Archive for the ‘war’ Category

Dogs of War

Posted: April 8, 2017 in poem, poet, poetry, politics, war, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Along the way, to better lands
We pass places worthy of our living
We pick our stride, don’t look aside
We deny all the fruits they are giving

We map our route, we have no doubt
We use landmarks named by rhyme and reason
We trudge ahead, we spare the dead
looking for that perfect scene and season

We travel on, when stopped along,
Turning away, all things wild or human
Soon will be the day, I will say
kill them, burn and pillage to my crewman

Swords we hone with sharpening stone
We break bone, slash gut, red flesh and tendon
On knees they cry but life’s denied
Broken bone and bleeding wounds no mending

When we are done, the spoil is won
Women, food and prize are for our taking
We burn the rest, leave mud and mess
Only black smoke left of our cruel making

Pay us for, we are dogs of war
We sell our arm and sword for gold coin
The pain we give, so greed will live
And will deny it was of your doing



Old men feeling the foreplay of the sensuous tug of war
Old men that have forgotten or have never known the smell of the smoke of death
But with blustering words from their arm chairs and their long tables
they easily speak of sending the young Armies
who believe the words shouted from the podiums of these old casual heroes.
Casual heroes that now voyeur from hovering satellite views
and the green starlit 20,000 foot cameras of robot planes.
Old casual heroes with hard-ons and loose belts, craving their pornography of war.


(Let’s keep our eyes on the ball, soon there could be a lot of unusual things happening outside of the U.S. to distract us from a lot of unusual things that will soon be revealed right here at home.)

Well, another year begins. 2016, if this century could drive, it could get its driver’s license this year. It is at that awkward teenage time of life. Its male side is walking around with a perpetual boner and not really knowing what to do with it. And worst of all, centuries don’t have thumbs and can’t effectively do anything about it anyway. So we don’t know what kind of trouble it will be getting into compensating for either short coming. The female side of this teenage century feels like she is 21 and doesn’t understand that there are no older male centuries out there that she can relate to. She wants to move ahead and start acting like an adult, although she is not quite experienced enough to survive in it. Very frustrating century age for her to be. Tempers on both sides can flare!

As you can see, we living in this 21st century teenaged age are living in a very critical time. If either side of this 2016 age doesn’t get laid soon, we are going to be in a hell of a mess. Just look back through past century’s teenage years and it will scare the hell out of ya! Many cruel historical events happened in each century while in its teens.

So what’s it going to be, this 2016? Will our male side of the century continue blustering around overcompensating for its short dick by getting bigger guns, building for war and self-protection and pushing the downtrodden,  the poor and displaced. Or will it just calm down a bit, read some good books, learn how to drink, smoke a joint or maybe just get a magazine and grow some thumbs. Get rid of some of that testosterone. Chill for Christ’s sake! You are only 2016!

And the same for the 2016 teenage century girl side. Trust what your 20th century mother has told you. Your mind will grow into your lovely new 21st century body. The man side will soon see more in you than just sex. There is time for you to make a huge mark in the world. This will be your century. Just enjoy your youth and don’t try to grow up so fast. But learn to compete with the male and female assholes! You are only 2016!

I’m sorry I have to talk to you this way so early in the year, 2016. But it is a very critical age you are living and lots of people are depending on you. So take your old Uncle ShipSmoke’s advice, and try to play nice this year, calm down, take a breath. I’m getting old, my bones hurt and I need the rest. But try to shut the fuck up and enjoy your time here!


(Thanks DSS! , E or OC couldn’t have said this any better themselves.  John)


Posted: March 3, 2015 in assassination, politics, Stratdegary, war
Tags: , ,

In the same way that the access to film footage in Vietnam showed America the reality and atrocities of war, access to video on all sorts of devices is showing us the reality and atrocities of life on the streets, schools and playgrounds of America.

Scenes of limp, lifeless bodies dragged into body bags and stacked like cord-wood, made America, core America back home and there, rethink what we were doing in places like the sidewalks of Saigon and those images demanded that our policy hinging on insanity be changed. The memory of those images were so strong that the Bush administration would not allow pictures of bodies, body bags or rows of coffins in military transports to be seen on television during his reign over the Iraq War. He knew it would turn the American enthusiasm for the war as it did in Southeast Asia. Hopefully the scenes we watch today of the homeless and the children of America being killed will temper American enthusiasm for bloodshed here at home and put it under the same reality microscope and we as a civil society will force change again.

On two occasions, we have witnessed an overpowering force of officers justifying using deadly force against an unarmed man. How does a situation get so out of hand that it results to this? In both incidents, simply letting the victim loose would have brought the situation to a different end.

I just have to ask the questions, How much of this crap has been going on that hasn’t been caught on film or video in the past? Have we been living in a society where this happens routinely? Listening to the police, they say law enforcement has to be conducted this way. I’m getting the feeling that they think that “You can’t handle the truth!!!”.   Has it come to this?

We are like that you know. We can accept practically anything going on in the world without emotion when we just hear about it on the news or read about it in our favorite news blogs. Or read about it in the newspaper (does anybody still read a newspaper?). But until we actually see it in video or are unfortunate enough to see it with our own eyes we don’t react.

How is it that the police can react so quickly that they can justify killing a man only after a short skuffle but we as citizens can see it happen on video and it takes us so long before we can feel an emotion strong enough to force change?

Or maybe we just like it the way it is.


In those types of times

Posted: October 16, 2014 in poetry, politics, Sixties, war

To my children,

“your parents experienced the fear of possible world war with nuclear warheads during the Cuban missile crisis, their favorite president was assassinated, then his brother too, as well as Martin Luther King. They saw their friends and their brothers killed in Vietnam daily on the nightly news. They saw college students killed by their own National Guard, and civil rights protesters attacked with fire hoses and worse. The 60′s, art and music were people’s way of lifting their spirits in those types of times. “

We hid under school desks
slept to burning visions
Watched as dogs attacked
and hoses washed away the denied
But for every bad there was a good
a song, a film, a painted picture
For every bad man there was a good
a speech, a quote, an epitaph
Old men were called the greatest generation
We lived helpless through their rule
They called us Boomers
We wrote hopeful songs
and made the realistic movies
They call us Boomers,
Now, although old, is our time.
What happened to OUR time?


Adult 1% Decision

Posted: August 14, 2014 in free verse, poetry, politics, war

You just have to start.
Move, stroke, run
move fast and first and let the mind catch up,
make it feel that the words belong,
The syntax will follow,
but its order from chaos really,
we should really think as a child
We really aren’t grown-ups


Most of our lives are following lessons we learned in elementary school.
Quoting Woody Allen, “95% of life is just showing up”. Whether you are 5 or 85 that’s a constant of life. So only a small amount of our remaining 5% of the time something “adult” is being asked of us. I believe that only 1 percent of our lives actually requires an adult decision in order to reach a decent degree of success. The unsuccessful of us make no adult decisions at all. The other 4% of the time we are still just doing what we learned as children.

Deciding to pay bills is not an adult thing, we learned to bring our milk and lunch money to school and knew the consequences if we didn’t when we were 5 or 6. Bathing, potty training, washing our hands, using our fork and spoon, all things that as kiddies we learned to do. By the time we are “adults” most of the time we are only doing the same things that we did as children. The only thing that stopped us from doing more when we were 10, was our limited resources. If I’d had a few bucks at that young age, I would have had a whole hell of a lot more experiences. I may have been dangerous. I was aware then and so were you.

Admit it, you are not thinking much differently now than you did as a runny nosed 8 year old. Hell, even I remember being that age.

Sex you say is adult. Not so fast now, we were playing doctor nurse patient, “I will show you mine if you’ll show me yours” beginning somewhere between kindergarten and third grade. Everyone has a childhood curiosity story. By the time we are teenagers we are just following the same instinct but with hormones. Things are just wetter after age 11,12 or 13. I believe Kinsey found that most of us began masturbating before we grew pubic hair. Just because we are now having sex as adults doesn’t mean we are thinking as or being adult. I believe that if we looked at sex as we did as children it would be even more fun than it already is. As adults we are just more uptight about it. We are wasting a little share of our 1% adult thought life being uptight about it.

I don’t want this to only be about sex. I just brought it up so you’d keep reading. I am really questioning the difference between our child thought patterns and our adult. I really don’t think there is any difference. Just look at Congress. Pretty damn childish isn’t it. Look at the wars that are sprouting up everywhere, damn childish, an example of children with resources. Children think that the kids with the most resources and toys wins. How many times have we found that to be untrue?

There is just not enough of the 1% of adult thinking going around. 1% is really not asking much of us. Hell with giving 110%. We just need to be grown up 1% of the time, 1 fucking %. And those of us that are supposed to and we depend on being adult are running around in jungle camouflage jack boot outfits and armored trucks in the middle of a concrete city. And pointing guns at American citizens that just want to know why a 18-year-old kid was killed by someone who was supposed to be there to serve and protect and be nothing but a 1% adult. 1%,…. it’s too much to ask.


Casual Heroes

Posted: May 7, 2014 in free verse, politics, war
Tags: , ,

Old men feeling the foreplay of the sensuous tug of war
Old men that have forgotten or have never known the smell of the smoke of death
But with blustering words from their arm chairs and their long tables
they easily speak of sending the young Armies
who believe the words shouted from the podiums of these old casual heroes.
Casual heroes that now voyeur from hovering satellite views
and the green starlit 20,000 foot cameras of robot planes.
Old casual heroes with hard-ons and loose belts, craving their pornography of war.



Beaded Curtains

Posted: March 27, 2014 in Sixties, war


(This is a combined account of two men I worked with in 1970. This may be disturbing to read. I know it was when they told their stories to me so many years ago. Not flash fiction but flash reality.) 

He felt tired but entirely fulfilled. Not since the last time in Saigon had he let his desires surface to that extent. The small framed women wore almost child like bodies but carried old in their eyes that revealed years of experience. Their confidence was always disturbing. Their callused hands and poor teeth told nothing of their age. Any type of sex act was available and for 3 French francs all could be performed on a man at the same time by as many women. He thought nothing of following these whores through bead draped doorways into any seedy room that they choose to work. The steaming heat, smell of cooking soy and Yan Woa perfume filled his lungs. Afterwards, a shower, Brazo soap and change of clothes was the only thing that peeled the reminder of the erotic encounter from his body and hands but not his mind.

What a hole to find himself in. How in the hell did, Gerald Watswigger, a 23-year-old Air Force Airman First find himself in such a place? No one at home would even know where or what continent he was on let alone city, even if he could tell them where he was or what he was doing.

Advisors, in the occasional 1962 U.S. newspaper that they would find, the papers called them advisors. But Wag’s crew wore civilian clothes only, no U.S currency and no I.D. could be carried. They would move from hotel to hotel one step ahead of each rumor that they heard of an impending bombing. As they moved out through the outskirts of Saigon, they could see things were heating up. Barbed wire, machine gun nests and unmarked American jeeps were becoming more common. Cratered holes and dirt clods of yellow clay gave evidence of the previous nights clash with the black pajama clad insurgents.

Then a tremendous percussion, a blast that blew him and the jeep into the air. He crashed face first into the mud, ears ringing, his eyes mostly blinded by seeping blood. Right arm twisted behind his back, he was unable to rise. Then the pain and dizzying sensation to puke. The pain, the fucking pain and realization that he had lost his boot and sock. The boot sat upright in the middle of the road and beside it, his leg. Jesus Christ! His leg!

He awoke yelling! Sweat pouring, t-shirt soaked and the sensation that his left foot was being squeezed by the tight tucked sheets. Staring down he remembered there was no foot or leg there. There had been none for almost 10 years. When would those goddamn cold sweat nightmares end? How many times would he relive this?

The sons of bitches!