Archive for May, 2010

10 Memorial Day Poems

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Take a look
listen to a song
and remember those…

Sometimes it is the mist of the mountain that brings us closer together…

Contributors: DB Cox, Lucy Hell, Jim Abel, Tim Pettet, Helen Losse, Donal Mahoney, Winnie Star, and Scot Young.

dust-off by DB COX

Posted in DB Cox with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

clean-collar commuters
peer from the cover
of stylish shades
taking secret comfort
in a pathetic apparition
in an army overcoat
nose down—
an overturned boat
in a pool of piss
in the mute humility
of his own guilt
forever fighting
unfinished battles
tangled in green
triple-canopy dreams
while inside crusty
rust-filled ears
the white noise
of distant city traffic
hums like a “huey”
spectral medevac
searching for a soul
lost more
than forty years ago
somewhere along
the mekong river

Decoration Day by Scot Young

Posted in Scot Young with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

it is on this day
and every other
I remember
you did not serve
on any front
but fought
the life war
and dad

to either
join him
leave him
you chose

for a shred of
you thought
others had
and you

you lost

I send this
on angel
too late
to comfort
your soul
it is on this day
and every other
I remember

To a Neighbor Back from War by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

First of all, your mind.
The chimes must stop,
the drums, the horns,
as well. Finally, the long,
the wild parade
of mummers crazed
you must spade off
the way my Daddy,
years ago,
when I was four,
on a bright St. Patrick’s Day,
turned the soil in Mother’s garden,
cursed the British
one more time
then drove his spade,
while Mommy screamed,
through the neck
of a garden snake.

The Silence of Death by Lucy Hell

Posted in Lucy Hell with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Ronald flew planes
For the Royal Air Force
British and a Jew
Was Rosenthal, but the war
Stole his name
Altered to Rossitter

Mostly he never talked
About WWII,
His medals and photographs
Lined the walls,
Speaking for him,
Pictures with Eisenhower
Standing next to his plane
His aviator helmet in hand

I think he was sad
I was too
Young to ask
Or later too self-absorbed
The world revolved around me

And that’s how he made me feel
Safe and loved and free …

He died a month before my
First child,
His great-granddaughter
Came into the world

He would have loved her so much

And I wish I
Could have asked him more questions
About the greatest generation
So I could thank him
So I could hold his hand
So we could take long walks
Through his vineyard
Feed the donkeys
And have long talks
By the pond
Drink red wine
In the summertime
Eat cucumber salad
And argue about

I would listen more
Listen to him
Describe the bombs dropping
The planes exploding
The gunfire drowning out
The silence of death.

Decoration Day by Jim Abel

Posted in Jim Abel with tags on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Please click on the Iris to listen.


Decoration Day
Words and Music by Jim Abel

In the Springtime, in the side yard, white and purple, there were iris.
How my mother loved those flowers, though she always called them flags.
She had moved them from the old home in the car next to us kids.
Others might not see their beauty, but my mother always did.

Late in May we’d cut the flags down, unless there had been a late spring.
Wrap the stems, protect the heads with damp newspapers we had saved,
mason jars we’d filled with water in the trunk of our old car.
Slowly we would make the circuit, leaving tributes near and far.


At the summit of the hill, as it was I see it still.
In bright rows the flowers lay when there was Decoration Day.

Taking flowers to her mother was one thing my Mom and I did.
Here and there were aunts and cousins, relatives I never met.
No time out for prayers or stories; there’s a lot I wish I’d known.
We’d just stop to leave the flowers, trim the grass and clean the stone.


Then one Spring she went without me, why that was I don’t remember.
By the next year or one later no one cut the flags at all.
I would like to think she missed me, but then I would be to blame.
What I know is without iris Spring would never be the same.


In the Springtime, in my mem’ry, purple and white flags are standing
in cool rows of mason jars on granite slabs atop a hill.
Though I know if I looked now there would be no flags at all:
only artificial flowers blooming Winter, Spring and Fall.


© 2005 by Jim Abel
All rights reserved

Section 60 by Scot Young

Posted in Scot Young with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

the wind blows
most days in
section 60
as children &
mothers &
fathers &
wives &
small stones
on white marble
so others will know
between the silence
you rub the name
with blue crayola
for the fridge
at home

on the hour
the sobs muffled
by iron bells
you listen
like something will
like the wind will
blow it all away
like tears of angels
on white marble
just might
make a difference.

Moss by Timothy Pettet

Posted in Timothy Pettet with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

Moss, like rime frost,
blankets the side of a gravestone.
It is wet. It grows
from rock wearing away.
It is not ice.
It is not cold.

Memory Today by Winnie Star

Posted in Winnie Star with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

lives given
for all the
in battle
fields of war
in planes
armored tanks
at home
we wait
hope for

Shifting Paradigm by Helen Losse

Posted in Helen Losse with tags , on May 31, 2010 by Scot

The idea was to test a sound hypothesis.
They didn’t tell us what that hypothesis was.

When springtime grass began to green,
they marched us out to count the flags,
the gifts of small, red flowers
that adorned soldiers’ graves.

All day we counted, recorded
onto light green tally sheets.
Flags & flowers.  Flowers & flags.
In the evening, they marched us back.

They weren’t cruel to us—just scientific—
and as they began to serve us a hot meal,
we went back to being what we were: children.
Poppies were the only, actual touchstone

in a shifting paradigm.  But still we
couldn’t eat our whole, regular portions.
We just couldn’t.
We were thinking of Grover Pinky—

our beloved white rabbit—
newly dead in the kitchen drawer
that sad day in May.  As the albino rabbit
was placed in the dark ground

in the dim light of a cold moon
under drifting clouds that blackberry winter,
in that quiet place under a thicket of blossoming
brambles, we erected no marker as reminder.

Instead, we favored anonymity, uncounted shadows,
letting cumulous clouds float on by,
knowing anything tells the real story better than
flags and flowers, no matter what your hypothesis is.

This poem was first read for and presented to S. A. Griffin The Poetry Bomb in Hickory, NC on May 22, 2010.