STANDOFF EXCERPT 9.12.19


Walking with a Dead Butterfly

Come fly away now gentle butterfly

Open your wings and capture a breath of wind

Set sail and say goodbye to the world below

Let not your heart in pain deny

Your right to sail the summer sky

For you are special, my valiant friend

You’ve come so far in life in so few days

And changed your coat of moldy gray

To joyfully spread rainbow colors in patterns rich

While sharing your beauty in wild, tumultuous flight

So short your life has come and gone

Come dance with me as I watch you twist and spin

Until your energy has been spent and you start to fail and fall

As you struggle with the pending doorway of death

No matter where you could have landed in the end

You somehow fell to earth beside the path

That I was silently walking there upon.

Clay Pots

How like shattered clay pots

They were when seen from close at hand

Clay pots fresh from the kiln that day

Broken when each mold was cast upon the cold

That lingered where the air was fresh and clean

And seen from heights where eagles dare soared

When they were sudden sent away amid the roar

Of surf spray that clutched the hand of sand

And layered about in nameless lots

Slowly became a collection of shrinking tired dots

Spread loosely upon the blue above the fading land

There floated they then above the heavy depth of sea

In all their fractured banquet were then to death led and bled

When thought the world had set them free

Above the green and sleeping spaces where Sightless watchers looked and not one was really seen      

STANDOFF, bit by bit


Standoff is a book of poetry and short stories. I will be placing posts here as I go. It is published and available at Amazon. You can also buy it directly from me by visiting one of my websites. Questions? I’ll be happy to answer them. Oh, if you buy it from me it is autographed by me to you personally. What a fantastic deal. No extra charge.

STANDOFF

A book of poetry, short stories, and insanity.

By Gordon Kuhn

With one exception[1], this is a work of fiction. The characters and events described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or to living persons alive or dead.

No part of this publication can be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical method without the prior written permission of the publisher except for brief quotations embodied in critical reviews.

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, All Rights Reserved

ISBN-13: 978-1724853844

ISBN-10: 1724853848

Published in the United States by Poet in the Rain

PHOTO CREDITS

Cover: Photographer Mr. Derek Stillwagon: A Mother and Her Son by permission Allison Hart

Dedication Photo of Chuck Van Durme by Unknown Soldier

Illustration on Page 2 of Mother and Child from Istock Photo

Helicopter in Flight on Page 51: Charles Van Durme

Charles Van Durme in D.C. Page 56: Ms. Brandy Van Durme

OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

Predator Book One “Do You Know How to Fly?”

The Pelman Murders

The Widow’s Cliff and Other Poems

Rabbit in a Box

DEDICATION

Dedicated to a personal friend who passed away June 15, 2015. In this book is his story of a night when his helicopter was shot down.

Charles “Chuck” Van Durme

Oct 20, 1950 to June 15, 2015

Two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with a V, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.

Too soon the story of his life was taken from us. But we are left with memories of a man that we called a friend.

His story can be found on page 48.

Contents

POETRY. 1

A War Had Broken Out. 1

Imaginary Horses. 3

There Were Clouds, Weren’t There?. 4

Once a Boy. 4

The Old Undead of Poets. 5

Only the Rabbit Knows. 5

Bare. 7

She had Fame. 8

Nightfall, the Lovers’ Dance. 9

Yesterday’s Child. 10

Crushed Cigarettes Left on the Floor. 10

It’s Four O’clock in the Morning. 13

Walking with a Dead Butterfly. 14

Clay Pots. 15

By the Side of the Road. 16

Questions. 17

Yesterday. 17

Williston. 18

The Wino and Me. 19

The Tree Across the Street. 20

The Tortoise and I 22

I Wish. 23

The Never Meeting of Lovers. 24

A Long Time Ago in the Great Faraway. 25

The Locket. 27

Leave Me Alone. 30

The Spiral Stumbles. 31

The Passion. 32

Lost. 33

Time in the Mornin’ 34

Paper Kites Flying in the Rain. 34

He Let Her Go. 36

Waitresses. 37

Sometimes. 39

Undead Memories. 41

Hidden Moments. 42

Just another Day with You. 43

It’s Five in the Morning. 44

My Daddy’s  Old Ford Truck. 45

Six Years Old. 46

SHORT STORIES. 47

Shot Down in Laos: A true story of death and survival. 48

The Intersection. 57

The Confession. 68

Awake. 73


POETRY

A War Had Broken Out

“Allison’s Poem”

A war had broken out between them

More a skirmish than a war, I suppose

Between a mother and her precious precocious son

Not with weapons, not with bombs, not with guns

But with thought                        

It was a standoff of sorts

Eye to eye, silence ruled

And the boy who thought he would surely win

Soon realized the ice beneath was very thin

He on his side of the table,

Sitting tall in his seat

Fingers resting on the round top

French fries on a plate before him

Or were they tater tots?

A drink beside, he was good to go

But his eyes showed surprise therein

For he had someway crossed his mother just then

Who sat across from him, hands resting on her chin

as she quietly considered the facts

—and him

Her precious precocious son

She was serious, the eyes told all

The son wondered if this war would be fun

And believed he would surely be the one who won

But it all fell into place with just a silent look

The kind that freezes a lad from his toes to the sun

She was right, but he was all in for fun

At least he thought so!

Mom would surely understand, he mistakenly believed

But she was serious minded and not in the mood for games

He foolishly felt he had the right to make a run

To see just how far he could push it

Like we all in life have done at least once

With our mothers there across the table from us

A dangerous place if she could just out and reach

And pop you on the chin

But not all moms are like that today

Sometimes it is just in a certain way

That gets the point across that it is not play

While oddly thinking such was so

And then came the look you see

The look mother’s give their sons, at times

And the room sudden turns quiet and a chill is in the air

It’s that teetering point we all have faced

The edge of the cliff, if we wisely sensed

When a certain line is crossed and the fun is sudden done

For a mother’s precious and precocious son.                                       

Imaginary Horses

I hear the pawing of their hooves

Their breathing in and out of the cold night air

As they stand close beside me in the dark

But are in hiding to my sight.

Even though I wish with all my might

That I could somehow in the dark each one see,

My imaginary horses that come at night;

And I wish I could touch their manes

And that they would remain into the coming light.

But they are there in the night when I need them to be;

And even though I cannot see them I know they are there,

Standing close beside me in the dark,

In the cold and deadly dark,

Gently pawing with their hooves,

Gently breathing in and out the surrounding night air

Their breath floats over and warms me 

My imaginary horses that come and are real to me

With their breath moving in and out in the cold night air

And the soft pawing of their hooves tells me they are there

Standing near in the dark, standing near in the cold night air

My imaginary horses that I cannot see

But I know they are there

My imaginary horses

Pawing

Breathing

in the cold and deadly dark.

There Were Clouds, Weren’t There?

There were clouds, I think, as a child

Weren’t there?

I recall skies and rain.

I recall thunder and lightning

I remember the smell of coming storms.

And the thud of big drops striking the ground all around

As I ran as a child seeking shelter

But I don’t recall clouds, do you? 

Once a Boy

There once was a boy who lived on a boat

The boy was small and the boat was not

Upon a sea of strange waters sailed the two

The boy and the boat until one day the boy forgot

That the boat would float and he would not


Not the end, more to come. Enjoy the music.

7.24.19


Tomorrow Jan, Tread, and I drive to the U of F in Gainesville to the Internal Medicine Department to get a reevaluation of the fungus problem in Tread’s hip and tail bones. 3 hours up and 3 hours back plus the time there. Long day.

Yesterday we drove down to Port Charlotte. I lived there in the 1960s when it was a sleepy community. Today it is overgrown and very commercial. I really dislike it. But we were there to visit a friend of Jan’s who owns a store there. Jody has had a great business there but has decided after many years there is more to life than running a specialty antique, unique furniture, jewelry store to enjoy her life and so the store will be closed in another week.

We then travelled back through a pounding rain (stayed off of I-75 as when had driven South to Port Charlotte we had seen two wrecks where drivers had left the road and gone into the woods) and so went US 41 into Venice and had dinner there. I phoned a friend, Dick Harrison hopping to meet but weren’t able to do that as we had a time constraint and had to get home. Dick will probably make comment here. I have to say that if you go to Amazon and look him up in the book sales section (put in his name in the search bar in Amazon) you will find some of the most wonderful writing. He is a great writer and I am very proud to have him as a friend and mentor.

So, after a great dinner at Abbys in Miami, we headed home (this time on I-75 as the rain had stopped) and saw where other cars had gone off the road and into the woods.

At Abbys we met the owner and discussed his problems with fake service dogs. He told us that Tread was welcome anytime. He hates the fakes that come in there and has had to tell people to leave. Sad. That hurts it for us with real service dogs to have people take untrained dogs into a business like that and they don’t go under the tables, get in the way of waiters and waitresses, sniff people, and more. Anyway, tomorrow Gainesville.

Sunday heading towards Monday.


So, it is Sunday 7/21/19 and I am trying to write a short story, finish a true crime novel, submit some poetry for publication, and more…..much more….too much more. Plus, good grief, I haven’t filed my taxes yet for 2018.

So, what’s new with all of you? Anybody got a Hamster for a gift present? I never owned one. I guess as a child I was deprived as all of my friends had Hamsters as pets. Everyone except me.

My mother told me that Hamsters would eat my cat. That was curious as I didn’t own a cat.

The Gospel Hour


The Gospel of Micah, AKA the Gospel of Enoch. Micah was a goat herder on a planet known to us as Heaven. He was a simple man but became prominent in the politics of religion when he challenged the idea that the earth was flat. “It’s not,” he spoke up in a class he was taking on Goat Herding that was required of all goat herders. “It is curved, like a woman’s breast, but not soft, hard as concrete.” 6.23.19 Copyright Gordon Kuhn, Poet in the Rain.

With apologies to the Mormons: And it came to pass that Micah was summoned forth to meet the highest council having been through the lower courts to argue that the earth was round. “You still claim the earth is round?” An aged sage sat forward and waved his cane in the goat herders face. But Micah held his ground despite the waving rod thrust up against his nose.”Excuse me, sir, but yes, it is round.” The council sat back and were grave all around. “But don’t you understand that we’ve been teaching humans for centuries that the place is flat? Then you come along and wish it to be known that this place, this Earth is round? I say to my brothers on the council, are we not in motion to send the herder down to the planet in banishment?” Whereupon God’s younger brother Phil entered the central room and to all did astound. “I am here to speak on the goat herder’s behalf.” A murmur did raise among those in the hall and one said, “I thought he had been banished or…..or locked up somewhere.” But Phil stood forth with an askew grin, “No, I have escaped and come to stand before you this day. For surely this herder, this gentleman who tends our sheep and smells like them needs defense from such plotting here.”

4/5/19 0825 Morgan St. Albany, GA.


The days are turning slowly to the end of our ownership here. We put the property up for sale and had an offer in three days. We took it. Selling off everything here.

We have a home in Florida. This was a vacation home. Unfortunately there are problems. The primary is the medical services provided here in Albany by the VA. There is a Marine Corps base close by and it has medical for Vets, but it is only doctors. If you need medical for ANYTHING other than seeing a doctor you have to drive 90 miles S. to Dublin (and they are not fully equipped) or you drive 200+ to Atlanta. In Florida I have two medical units within 15 miles (the closest is under 10) and a hospital 45 miles away. There are two VA Vet readjustment centers, one in Sarasota and one in St. Pete (I go there after being tossed out of the Sarasota unit for “failure to accept services prescribed by the unit’s manager) and that translates to: he wanted me to undergo hypnosis to take me back into VN. He was NOT a licensed hypnotist. He was NOT a trained social worker. He had a degree in anthropology. I said “no.” He told me that because I was refusing his decision I had to leave the vet center. OK, I did, and I wasn’t the first to have that happen. Well, he is no longer in charge of that unit. I wrote a 3 page letter about him and sent it to the VA headquarters in DC.

Anyway, such is life.

More later!

 

In Georgia


Will have the movers here this weekend to take back what we had delivered here a few months back. Good thing to find out in time the problems with moving here. Will be most happy to get back to our friends in Florida. Have a contract on the property and have an agreement on a lot of the equipment on the farm. Sad, but necessary. VA medical for me is virtually nonexistent here. All of our friends are in Florida. So, GA is not working out and selling everything here.

Friday 3.22.19 & New Poem


Another Friday. Another morning. Decisions to be made.

The property in Albany, GA has a contract on it. Wow, cannot believe how fast that happened. It just all fell in place within less than a week.

HUNGER SEEKING HUNGER

Beyond the window glass
Just there across the green cut grass
Dark blue and grey lies our pond that is filled with life
Pelted with a soft rain that sudden came
Leaving the surface dimpled, breaking the smoothness
Near a group of water birds that sat and pruned their feathered bodies
To dry off the wet from a recent dive for a fish for food
While an alligator who had been asleep in the sun was awakened
Disturbed it slid in off the bank in search of something to eat
Then, tail side to side, slowly the hunt began
With only eyes above the surface
It worked its way toward the birds who turned to look.

Copyright 2019 by Gordon Kuhn

 

Wednesday and Two Tours in Vietnam!


Good Wednesday to you all! For me it started with being startled out of my sleep. That was because I had a rough night and needed more sleep and my wife had to wake me because I had a breakfast meeting to go to. So, I changed the time and met a buddy about an hour later than normal. He is a former Army Medic that did two tours in Vietnam.

He had wanted to be a doctor. He joined the Army and requested training in field medical. He then did two tours as an airborne medic. He saw enough blood and gore to end his desire for being a medical doctor. He is loaded with PTSD. Sad, really, I think he would have been a good physician.

Jan and I are both tired from driving to and from Georgia. Just a long trip surrounded by idiots either driving too fast or too slow.

One thing I will never understand is that near the Florida/Georgia border their is activity by both the Florida Highway Patrol but on the Georgia side they are like a bee hive that has been whacked with a stick and the idiots on the highway just go flying along. Between the border and Tifton it is a good chance to see (on both sides N and S) five to six cars pulled over. One would think that would slow things down. The answer is NO they just go flying along oblivious to the stops.

We have a radar detector but always drive within the speed limit. I just don’t understand these other people. And then, you will occasionally see not just one cop car with a stop but two and three on one car. Now why would someone want to bring dope into either state. Stupid. They are waiting for you.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Tired. Already irritated a nephew who is anti-gun, anti-Catholic, anti-Irish, and anti-Jewish. So I shall retire into the sunshine. Until tomorrow.

Georgia & Poetry


Spent a week in Albany, GA on the 4.25 +- acres there that we own. Visited with the neighbor, his daughter, and her newborn son. Weather was nice. Little rain. Got some things done around the “farm” and in town. Then listed the property for sale. My health is not good and so we decided to sell.

Sending a copy of Standoff to Claire Perkins at claire@booktalkradio.info. She will review and do a radio show with me about the book. Any writer out there needs to know Claire for promotional purposes. She is great and works hard for you.

Anyway, so back in Florida and writing. Had a hard time up there writing.

Seeking Desperation

Desperate for the sake of an attack of desperation
Nothing to say, for what can be said,
As I am being led with just the fact that
The story is that I guess I am acting in silent retaliation
While the walls of life have so much there to be read
And I know, for some, I am not being much of a poetic diplomat
Too frank, too bold, a voice of exasperation
But in honesty, I see nothing to tame in the future
Looking out a smudged window I see a distorted culture
Nothing there that the best despair will be unable to nurture
Nor do it’s best to capture and contain the fumbling lost while
As a writer the writer stumbles forward searching for the proper style
While desperation is unable to hold back life from moving forward
I find myself a boat adrift, floundering, fighting the strengthening move shoreward
Unconscious the craft is of where the rocks and shoals wait to rip apart its hull
While the world is watching from above riding upon a single seagull
That has taken flight to oversee the death or survival
And life then takes on the form or lack of revival
As a thousand voices lifted cannot be heard above the roar
Of the surf beneath where a single bird does soar
And looks away in dismay for an opposite shore
Where peace it will find, peace it is to restore.

2019 Copyright Gordon Kuhn