So this poem thing I wrote is interesting. I don’t write poetry. I certainly don’t read it either. This thing hits me hard though. Hell, I wrote it and it kicks my butt every time I read it. I guess there’s something to it.
I went on a cruise with my wife and youngest son a little while back. I met some really cool people on it. One of them in particular was a veteran like me. He was a full steam ahead veteran though. He had the pseudo combat pants, and combat boots bloused properly. He wore grunt-style shirts and a ball cap with something Army-ish on it. He may have gotten out of the Army, but he surely didn’t leave it. He had a heart the size of South America too.
He was great. I had a t-shirt with some skulls and bullets on it one fine evening. He knew then and there that I was kin of some kind. We talked and chatted about the cruise, our service and our family. He told me about this thing they do on the boat that sounded interesting. Apparently CARNIVAL cruise lines does a veterans appreciation thing on every ship. I had no idea. It was my second cruise with them and apparently I’m too drunk to ever peek at the itinerary. I didn’t really want to go.
So, I had no intention of going. Then, about fifteen minutes before it was supposed to start I was walking down to my cabin to join my wife and son for a nap. This very enthusiastic veteran fellow bumped into me. He asked me if I was headed to the military appreciation event and of course I said yes. Not wanting to look like the jackass I was so willing to be in secret, I went.
It was a great decision. I got the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and hear some wonderful stories of survival, strength and heroism. I find that the world is full of people that are better than I ever expect them to be. Listening to them moved me. Motivated me. I felt I should share something too.
I shared the ‘ahem’ poem Septic.
I wrote it sometime in 2017. My friendly author/editor friend helped me edit it to what it is now. He’s seen enough bad poetry to help me make my thing bearable. I’ve become quite proud of it. While sharing it with the people on the cruise ship I realized something else.
It affected people profoundly. After reading it, people lined up to give me a hug. A bunch more shook my hand and asked for copies of it. Then, over the next two days people offered to pay for my drinks everywhere I went. The thing I wrote and shared wasn’t really for me though. I wrote it from a place of hurt and healing. I wrote it to share with my wife and let her see things through the shattered glass of my post-war vision. I didn’t know it could provide something to other people.
I’m going to sell copies of the poem for people and do something with it. I am selling framed, signed copies for $199.00 Unframed and signed copies are $20 each. The profits will be donated to LIFT FOR THE 22. It isn’t much, but it’s something. They are a local Portland organization and they are spoken very highly of by my new friends I met on the cruise ship.
There is a link to the store at the bottom of the FOR THE FALLEN page. You can order directly through this website.