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john k zimmerman

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War Stories for My Grandchildren - A Memoir in Short Stories
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The author served during many of the Cold War's most intense years, including 5 tours to Southeast Asia, but it was as a child that he fought his most courageous battles...  
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by john k zimmerman
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by john k zimmerman
•  Inversion
•  M.V.Promethesus
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A trip down memory lane -- half a step from madness

I am walking down a road in my mind.

It has to be in my mind because this road,

that road doesn’t exist any more.  I

know no one who lives there now, the

houses have all changed.  They no longer

have street numbers.  They are just houses

houses where once people lived and loved.

but no more.  They are just houses:

there is a white house, and a blue house

with a yellow door, a yellow brick house,

with brown trim and one that is grey.


This park I know, or used to.  It is not

Quite right.  The trees, the swings the

benches seem to come from different parks. 

maybe ther was only one park.  Perhaps

we rode along deceptive routes in the old

Rocket 88, same park, the route taken

Determined the name given to the one park. 

Well the parks were all the same   green lawns

covered with mature trees the air smelling

of gentile decay. Sleepy meandering stream

Full pf water lilies.  Yes this park I now


Another street; a road, if you please,

August gravel road.  Waking to town

in the heat.  Rite of passage walking

first along the shore of the great lake

then along the lake road. Pale limestone

dust, pale dust on blue jeans and

black red ball sneakers.  Pale dust

on pale urban child.  These roads are

gone now, lost either to the lake or

to the gentry demanding macadam.

Step, step along trough the pale dust.


The park gain, the park, but no people

just like there was no one on the

roads, or at the shore, or in the houses.

Try as I might, and I do try, I can not

call anyone to mind  the best that I van do

is pale shades of men and women, boys and

girls, outlines and pale washes of colour.

blank eyes and faces.  indistinguishable

each to each.  There is a sound, swings

screeching children laughing.  I turn to

see two empty swings swinging …


Heading out of the Park on the Old East Road

pursuing and being pursued.  Hunting for a road

that I know.  Seeking the people and places that

made me.  Running, running away from the same.

no farther from the one, no close to the other.

Lying in my cot behind the screen.  while the adults

insecure in their adulthood, play cutthroat canasta.

Under my Indian blanket I am secure protected

by my imagination.  The adults are hard to talk to

they don’t have imagination, just canasta.


The wooden screen door slams shut brhind me

As I leave the Cottage, back to the road again the

road so achingly familiar so utterly, utterly strange.

Searching for a road I know.  Does one exist?

Can one exist?  If one doe not exist do I?  No.

That is too dire a conclusion.  I exist because I

can imagine and remember.  when memory fades\

When imagination fails still I shall exist in the                      

womb of existence itself, going down a road in my mind.

  a memory in the greater mind.                                                          




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Reviewed by Regis Auffray
One is never far from "madness" in this world/life; and who really can define "madness"? Thank you for provoking thought, John. Love and peace,

Reviewed by pat medlin
how often our minds take day-trips...don't always make it a round trip...back to where? a definitely good re-reader
Reviewed by Ed Matlack
Closer than half a step, I'd say, but then again how close to madness are we all...& I know for sure that I do exist as if I stink, therefore I am...;-) Enjoyed herein your closing in on madness...Ed
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