Blood Sacrifice

“Brass eternal slave to mortal rage” (WS) – Gettysburg, PA – Photo by gfs

The innocents of man
Sons and daughters
of virgin mothers
Taught the way of war
Pour their blood out
on wheat fields and cotton
to a jealous god
whose mighty sword
beaten from plowshares
left its farrow in their hearts
as tears fell for the fallen
When true believers
took up their truth
to their ruin

Rivers of tears

matters of the heart
lie hidden
these untruths
seldom revealed
to the light
of day
of eyes
of all the shadows
cold remains

purpose poses
as if to say
here I am
there I go
forever wandering
in time
never wondering
why we came
where we came
from and leading
to the fall
of water into

eye motions
emotions beg
forgiveness of sins
signs in seasons
opening whether
the weather
the winds
and the rain
cry rivers of tears
cleansing rivers
of blood
while the soul
seeks forever’s

Photo – Sedona Sunset by gfs enhanced using Waterlogue for iPad

The White Cliffs of Dover


Driving to work
I thought I saw
the White Cliffs
of Dover
Heard number three
sputter and die
The men with me knew
(the living that is)
That the Channel
in December
was cold as death
We turned toward
the wind
Ran straight
with the waves
for the stall
for forgiveness
and deliverance
to the long
journey home




Knights who stood before the Queen
Received her mercies and her grace
Left to stand now in between
Their armor and her lace

Trusting in their ancient skill
Worked by hammer into steel
Revealing all they ever will
Before her grace they kneel

Centuries of tales untold
A renaissance of man to learn
Unwritten words from days of old
Our longing always to return

Author’s note: Written after visiting the Renaissance Fair in Sterling, NY. Photo by -gfs

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


Survivor’s guilt

~ Khe Sahn ~

In the sticky mud
Under my sleeping bag
I could hear the rodents creep
and paw at my sanity

In the roar of the rockets
and the clap of the iron bombs
There I lay wondering;
Did this all have meaning

Who would win this fight
Could there be a winner
When all that’s left is cinder
and the rain kept pouring down

Coffee tastes of powder
Air that smells of death
What was nature’s bounty
is just a human mess ..

Khe Sahn shall not fall !
We stood our ground and learned
Our victory left us lonely
Only earth and sky remained

Today I still recall the smells
and hear my buddies crying
Now I know the reason why
who was left surviving

To always tell the story
of how our futile choice
Is simply life’s demanding
That we raise our voice


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


Witness to War

Anyone who knows me, or has been following this blog for a period of time, will recognize that this title today is a subject that strikes deep into my heart, and I would even say soul.

I never heard of Janine diGiovanni before today, I came upon this talk while following another link, and found it full of understandings I have read from others; Greg Braden, talks about being the witness to wars, Nicholas Taleb stated in his book ‘The Black Swan’ that when war broke out in Lebanon people thought it would only last six months, Plato said, only the dead have seen the end of war …
Although she does not speak of him in this talk, whenever I hear of the Bosnian War I am reminded of the Cellist of Sarjevo, who regularly sat in public playing his Cello, defying the snipers who were laying siege to the city.
Please take ten minutes and listen to this woman and mother speak as a witness to war, she speaks for the silent ones, who so truly deserve our attention.