41913RE: Arlington West (Jim Lamoreux)
- Nov 9, 2013
Formatting fine. Great post for this time of the calendar. Flanders Poppies abound in UK for our friends who didn't return. Sorry about the Yahoo change of layout. I expect we'll get used to it eventually
but it's nowhere near as easy as the original T2W Good to welcome you back again old son.
Note for any new members:
Jim Lamoreux is an ex-vet of Nam who together with Carol Carpenter and myself wrote a book about
wartime adventures in occupied France. A book which I had published, courtesy of one of UK's daily newspapers.It all started when a member wrote that they were suffering from writers cramp, a complaint which I said should never be admitted by serious pensmiths. I further challenged anyone to give me a word, sentence or phrase and I would write the first chapter of a short story for them. Carol accepted the challenge and posted me a short sentence from which I composed a chapter which was added to by Carol and then Jim asked if he could join in. Carol and I readily agreed and we took turns to write alternating chapters using the benefit of our personal experiences. The completed short story ended up with 38 chapters in 137 pages.
If any member ever feels they are stuck for literary direction, I offer the same challenge again.
---In firstname.lastname@example.org, <jlamoreux@...> wrote:
It’s been a long time
Since I stood on a shore somewhere
And smelled the salt water
While the wind whisked itself
In a cool spray
Across my skin.
Suspended in the air
A seagull marks the moment
The sun rising under its white wings,
Handling the currents
Sustaining its effortless viewpoint.
The seagull looks behind me
Maybe fifty yards or so
Where the sand is dotted with
Carefully placed crosses.
Behind me is a symbol of lives abruptly ended
In front of me is the watery archetype
From which all life rose.
I am caught between
Two inevitable, inescapable directions.
America is finally allowed to mourn.
It is allowed to voice its pain
As well as its pride.
It is allowed to support
Without being labeled a cheerleader
Without being labeled a fool.
Mothers can come
And tend to their son or daughter’s cross
As they cared for them as children
Wiping noses and tears
Getting them dressed to go to school
And ready to go to bed.
No one says they are hurting the war effort.
They are tending to their grief.
Children can come here
And wonder who the names were
And no one chases them away
As we have all been chased away
From trying to understand
Any of this
The ground is decorated
With flowers, letters, stuffed animals
As if they all made their way alone
To some western version of Mecca.
To speak to the departed
With their sorrow, tears,
And steady leaf-fall of
Gathering in one sigh
Of “I love you,” and “good-bye.”
Let us all come as one America
To Arlington West.
Let us speak what is in our hearts
And praise and question unmolested
By those who think that wars
Are not suffered by human beings
Who feel loss
Human beings who must travel for miles
Across a bitterly divided nation
To lay a ribbon
On a white cross
Placed on a beach on the shores
Of Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Oceanside and―
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