Posts Tagged ‘War and Peace’

Under the rising sun

The enemy came

Wearing my face…

And changed my face forever.

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Golden Spike


The signs were there: when students need to talk

They hang around my desk, playing with my stapler or

Realigning my pens and pencils until there is privacy

For courage to emerge.


“Sometimes”, she quietly started , “I get up at three in the morning

And hear my dad crying. I go downstairs and he’s sitting on

Steps, crying in the dark.

He was in the Vietnam War; He won’t talk about it

But I watch him cry a lot.  He can’t sleep. I know because I always

See him on the steps. I wish I knew how to help him.”


Damn! Here’s that war again.

No child ought to be wakened  at 3 a.m. by a father’s tears.

No child ought to be sucked in, to twenty five year old wars.

No child ought to have dreams of crayoned images

Disrupted  by black ashes.


I wasn’t trained to undo the nature of war.

So I gave her a copy of Golden Spike.

“ I wrote these poems about the war.

Maybe your dad will find this book helpful.”


A few weeks later, in her class journal: Private to Miss K.

My dad is always reading your book. And he’s not getting up anymore,

He’s not crying anymore. Thank you for helping him.

Is it okay if I keep the book a bit longer? He wants to know,

Did you know someone from the Vietnam War?


“Yes”, I wrote in her journal,
“I knew someone just like your dad.”


On the last day of school, once again she stood near my desk.

“I’m sorry we still have your book, but my dad

Is still reading it.  I hate to take the book away from him.”


“I gave that book to both of you. I’m so glad

My poems help him.”


She held on to our hug, whispering,

“Thank you, Miss Kakugawa.”

from Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless



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        Poets for Peace


Each time a poet

Puts pen to paper,

There is a sliver of hope

For Peace.


War and Peace: Shorter Version


Dept of Education

Dept of Veteran Affairs

Dept of Commerce

Dept of Energy.

Dept of Homeland Security.

Dept of Justice.

Dept of Transportation

Dept of Labor

Dept of Interior

Dept of Defense.

Peace, Peace.

Dept of Defense.

Peace, Peace.


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Kathryn Hepburn, Bette Davis, A Korean War Veteran and a Cup of Tea

I sat, staring through the window yesterday, sipping hot ginger tea. Sometimes I like to have my tea in a mug, holding it with both hands like Kathryn Hepburn. I saw her do this in a movie once. Yesterday, I sipped my tea from one of my English collection of cups & saucers. Another actress came to mind.

Bette Davis: I sometimes serve soup Bette Davis style. I saw her in a movie where she invited a wayward young man into her home. She served him soup in her kitchen. She used a large bowl and poured only two ladles of soup into the bowl. That was so elegant, soup lapping at the bottom of a large soup bowl. It’s so easy to turn into a Bette Davis with just soup, a large bowl and a ladle.

As steam from my tea cup fogged my glasses, I thought of all the warm and often hot showers I take during  the winter months. ( I do take showers during all seasons but this is about one season.)  I met a Korean War veteran called Fred years ago and he told me this story:
It was so cold in Korea, he couldn’t even light a cigarette. His hands were frozen through the gloves. His face was covered with ice and frost as he marched in the blizzard with his fellow soldiers.  He cried out of total misery.It was so cold. I never forgot his story. Fred is now gone.

When it’s freezing cold outside and I’m under a warm shower, I think of Fred and all his fellow soldiers in that cold blizzard in Korea. I stand there, appreciating every spray of warmth on my body. Don’t ever let it be said, the Korean War veterans are forgotten for what they did for us.

My tea cup needs refilling.

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