Still Whole #poetry #veteransday

Yes people look and see metal

I like the sound it makes

it creaks along with my left knee

it took awhile but I’m settled

I had to get past

the part that was missin

I’m guessing you’re wondering

do I  feel whole still?

yes, but it works on your will

like a test

so when you look at me

smile at my friend

he’s a part of me

and on him I daily depend

Main Street USA #poem #VeteransDay

 

I went to Main Street today

some of the old buildings

from the past century were gone

newly painted signs marked the street

boys and girls jubilant cries

mothers and fathers

sang the same favorite song

as the veterans marched by

*

I went to Union Square today

they always did know about celebration

stars and stripes buntings fluttered

men hawked “freedoms” wares

traffic on Market Street was blocked

the air filled with anticipation

as we heard the drums coming toward us

horses  carried their warriors proudly

*

I went to the “L” &  “N” street of our Golden State today

the light posts bore bear and star  stripped flags

the spacious Capitol’s  lawns

were covered with colorful chairs

some had chosen a prize spot the night before

we would honor those who had served

arm and arm as comrades

our hails and shouts they deserve

*

I went to Pennsylvania Ave D.C. today

imagining heroes in full uniform array

proud of the country they had served

and what I saw brought a tear to my eye

a flyer promoting something in another language

hurried past  from some weekend event

 red white and blue errant candy wrappers blew

only ghosts of veterans showed up for parades of yesterday

****

It is a sad commentary when your nation’s leaders look the other way for an event / holiday that celebrates the men and women who have served and protected them. I planned for the first time to attend the big event in my Nation’s Capitol, but there will be no parade today in our nation’s capitol. Veterans like myself will obviously gather around monuments for a moment of silence. I will hum the “Star Spangled Banner” and perhaps “America” with camoflaged shadows too little recognized as heroes.

I salute you who have served : Army, Air Force, Marines, Coasties and a special thanks to the men and women of the Navy who have kept our seas and skies safer…

 Each of you deserve a salute, smile and attaboy!

 

The Ghosts of Battles Past #poetry #Veteran’sDay #tribute #photography #ghosts

“Forward men”

we heard the call

the plodding sound

a thousand boots

to bloodied ground fall

***

“March on”

boys cadenced

in a an old tin song

others called out

“how far how long?”

***

The days and nights

we felt their need

had barely food

no time

 urged upon speed

***

we hide away

while they must fight

sabers flash

 blue and grey

the colors clash

***

I hear your voice

through early day

sweet farewell plea

“mama I’m coming”

life dearly paid

***

They march on

those soldiers do

reverie’s ghosts

tho for these

the battle’s through

This poem is in Tribute on this Veteran’s Day to the boys who fought in the many wars including the war between the states. We see their ghosts in the battle field mist – still…

Photograph: “Battle Cry” L. Moon copyright 2012

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

Veteran’s Day Tribute (Friday Flash Fiction 55)

“Darling hold me close” she whispered

“Just a little longer – please

I want to remember what it feels like to be held by you

Memories keep me warm at night”

She rolled over into several of the pillows that represented

(but would never replace) her beloved husband

who was fighting somewhere  for his country

Thanks to G-Man for another week of fabulous Flash Fiction in 55 words. Come join us – play and read.

My Friend the Veteran (#Tribute for #Veteran’s Day)

I look in your eyes my friend

there are scars behind what most people see

Don’t look too close they beg and plead

Here’s what they would say:

There was Mark from Arkansas he lost his leg

Billy’s from Tennessee  is somewhere in a keg

Cort from New York came home in a bag

Gay from L.A. inhaled a poisonous gas

We never found Alec alas

Capn is in the VA – no thoughts left to grasp

most of our platoon is like me

filled with unspeakable memory

Still – please know we will always be proud

when we hear our country’s anthem loud

we played our part

in keeping our children safe from harm

******

There are many sides that people can look at war. I have no desire to dabble in the political mire. This poem is written for more than one friend. Each one gave something dear to make our world safe. I can say with head held high that I proudly served for six years in the United States Navy. Though I received several commendations, I never saw combat. We were ready at a moment’s notice and several times the notice was close as a breath. Many I worked with had seen the atrocities of war and even experienced poor treatment  when they returned home. Yet, they stood tall in uniform when our flag flew. They never forgot who they served or why.

I salute my brothers and sisters today. You are each a hero!!!!