ALL ARE AMERICANS DOING THEIR PART
AND IN SOME SMALL WAY THEY ARE SOLDIERS AT HEART
I ENDED MY TALK BECAUSE HOW HE WAS STARING
AS IF WITH CONFUSION AT WHAT I WAS SHARING
HE THEN, IN HIS CUSTOM, STOOD STRAIGHT WHILE HE NODDED
LOOKED AT ME AND QUIETLY-SOFTLY APPLAUDED
I THEN SHED A TEAR WHEN HE SPOKE THIS TO ME
“AN AMERICAN SOLDIER IN YOU I CAN SEE”
HE WALKED AWAY AND APPEARED TO HAVE FOUND CLOSURE
WHILE I STOOD THERE PRAISING GOD FOR THE REAL SOLDIER
THAT REAL ONES NOW SERVING RIGHT HERE AND ABROAD
I STAND AND SALUTE YOU AND LOUDLY APPLAUD
TO THOSE WHO ARE SERVING AND THOSE WHO HAVE DIED
FOR THOSE WHO ONCE SERVED AND REMEMBER WITH PRIDE
THE STRUGGLES OF WAR TO KEEP FREEDOM WON’T CEASE
FOR FREEDOM EXIST WHILE YOU FIGHT TO BRING PEACE
BECAUSE OF YOUR SACRIFICE GIVEN EACH DAY
I’M ABLE TO LIVE IN THIS GREAT U.S.A
THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE IS WHAT SHINES IN YOUR EYES