A Train of Thought
No Wordsworth, Eliot or Chaucer here,
Nor darkest thoughts swimming in my indigo ink.
As the tagged boxcars pass the flashing gates,
It carries amongst its treasured cargo the remembrances
Of a snall child.
Memories coupled together, being pulled by life's engine,
In its rhythmic beat.
Thomas, James and Gordon's lessons
Become the steam that drives the writer's pen,
Only to disappear and reinvent itself into a cloud
Of infinite design.
Your personal graffiti added along the way,
Has become the beauty of who you are today.
DO THE "WRITE" THING
Our revelry was short lived that day. Bright and early on Monday morning the fleet we travelled with had cornered a lone pirate ship. Whether the ship was sailing blindly through the early morning hours or simply did not see the four British man-o-wars was a mystery, but sure enough, the lookouts spotted him sailing in our direction. The HMS Falcon and Spirit were slightly ahead of the pirates and so cut off their escape to the west and north. While the Countess of Scarborough, our escort ship, swung around and cut off the southern escape. Now only the Chelsea stood in the way. The pirates headed straight for us, we who were the smallest in the fleet.
Jim had already shown us how to beat to quarters and the five of us stood on the quarterdeck with Captain Anderson while the rest of our company headed to the tops with their weapons. Michael and Chris were sent up as well to do the reloading of rifles for the men, since there was really no need for flag bearers on one of His Majesty's ships.
I watched the ship crawl closer and closer, men scurried over the decks in total chaos, then, not two ship-lengths away it turned to the starboard and gave us a broadside. The crack of cannons was deafening, but we were still facing straight at them and so escaped serious injury. One or two cannon balls ripped through the foresail and the rest plummeted harmlessly into the water behind us. We were now only one ship-length from the pirates and I could see their individual faces. Captain Anderson ordered the helmsman to turn to starboard as well and told the men to prepare for our reply. Six cannons on either side lined the main deck of the Chelsea, 18-pounders, and six on the lower deck as well. Twelve guns on the port side now faced the enemy.
"port guns! Broadside them! Fire!" shouted the Captain. The kickback was tremendous and the ship rolled backwards farther than ever. Splinters flew from the pirates ship , three neat holes appeared in the side, one near the water line, and another three raked across the main deck. Screams of pain rose from the enemy. Our momentum brought us within fifty feet of the pirates, and it seemed as though they had been subdued, until one particularly large man stood up and aimed a fat musket at the quarterdeck.
"Blunderbuss!" Captain Anderson yelled and ducked the head of his first mate and his own. I tackled Jim and Matty just as the shot barked out and over our heads. Alex and Nicholas made it down themselves just in time as well. I noticed the first mate, Thomas Merry, had dropped a pistol. Reaching over I picked it up and swung my arm over the rail, the hammer cocked back and I aimed at the foolish pirate who stayed standing to reload the grapeshot into his gun. I pulled the trigger and the unfortunate man fell with the lead in his shoulder.
When I ducked back down the First Mate was staring at me and smiling. "Practising in your off hours, lad?"
"I was aiming for his head, Sir." I lied and tossed the pistol back. Jim looked at me and whispered a stunned thank you and I ruffled his hair and pulled him and Matty to their feet.
"Prepare to broadside again!&qu
chorus: (don't sing until after v1, when marked)
* you've failed
# scream to the surface
() let it rise and let it drown
& see the shining light
@ let it hit your face
~ let these words fade away
$ and drown in sorrow
heads to the sky/as you wonder why/crashing down all around/line between good and evil/as the clock reaches zero/given all you have/no more left inside/short breaths of fear/you stare me in the eyes/the reason why/caught in between/what's right and wrong
lock your stare/with the eyes of death/scream to the surface/look to the sky/left at the feet/of your eternal judge/plead your case/don't lose your face/your life/you've failed/i have you/by the heart/torn from the chest/left to rot/in the dungeons below/follow my lead
your life already/worthless/die/let go/leave your world behind/you know they'll be better off/stricken down/by the forces of disappointment/and abuse/and it's all because of me/your master/you failed/became weak/lost the fight
chorus and instrumental
now all that's left/your worthless life/so let it go already
* - ~ (1time)
* - () (2times)
She tiptoed quietly across the glassy, wet pavement in front of her home. She quickly stopped as she heard the sound of her front door. Breathing softly and quietly as she could, she turned around and saw a man stick his head out of the door, look around and re-enter the home. She looked down towards the street with a sigh of relief. She saw a pale, skinny girl, whose straight brown and hot pink hair slipped down into her tear-stained eyes. This couldn't be her, but it was. This was what she had done to herself. She looked up and continued to walk. Her walking slowly becoming faster, more hurried. Her phone rang and she slid her small hand into her pocket, pressing a button and answering it.
-"Hello?" No response.
Suddenly, whoever was on the other end began to softly cry.
-"I knew you wouldn't answer. It seems crazy, but I thought that if I heard your voice, you'd come back to me."
-"Jack?! Jack! I'm here! I'm fine!"
-"Your dad keeps looking for you. Everytime he hears a noise, he checks."
-"JACK! Why can't you hear me?! I'm here!"
-"I can't sleep anymore, baby, I need you here. I guess I'll never see you again. Some wishes don't come true. Besides at the funeral, I'll never see your eyes again. I love you always."
Her phone hit the cold, hard ground as she dropped to her knees. She really did it, this time...
The 14 years America spent fighting in Vietnam was not well spent. Once the war was over we could say that nothing good came out of it. The economy of the U.S. suffered, our reputation as the “invincible country” was tarnished, and the attitudes of citizens went completely down hill. Overall, after the Vietnam War there was a horrible impact on the United States.
167 billion dollars. That was the estimated amount of money spent on the war. While money was being shipped over to Vietnam, prices were rising rapidly in our own country. So in turn, there was a huge drop in sales. Nobody had the money to buy the overpriced goods so our economy was failing. 167 billion dollars is an amazing sum of money, and there was no way America had that amount to spend. So we started borrowing money from other countries, money that we could not pay back. Federal debt was increasing and what was their solution? Raise prices, taxes, and interest rates once again. Still, consumers were not buying. Why would they? The government had made their decision to spend money they didn’t have on Vietnam. They should fix their own errors and not force the citizens of the United States to pay for them. Once all the troops had finally returned home, the economy was in horrible shape. America was in debt to all the countries they had received loans from. They wanted their money back but we had nothing to give. Being in Vietnam was an enormous waste of money and our government should have taken our finances into more thorough consideration before shipping boat loads of cash overseas.
The United States’ reputation before Vietnam was fantastic. Countries viewed us as “invincible.” America had defeated Japan and Germany at the same time during WWII. They were expected to have yet another victory in Vietnam. If the U.S. could beat two power hungry countries at once, they should be able to triumph in small Vietnam. In a sense they did. There was not a single battle in Vietnam that American troops had lost. On the other hand, our opponent’s idea was too keep fighting until the other side grew tired of it. So the real victory went to Vietnam. Their plan had worked. After 14 years of battle Americans retreated and came back home. Patriots of the United States lost pride and confidence in their country. The U.S. was no longer superior to all other nations. They were in the same league now. America suffered a humiliating defeat to the Viet Cong and would no longer be known as the “invincible country.”
After returning home from Vietnam, the morale of American citizens was at an all time low. Anyone who had fought in the War was viewed as a war criminal. The veterans were spat on when they arrived home in airports. Since everyone hated the war, the vets were forced to face the wrath of society. “War” was just a word, it could not be shunned. But the men who had fought in it most definitely could be. The people were furious with the government. They couldn’t be trusted anymore; they had lost the war in Vietnam. Citizens said that the military should never intervene in other countries disputes unless our nation was
personified by widened eyes
shutting slow & liquified;
hindsight an accompaniment to
lighten chest & shorten breath,
a calm perceived by susceptibility
and while surrender evolves into
an orchestrated act
(the motions predisposed,
the words set in stone)
memories of endings always remain
history repeating &
fatalistic reasoning, a suture pulled
drawing fro the curtains to reveal
an organ of mythological proportion
beating in&out& faster now
like a prodigal child shoved onto stage;
widened eyes, shutting not & petrified
he knows the lines, mouthing in
you don't see through my eyes...
I found a journal with a series of short pieces in it (some horribly pretentious attempts at being through-provoking, others just descriptive) and am working through editing them. This was written in the spring, possibly as an attempt to hurry summer along.
This piece is a collaboration between myself and the XRIVO Writing Interns. Each of them were given the same introductory paragraphs and told to creatively interpret them. They could do whatever they wanted, whether it was to completely rewrite the paragraphs or simply continue with the story. Each of them have a different focus when it comes to writing - from poetry to journalism - and they interpreted the initial paragraphs with that skill-set in mind. The result is a rather fun collaboration of the different directions a single story can take when multiple perspectives are brought in.
Pretentious note: I didn't copy and paste—I typed every word.
This is a poem about my grandma who passed away a few years ago, i usually write a lot about her.