Fire #Uganda #Atozchallenge

“There’s a fire” a boy points

it looks like dust

the men go to check

flames are raging

inside a small school

men and women rush

saving everything they can

“Get out before the roof falls”

fire brigade of 25 children

“pump pump pump”

children carry 20 to 30 pounds of water

I try to put a bucket on my head

my arms will have to do

brave men push brick walls inward

courageous children pump and carry water

one school is gone

I sigh with relief – “no one is hurt this day”

tomorrow a new challenge

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Brave children

red hot flames of destruction

tired, sooty smiles

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This fire happened 3 weeks ago while we were visiting Uganda. Our aim was to teach elementary children during the day  and encourage a home of orphans and staff at night.

In the United States we would stand back and watch as firefighters battled a fire. Not so with these strong people who dragged burning, hot furniture out of a raging fire. Kelly, a 3-year-old, carried bucket after bucket of water to save the school.

In stead of the 16 elementary lessons I had prepared, we spent the week teaching 70 children (4-6 year olds) on the porch of the orphanage. I was thankful for a suitcase of crafts and a butterfly puppet, I packed last-minute, who helped my husband and I teach  daily lessons.

 

 

 

Le Croix de Guerre #Normandy #Calltoarms #hero #WWII #D-Day

Once  I was worn by an average man

he fought bravely in two wars

 he did not understand the cause

but faithful he answered  a call to arms

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One war he fought for France

his parents actually never knew

he signed while a student of Sorbonne

young men do what they have to do

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the unlikely are  pinned as  heros

awarded the Croix de Guerre

by those he chose to defend

untold stories of  bravery there

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Then call to arms another War

No need to fight again

reveille dawned at  Normandy

honor required duty of every man

Today  in tribute to all the artists, writers, musicians, and poets who served their country for freedom. This story though fictional in nature is based on recalled accounts of the astounding bravery of men. The man I am constructing the story around actually won two medals in separate wars. I wish I knew all of his story but what I know was pieced together by stories I heard from his daughter, my patient, who had dementia. The Croix de Guerre his medal for bravery.

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I am the bronze representation of the heart of bravery. “Bravery” it’s such a paltry word for a human’s willingness to make the up most sacrifice for another, for a cause, for the heartbeat of freedom to continue. I proudly rode upon the chest of such a man as this. “Brave” he would scoff at the word when others would toast his courage. I was not there the first time; I was still neatly packaged waiting in a box. What he did wasn’t brave; it was insane! Men were the equivalent to carnage on a field of blood that day; Flowers will never grow there again. It was dusk. The smoke and stench choked the strongest of men pulling out from the bowels the remnants of any unpalatable tin flavored repast. He looked out and for a moment he saw a specter; his commander who that morning had led a sortie. All had seemingly died in one momentary plume that drove  earth, gear, men, and blood into the morning’s sky.” Captain” he whispered as he clamoured out of the foxhole into imminent danger. “Noooo” his buddy choked a dry, throttled cry. “There is too much to live for don’t die!.” He was gone into” no man’s land”and no one could saw the heroism he rallied  forth.  Captain Murdock fell into his arms; his face gaping with unbelief. Dragging the captain  back to the foxhole, he beckoned for unseen hands. Depositing the Captain, he rushed back into the dark cloud pulling man after man back to the place they called “home.”  “Idiot,” was the enemy’s thought as he fired. Shots rang abount his ears, one pinged off an already scarred bucket of a helmet; one or two struck him in the arm,ut he kept on whispering “Father let this be your finest hour.”  It was! When the tally was taken at the end of the day, the score was enemy 2 victors 12. Two men had been blown sky-high, macerated body pieces  was all that was left. The blast had propelled the others from the epicenter of destruction. None could gather their bearings nor find their way back to safety. My master suffered pain from the two bullets in his arm until the day he died, but he lived to wear me. The others each went on to victories of their own – all survived to tell the story of one brave young American student from the Sorbonne who was studying French Literature. “A quiet taciturn sort of man” they stated. They would have laughed at the most unlikely type soldier, hero, but who could laugh at such a man?

I along with my twin heard many tales of bravery amongst brother medals. I was there the day that the words “let this be your finest hour” were spoken again. I couldn’t believe this man hadn’t learned from the war to end all wars. But here we were with more carnage and decay in a second war that would end all wars or life as we knew it. That day  my master sprung into his action barring the way to death’s reaper for more than a dozen young men who had followed him onto the beach at Normandy. Casualties were all about his feet,but he pushed and pushed further to knock out a viper’s nest that was putting holes in boys who could barely shave.

Because of my master, children were born and saw the light of new day who never would have been born. Grandchildren laughed on grandpappies knees  and another generation waved the banner against injustice because of brave men like my master who in a moment made the decision to die that other might live.

And so my family Le Croix de Guerre and I raise a toast to each man and woman who has served to make my world and yours a place where children are born to see the blue skies of another day.

Photograph; “Le Croix de Guerre” copyright L. Moon 2010

The Golden Key (Revisited) #Grimmfairytales #children

Rumpelstiltskin-Crane1886

Today is the 200 year anniversary celebrating the work of the Grimm Brothers who wrote 200+ fairy tales. I read The Golden Key and felt it had ended prematurely so this is my suggested part two to the tale:

key_to_my_soul_by_petaldreams-d4oyb4d

The boy’s hands had been frozen cold by the snow. He shivered wondering if he had the strength to return home. He looked at the key. So tiny yet full of life; he could feel it. As the gold key turned in the box, the key began to grow and glow. “I am warm,” the boy said in cheerful surprise.

The fire he had hoped for sprung up around the key, but the boy was brave and touched the fire without being burned. He now knew this was no common key.

Though many people in the presence of magic ask for something to ease their lot, the boy was content to hold the warm key and box. The box got heavier until the boy reluctantly set it down on the ground. He held fast to the curious box fearful it would vanish.

The box became hot as it ignited from the key’s glow. The boy continued to hold on tight. As the flame grew more intense, the box, which revealed itself to be pure gold, became clear like glass. The boy expectantly peered inside. The only thing he could see was a plain gold ring. He reached in through the fire, grasped the flame filled ring, and placed it on his finger.

An onlooker would have seen a most magnificent thing on that cold frosty morn. A key, a box, and a ring transformed a boy to a knight. The glow about him melted the snow. A kaleidoscope of color mingled with the fire. Flowers sprung from the impotent earth, fruit sprouted on nearby trees, the life that had so long ago departed returned to the barren land.

Little did this simple boy know that he was chosen by the key for a mission. The knight would save many downtrodden soul in the cold, unrelenting world and provide golden hope for the besieged. Long after the knight was gone stories would be told, through the land, of the knight who carried warmth for all in his heart.

Photography The Key to My Soul by Petal Dreams at Deviant Art

Over at New World Creative Union and the Wednesday Wakeup Call the call is to embrace the fairy tale genre (old or new) and be inspired. 

Go for Broke #442nd #memorialday

You always amazed me with that sweet quiet smile
I would pull into my driveway we always talked for awhile
I loved the deep brown wrinkles that formed a content countenance
I never saw a frown as you leaned over our fence
So few of us knew the layers of the real you

A master gardener for a well known  organization was your due

Your work was written up in magazines here and nation wide
I saw those gardens – you have the perfect eye
How surprised was I to find in a simple interview
Of your marked heroism your bravery too
Your dear precious wife proudly brought out your medal
so I plied the story – you played like a fiddle
Layer by layer your story was told
relocated to Tanforan’s racetrack where horses were foaled

Your farms taken your family sent afar
I knew very little then about Manzanar
there I saw “off limits” and shame in your eyes

When that place was mentioned a place you despised

You were proud to be a Nisei son
your parents sought a better life not to be shunned
How could a nation summarily label you as the enemy?
But they did so without thinking – it was delivered shamefully
You were just 18 when you signed for the 442nd
You would have signed up to fight with any unit I reckon
Proud were you and your Japanese brothers

To fight under the American flag you had no druthers

“Go for Broke” was your cry

Many young lives for America died

Each of you shed blood for the cause

Didn’t America know it was their loss?
That limp so dear to me came with pride
to carry several fallen back to safety one lived another died
You are a hero in many eyes
You bring beauty into the world every day

The flowers your beauty always on display

But the thing I realize I see

Is a man with a rich history

And now when I see you I ponder awhile
I dwell on the heart of the man with the tanned wrinkled smile

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to tell you what you have done for this country.
You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice.
And you won.
You have made the Constitution stand for what it really means: the welfare of all the people, all the time.”
– President Harry S. Truman speaking to the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, July 15, 1946