Posts Tagged 'military'

Great Day

Great Day

Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I went to a local supermarket to get a few last-minute items. We always seem to forget something in our main food purchases. The parking lot was filled to overflowing and I had to hunt for a spot.

As I walked the aisles, list in hand, I found lines of shopping carts end-to-end plus stockers trying to replace items on empty shelves. This would not be a quick trip.

I marked my list, interrupted occasionally by a near collision, and the challenge began to take on a dream-like quality. I saw no frowns. Stockers cheerfully rose from their shelves to help customers find what they needed. Smiles acknowledged the call for teamwork and everyone played fair.

The lines were long, but checkout was efficiently and joyfully done. As I worked my way across the parking lot, I looked back toward the storefront to see if the appearance had changed into something more Disney-esque.

At this point in the story I could pull the old gag “And then I woke from my dream.” But this is the way it really happened. Almost a week later my mind goes back to that magical hour when people realized the situation and decided to go with the holiday spirit, respectfully working together to make the best of it.

 

Prison

Prison

How sad to see

so much humanity

filled with green bile,

masked in seething sneers,

wrapped in the cloak

of hatred, and

shod with greed and avarice,

delivering pain and humiliation

in the name of righteousness.

Where does love

grow its gentle tendrils

among such stony soils?

Where can they find

a valley within

for the vivid flow of compassion?

How can they force themselves

to live in this prison;

their own creation

of wretched hell?

Hal C Clark – May 21, 2011

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

 

They haunt me in my briefest sleep,

     They’re never far away,

Their shattered bodies stay with me

     In the night or light of day.


From somewhere came a storm of fire;

     We fired back at the place.

Women’s screams and children’s cries,

     Red-spattered on each face.


Mothers and their small children

     Lay in gory refrains,

And nowhere can the guns be found

     ‘Mid twisted, torn remains.


Shards of a loving family,

     A grimace shrouds each face,

Embrace in bloody agony, their

     Bodies like antique lace.


How can these be my enemies?

     No guns or arm held high,

There, children’s cherub faces

     Without a will to die.


I’m in a constant battle,

     And one I did not wage.

I’m here to do my duty,

     Then turn another page.


No stranger, then, to murder,

     But like a sin to me.

To take life from another,

     Not what I want to be.


In this keen internal strife,

     My mind cannot resolve.

The killer and compassion

     In acute torment revolve.


And so, I can’t get past the pain,

     The noise and solitude.

I see the masks of those I’ve slain,

     Feel guilt I can’t elude.


 

They visit me in briefest sleep.

     They do not go away.

Their anguished eyes stare back at me

     Through each tormented day.

Hal C Clark – November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

This is a tribute to the men and women who endanger their lives to fight in our wars. Some are killed, some have physical injuries, while others have psychological injuries not easily seen or evaluated. Trauma to the mind is just as debilitating as a physical injury, and to those brave men and women who suffer this kind of injury, I dedicate this poem.


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