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Free-Verse

Paralytic Trauma: by Friendly Fire!

(An Unknown Sacrifice during the Vietnam War in 1972)
 

Paralytic Trauma: by Friendly Fire!

Living in the Darkness

As controversial as this story may be, I decided to bring the incident from a Vietnam War era sacrifice to a Post-Vietnam War forefront as an exercise through a personal photographic expression regarding an experience that occurred in 1972. This effort has been an idea I conceived back in 2016 while studying a Humanities and Photography class in college. One project I never completed was an exercise in retelling the story of a paralytic trauma I experienced. I chose an experience not to deceive myself by judging others.  This becomes an honest relationship issue with my fellow man through being honest with myself. Time heals all wounds. To live with the possibility of becoming paralyzed is tough to forgive, but Doctor and General Joseph Warren of the Continental Army stated, "It's not about the hate."

 

I spent several weeks in Combat Training at MCB Camp Geiger, N.C. and was about to graduate when something went terribly wrong. One of the last phases of training during this era in 1972 was to complete the Infiltration Course. I completed the course, dazed, confused, and in shock and awe from a series of explosive blasts. Upon the third blast that detonated directed to the right of me a projectile (I sense was an M-60 shell casing), hit me hard in the cervical area on the center of my spinal cord. I suffered from not just the bruise on my spinal cord that later revealed itself as permanent nerve damage but a potential concussion. This occurrence left me unknowing as to where I was, or who I was, or what I was doing.

 

Consumed by time, trauma, darkness, and a repressed memory, the entirety of my life slipped by for four decades. Then I met a WWII Veteran on a cruise in '06 who befriended me, sharing his story as a POW through the trembling of his hands while he spoke. His voice cracked in trepidation, while he expressed that which he could muster from a horrific past of wartime cruelties upon fellow human-beings. Sadly, I only remember his first name. His name was Will, and he became my friend.

 

I feel Will's courageous efforts to tell his story and his lesson he aspired to give to humanity was far greater than any sacrifice I made. I was told in boot-camp the Viet Cong were all looking for "bullet-stoppers." Through a loss of personal identity, I repressed my memories of the Vietnam War era throughout a forty-year reign of darkness. I feel Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has eliminated any chance for success in the real world. But my friend Will shared his experience in terms that he understood. War is a lifetime of hell for all involved.

The Mystical Mirage of Looking Inside

 

Traveling inward I discover the tempest for a night of one-thousand nights strewn in a darkness so deep I no longer see, for I have become blind by the madness of the humanity factor. Can it be so a light shines within the shadows of a demononic plague? Or, is it just within this landscape of the bones left behind from my traumatized soul?

 

To whom may I pray for a tranquil reprieve exonerating me from this sudden death? I turn then by the will of Heaven to the Mother of exculpation, "O Clement! O Loving! O Sweet Mother thus crowned in Heaven, pray thus, now to save me!

 

Your earthly visit has begun a new incarnational transformation within this mystery for a golden glow that surrounds you as aura. You have instructed me as I die a thousand deaths upon this landscape for the inkwells of the poetics that has begun to do its work to listen. Forty-three centuries of a wise-woman way may bear witness to this mystical mirage of looking inside. I do, and have come upon treasures of not bone and ash, but of the flesh within my once stoney heart. I have been reprieved as I mature in a spirit-filled journey save yet, yes, from a woman's soul, transparent rainwaters over which so much wasteland punishment lay.

 

I lay adjourned, seeking only the reward you have bequeathed me. Now, justice fulfilled within a transformed heart, I see the ancient cliched light for my redemption that walks now through a field of revitalized grain of graces, the truest measure of a man who once walked the tarry pits of a hell so deep, the only angel to save me was in fact, the Mother of all Angels.

 

O Clement. O Loving. O Sweet Mother of God.

Sing, as of, Yet – thus, Sing!

As I sing of myself, I sing of one greater than I, for there remains further to know than just me. There remains a knowing not yet yielded by the earth of insect and worm, but sing, as of, yet – thus, sing!

 

Far none greater than God may attest to his freedom to be bold enough to say I love you, or her, or of him. I know. For with tongue and fore, I forge onward to man's core, and even to a woman's breast, I sing forth, of the truth to love, or be loved by any with a heart that says so. I fear not the traveling of angels and of serpents coiled to strike at the heel.

 

My knowing is from dimensions far, far away from the flesh or, of the carnal, I say – be free, and simply just know the distance between heaven and earth remain the distance between you and between me.

 

Lying upon the threshold of a dying corpse remains a knowing from the interior of a universe so vast I comprehend the universe not, or of God not, but between the fiery souls of men receive freedom the earth, thus denies and lay in wait for its destruction.

 

Needless to say – there is freedom in song, and voices from nowhere that lead me to the perimeters between good or evil. I fear not. As God stands with fiery sword at the Eastern gate of what once was Paradise, I see between the sparkling diamonds made out to be eyes of the cherubim that speak to me of transparency and the freedom you cannot find.

 

For me - remains truth far greater than I in the quiet and soothing distillery of a man's soul. Take from me to discover your knowing and to release the stream of life known only by the drops of ink left upon a virginal page of white.

 

There remain more to God than pointing a finger…blaming me for not being you. These words are not of words I do not understand, for it is in knowing we come to the brink of our redemptive state of being. Where, may I sing? Where may we find a good between two evils?

Dark Places: [the human heart] {…} ~

Why must I discard, cast out I say, my tiny sanctuary for this earthly mi tierra of my darkened château of soul? Darkened {…} ~ this whitened skin turned brown, black, red, and yellow, my reckoning with my own ashes with none of a phoenix to rise? Bone from bone, flesh now hidden away from its own skin, and what, now, have I learned of this dark night? Shall I state that one day, perhaps, these invisible scars embedded within this reminiscence of the human heart assist others in their own darkened misery? Or is this a testimony… a declaration for a fiery hell?

This darkened night between the equinox of two seasons is where this holy hand that touched me above the landscape of razors, a potential massacre of my bleak and dark places pushes and pulls, one way then the other, to the killing fields off in the distance of memory, where "there is no way out but inward." [1] A face to face with myself, my treasure trove of bleeding ashes.

But, in my redemption for a place called home, only One may redeem, and his was the darkest of nights that led to a place I now call Paradise.



[1] I wish to gratefully acknowledge and thank Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. For inspiring me magnanimously through the writing of this poetic journey that reflects my sentiments from scars left behind during my military service in the USMC 1972. The journey was difficult and writing about it facilitates healing. Dr. Estes' book Untie the Strong Woman, 2013. Sounds True. Boulder. Print. has touched my heart quite deeply. I am indebted for your literary work of genius.

The Hell of Facing Yourself as Unworthy

It is in facing your worthy truths as unworthy that commits your soul to hell, the opposites of truth are the realities we must accord ourselves to. It is a truth from the father of all lies. In all the universe there remains nothing unworthy from the Creator who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, for God is the omnipresence of his own likeness in humanity.

 

Upon this mountain-top of earth and sweet scent of grass the wind shall blow even in the darkness of an embittered nightfall I shall know. It is the Holy One breathing the future into words as this long estrangement burns these dusty paths.

 

Year upon year, and decade upon decade, I have searched for You! You have come to me through the inkwells of time onto a parched earth of the sun-scorched land, here is where I create my estranged new stand.

 

Entombed by the corpse for a faltered truth, one that begets the humanity factor as the sweetness of scent creates within me something new. A thing of Real beauty is to know a love that shall not fail me, or you, dear One, sweetness of the desert flavor written upon every tongue to speak its unwavering truth, to write from within the bones and blood of our spiritual genes, devour not your strength but go forth phenomenally created, wandering me, till together we become, You and I.

DANCE OF THE SCARLET BUTTERFLY - PART III

Lost! In a thought congested attack naked of earth and sand, rock and dust in this belligerent land, why, stand up – and, be a man!

 

I've witnessed the dancing shadows of many moons, forty-years plus of interior strangulations (always, with an erotic twist), and the darkness of a kneeling man, squaring off with resolution from the lawlessness of embittered memories.

 

The rawness of courage so daunting eagles fly, with clipped wings over the battlefields in my mind, pain that remains stagnated as a bloody corpse in a time of war.

 

I could not be here, then – but face my enemies with a vision where words live upon my every day, excavating the Absolutes from my raw and hungry places, the Absolutes with every note, lyric, word, or spoken dialect with its ancient past.

 

Here Now – with you has made all the difference with my silver love as we write our voices down that evolve as our poetics.

 

You – your earth-centered and sustainable endeavor of earth and sky, field and stream, bird or rock, while dandelions sing your name in praise of your unassuming Presence.

 

For me - life, not meant to be a dwelling upon a mortared past, but yes, to rise and greet the challenge with courage in my right hand, faith in my left, believing hope prevails honorably in the footsteps of the warrior's way.

 

The moral of this poetic speaks to me to turn away from the sun reveals a darkness so deep I become lost to delusions. But to seek the sun breaks the boundaries of obscurities where the shades of light become brighter.

Dance of the Scarlet Butterfly - PART I

I am the warrior by word who brings peace to regions of the desolate, barren, and hopeless. Always, living on the doorsteps of death, I managed to survive, even as an infant, premature with all my dogmatic faith, I stood to tell the myth of how I survived.

 

Based upon the fear of a machismo earth, and to the inhabitants therein, fear kept hope alive in the dungeons of rebirthing a kindred spirit, a tiny mustard seed of faith, and a love for the language of the world, that is heard through tenderness.

 

Silver love brings to me a new word of praise within the fields of harvesting the depths of a love truest in the essence of each metaphor.

 

Denied from birth the freedom of speech, the freedom of verb and noun, the freedom of word, freedom.

 

A regimented life of pain-filled days, and nights from the sweat, blood, and tears of fiery dreams and words that kill, I survived. Oh, the depths of a pain-soaked life, where shall I travel, but the dusty roads of the pains of agony, and the ecstasy of a glory not bequeathed of man.

 

Vein upon vein, similes from a phantom guide, a teacher and her student, smile upon the same lotus flower that leads to the forest of a nirvana, comparative with an earthly Eden, and the Angel's fiery sword of truth protects the gate with the Word of truth.

 

Time heals all wounds they say, liberation comes with each ripening word and verbal ray, as we pass through the evolutionary bridge of spiritual enlightenment in our perpetual state of grace.

Free-Verse # 1

Walking on black ice mirrored by a humid mirage of desert brush cacti, live oaks, and a roadrunner darting pieces of flesh from his prey of a rattler's skin. I continue to walk thinking, always thinking of what comes next from out of this desert air. Nothing good can possibly come from brush so dense. I feel the walls of spiked under growth traversing a path known only to the predator's land after a southern squall of icy transparent sheets from a steady rain. From out of the darkness of dense shades of green evolve the deep gray of ancient stones gathered by an indigenous hand, striving to shape his future as a holy man only to be forced to shelter his past from the colonial conquest of injustice, and, remains faithful to his ancestral flesh. The man-made tower climbs to the skies as the bells call to the souls of the faithful, inebriated by a false sense of freedom. As my walk arrives to a destination of alleged hope, I think, my god, man, what have you created?