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Kalikiano Kalei

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· U S Chemical and Biological Defense Respirators

Short Stories
· Saddam's Toilet, Part 3

· Saddam's Toilet, Part 2

· Zipping Flies with Papa Hemingway

· Searching For Haumea...

· Farewell to Sherlockville

· Down in the Valley--Chapter 1

· First Class, or Guaranteed Delivery?

· The Fruitcake King of Riyadh

· Maile and the Little Green Menehune

· The First (Near) Ascent of Heartbreak Hill

· German Wartime Ejection Seat Developments

· Luftwaffe Air-Evacuation in WW2

· Creating an authentic 2WK Luftwaffe Aircrewman Impression

· The Luftwaffe 2WK Aviation Watches

· German aviator breathing systems in the 2WK

· Ritter der Lüfte: Chivalry in 2WK aerial combat

· War From the German Perspective: A Matter of Differential History

· Recreating Luftwaffe WW2 History

· Film Review: Final Approach (1991)

· Cafe Racing of the 60s: Rockers, Ton-up Boys and the 59 Club

· Mendocino Coastal Headlands Duet (1977)

· If women had udders...!

· Five Up, One Down...

· More dirty climbing limericks

· First ascent of Broad Peak!

· Sawtooth Haiku

· Somewhere in my sleep

· The soundless temple bell

· Hearts and minds

· Rabbit gazing at full moon

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· Local Writer Not Slated to Receive Steinbeck Foundation Recognition

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Books by Kalikiano Kalei
  Raw Meat
by Kalikiano Kalei
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Kalikiano Kalei
•  Mendocino Coastal Headlands Duet (1977)
•  If women had udders...!
•  Of Rose, as sunset floods the room at dusk
•  Five Up, One Down...
•  More dirty climbing limericks
           >> View all 60

I have always fancied myself a modestly talented writer with substantial potential, but looking back over my collected scribblings of the past 40 years it is all too easy to discern the real truth that my imagined 'talents' are somewhat less than 'modest' and that any genuine potential (had it any real substance) would have become more broadly apparent by now! That said, I have revived a few things written in earlier decades that never made it previously on the hard drive. Here is one such item, drawn from military aeromedical days spent at aircraft crash scenes. If you appreciate mediocrity, you'll love it!


The smoldering chunks of raw, black-encrusted meat
lie scattered abstractly about the ground,
disturbingly protruding here and there
from beneath shattered shards of bright metal
that were once the wings of an aircraft,
now unrecognizable with no piece larger
than several feet across.

It could be an impromptu barbeque
among the shattered trees and volcanic ground,
held in a crazy scrap-metal yard, the steer already
sliced into bite-sized chunks, seared
black and smoking by glowing coals, then tossed
randomly about the area.

The landscape is bizarre,
a lunar field of utter, lifeless alien devastation.
No recognizable unifying element to draw
it all together in sensible context,
save the smoke, the clouds of greasy roiling
smoke that hang over the violated ground
like a shroud of vapor from Hell.

Bereft of any human connectivity,
there is not even the smallest comfort to be taken
from the black anonymity of it all,
the vast and indefinable dread smothering all else,
as one steels the nerves for that first
encounter with a recognizable bit of human flesh.

Worst is the terrible warning that the senses
prompt for what lies just ahead, for it comes
in the slightly sweetish scent that permeates
every molecule of air about the chaotic setting,
violating any human ability to comprehend.
A brief hope for merciful dispensation from ragged shock
instantly falls away, like the worst departing nightmare
of childhood dreaming, as the immensity
of what has happened gradually sinks in.

A curious, charcoal colored parody
of a large children’s doll comes into view,
with burnt stumps of anthracite instead of hands.
Beneath the charred outer layer
pale flesh is split, revealing blood red juices,
of overly cooked meat and waves of streaming vapor.
The stick arms grope outwards, bereft of fingers,
screaming infinity, forever fixed and frozen,
for something may only be wondered at by the living.

Later, much later, recovery crews depart,
some will eat their meals, hug their own children
and go to bed, sleeping a deep, untroubled narcosis
that mimics death. Others, shown more starkly
that brief and narrow thread of human life
revealed for the terrible, fragile thing
it truly is, shall toss and turn,
plagued by that ultimate, undeniable knowledge
so often concealed from us
until that last moment of life awaiting all.

The last thought lingers, as night enfolds all,
that in the morning, hopefully all will be revealed
as a vague mix of post-prandial discomfiture,
merely a terrible phantom of unfettered digestive
imagining, perhaps a fragment of incompletely cooked  pizza, dripping with gastric juices….and smoking…?

Then grim fact regains the upper hand, iterating
that the scenario is real, all too unshakably genuine,
having formulated itself from countless indelible
impressions, sunk deep in the subconscious
memory from moments of past experience
grappling with this terrible proof of our mortality,
replaying over and over, like a cockpit voice
recorder tape of the mind post mortem dialogues,
each time an aircraft carrying others like yourself
becomes a parody of barbeque, Texas-style,
on some desolate plot of ground,
the nauseous, sickening aroma of sizzling,
raw meat rising like a vengeful wraith
in the weak light of tepid dawn
on Hell’s threshold.


(written in the early 1980s)


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Reviewed by George Carroll 1/22/2011
I felt as if I was at the crash site with you. Well done with masterful imagery.
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