a nine eleven memory

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How could we know
Ever dream
of giving
Our last
Best measure
of devotion
To a cause
What dream
Can give up love
Leaving tears
and tears in the fabric
of life

Destiny calling
Before we even knew
What part we had played
That we were here
to witness
Having hands to hold
Lives to unfold
Stranger shadows
becoming our own
Burned forever
in the fire
of our minds

Dust to dust
Shall be
Each breath
Each day
Remains and reminds
There’s a hole
In the sky
Where heroes lie
as Angels fly
and lost lovers lie
in the darkness
waiting for dawn

Photo: ‘Hole in the Sky’ near Albany, NY by gfs

Breathe

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Take a breath
Hold this moment
In your heart
In your hand
and remember
How it felt
to be together
Knowing the ache
Free, feeling
dreaming and waking
Realizing life
as a breath
and a heartbeat
Love given
and taken
Memories forever
and still
Echoes of hands
long held
and walks
long remembered
Sunsets passing
into time
Glorious, glorious
time …

Image: http://vfrance.deviantart.com/art/Lovers-Walking-166319112

The Highwayman

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Redux for a friend –

Dedicated to David D. Volturno who left this world doing what he loved on Jan 31, 2014 …

The Highwayman

He liked the smell of gasoline
burning oil mixed with the wind
following the open road
into horizons lost to him

Always there’s another road
that leads into a setting sun
offering its own reminders
of where the riders day has gone

Again the darkness grips the day
he’s rolling on into the night
this undaunted rider lingers
seeking purpose, lost in flight

Running from a haunted past
one that chose him, not the same
as what he would have wanted there
just a rook within the game

Shadows in the headlight dance
as if some spirit follows whole
a gilded knight dressed for battle
come to save the heart he stole

He’d been cut in many fights
and he had fallen hard and fast
felt wind that ripped at every stitch
with hands made hard by winters blast

Never mind for what he wanted –
was there ever hope to find?
No answers to the reasons why
his leaving here felt so unkind

This highwayman is bound for home
free from where these roads will bend
his distant echoes hold onto hearts
where in the light they’ll meet again


Image: Courtesy of his family

The Invitation by Oriah

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The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

Visit Oriah at – http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

still standing

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what was once a memory
has drifted into blue
as snow is melting to a stream
fading frozen from our view

running fast and far away
the winter seasons cry
into an ocean of our tears
since hearts were left to fly

far away on sun swept wings
with wonder wrapped in lace
water colors filled the sky
as Angels fell from grace

to touch the heart again in time
became their solemn prayer
love fulfilled a moments dream
alone still standing there


Image: http://storm016.deviantart.com/art/Head-Above-the-Clouds-48392931

The Dark Night

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On bended knee is where we find
Through our lives a wind will blow
Storms will rise with thunder claps
and moon swept tides will flow

Waters churn into the night
Darkness settles on the land
Lovers lost in narratives
Can minds competing understand

How the heart still longs to love
Clings to promises of faith
Lonely from the lies in leather
Tears leave stains upon the lace

The dark night of the soul will come
and go again by days between
The lessons learned in living still
fill galleries of all we’ve seen

Image: http://wallpoper.com/wallpaper/dark-night-342639

ancient of days

ancient of days

Forces and faces and feeling
alight is the sun given day
soon her shadows revealing
moments and dreams far away

light is the reason for being
time is the way we receive
love is the way we are seeing
all the heart will believe

ancient of days in the sunset
essence of all that has been
lives are lessons we never forget
lost across eons unseen

the blood left lying forsaken
as hate begets hate evermore
the gift of the life was taken
unknowing its purpose before

the dream was made into daylight
and night-falls forever remain
etched in the words we will write
and read from the parchment again


Image: http://christimages.org/images_BirthOfChrist/Ancient-Of-Days-_William-Blake.jpg

no bad news

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seems to me there comes a time
when news is never left behind
and dreams become tomorrows light
forgotten from the passing night

shadows of our days are falling
onto sidewalks toward our calling
emptied of our will to be
across this hidden century

days of grace have come and gone
ventured farther from our home
what was found beyond the gate
led there by the hands of fate

another ocean still to cross
seeking to redeem the loss
sun sets on a far horizon
where the lamb lies with the lion

not too far from where we stand
are harbors of a foreign land
souls are lost upon a sea
while life calls out return to me

darkness falling into season
the heart reveals a sacred reason
come to know when time stands still
then life returns us what we will

Image: http://www.kunstmuseumsg.ch/pressebilder/index.php?anlass=solakov

Vietnam war


I am a non-combatant. I was, in a sense, fortunate not to be drafted into the conflict in Vietnam, yet, now I have learned we all live with the scars. Through the years I have known many friends who served.
I have a friend named Sam, who years ago told me a story of lying in the dark all night, surrounded by the enemy, where he and his buddies held on to each other, wrapped in each others arms, until the sun came up. At the same time I met Brian, who in an ambush while riding in an APC filled his untied boots with hot spent casings from a machine gun, never feeling the burns on his ankle’s until the firefight was over. There is Tommy, who would have died with several others, in his first weeks in country, except for a veteran of combat who told him to take another path into the jungle that day. There is my best friend at work who lost his nephew to a sniper in Baghdad, or my good friend Mike who got his son back from Iraq uninjured physically, but struggled for years to regain the son he raised.
I recently found Claude Anshin Thomas’ book – At Hells Gate – which I now consider required reading for everyone – for all of us, for we all are the wounded generation. We all carry the scars of war, we are all responsible, whether we fight, or not, we must all know these stories in order to break this culture of violence.
Black Elk, the Lakota Medicine Man is known to have said “We must invite the widows to the war parties, in order for us to know the consequences of losing a husband, or a son”. We can no longer afford to deny that violence, that war damages us all.
Thank you to all who have served, I continue to pray for a new generation to bring peace …
Peter Anthony – (grandfathersky)
Link to: Dust Off

Photo: https://cougars-vietnam.wikispaces.com/Vietnam+Doctors

Taps

How the days have passed away
Nights spent even longer
Hearing taps in trumpet tunes
Forgotten with the hunger

Lost within the last remains
Of innocence we felt
Emerging from our sheltered lives
As youth was made to melt

From icy wounds that swept across
A plain of jars and grasses
Standing in a frozen form
The image ever lasting

Snapshots of the places lost
Within the flowing streams of time
Appear in sudden flashes from
The days we’ve come to find

In this, the life we dreamed of then
Became the answer to our prayer
Carried us away from hell
And left its memory living there

Author’s note – This was written for a good friend who spent months after returning home, unscathed from Vietnam, only to be assigned the duty of representing the US Army at the funerals of all the soldiers returned to their families in the state Arizona. To this day he cannot hear taps without being brought to tears …

“Above all men, the Soldier, prays most for peace” – Gen Douglas MacArthur


Image: http://thebatshatters.blogspot.com/2011/09/taps.html