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Joel L Young

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Notes From the War-Torn
by Joel L Young

Thursday, April 03, 2003

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A poem about a dream I had of soldiers outside my screen door. The soldier was not American.

Sepia, colors my nightmare
      invading forces frighten
      my poetic muse
      in a recruitment depot
      I'm watching the scene
      dressed in military fatigues
      while the world dives into chaos.
Chaotic people run around in circles,
      from behind venetian blinds
      of the center; all looks peaceful
      outside the backdoor.
      Where are the soldiers?

Perhaps it's loneliness and fear
      that makes me dream in riddles
      staring at a gunman outside
      my window pointing an M16
      directly at me - then standing at attention.

I hear the hallucination it's an invasion
      perhaps it's just radio
      outside my head on my stereo
      replaying the events of the day.
      I'm merely a poet what do I know of war?

I've researched my ancestors' notebooks 
      looking for notes to what their quills
      wrote of their times, Service, Tennyson
      Sassoon, Melville, Kipling, not even counting
      the host of thousands who wrote of
      WWII, to Vietnam and to this day's war.

I know there are no easy answers
      to the specter that haunts this dream
      Perhaps it's just the pain I carry.
      my empathic sensibilities longing for peace
      cuddling with an Iraqi mother and daughter
      from a refugee camp in a Basra Playground
      or sitting there at an coalition HQ like a coffee cup
      listening to some General's empty commands
      those men and women know what to do
      some will whisper their mother's prayers
      as parents whisper to their children
      from their solitude chairs into the universe's air
      to be safe and hurry home.

It still doesn't answer my question
      nor the strange dread I feel.
      The prophets have come
      perhaps it's time I took their call
      the recruitment center
      was my destiny, and the gun
      became a pen to join the fight.

A poet warrior must always battle
      he fights not for blood
      but for ideals of right
      My fight is for peace
      justice and mercy
      for this I know is right.

.. 2004 Joel L. Young

author American Lyricon: A Poet Sings of America

Joel L. Young's Book Page

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Reviewed by Richard Bowers 12/12/2012
Unpardon me but I relent it boldly;
For it is far ahead, if I can be sure of it,
And far it is, that my hallucination be valid,
And hallucination it is, as it should be,
And however, unlike itself, mysterious, unknown, and untested,
So it be foreseen in my tireless search.
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 5/28/2005
Remarkable write that touches the fibre of the insanity of war.
Reviewed by Dens Dreamweaver (Reader) 7/24/2003
An excellent write. Brings home the stark reality of war - and what all must be feeling..

Reviewed by Linda Hill 4/7/2003
Excellent write..
You have amazing talent..
Thank you for the kind
review on my poem:)
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader) 4/4/2003
Excellent and powerful
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