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.

A Sunday Night Poem: Passages along with random thoughts about nothing important 2248/080617


The Peppermint Lounge, Montego Bay, 1962
By Gordon Kuhn copyright 08.06.2017
all rights reserved.

There once was a whore house in Montego Bay
Where $2 bought a pitcher of beer and 5 got you a lay
There bronze skinned ladies with loose dresses would sway
with the music until the break of day
Never letting the customers stray too far away
Ah, the booze was cheap and the ladies kept their smiles
And we never once shared our private trials
But laughed and danced and drank the night away
Until dawns’ light broke the fragile spell
When we went back to the ships with memories to tell
Our youthful hunger for rowdy times and cheap romance sated
To the ships where our rifles and ammo near our packs silently waited.

Battle Flag


Battle Flag

 

The battle flag sudden snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that even God had not known about back then

On a hot and sticky day where boys waited amid the baking heat

All seemed to stand still in the sudden roar of quiet to those there that day

Broken by the Sergeant’s sudden shout of “guns up!” that tore the silence apart

Rifles swung up then their muzzles pointed out and down across the clearing

Where men of difference moved so quiet in the sea of grass

Then, with hearts beating hard in all the chests of those there that hour and day

Searing rounds were sent out for the human shearing

A burst returned ripped holes in the flag that flew in the wind

Blood and mud spattered, its fabric so worn and so thin

That flew above boys that day sudden turned into men

It snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that no one, not even God knew about back then.                

6/10/13 edited 12/22/2016

Damn, I forgot what I was going to write about.


Do you ever do that; forget what you are writing about? I just did, and I thought it was important at the time. My error was straying to Facebook and getting into a conversation there with someone who knows nothing of what is taking place with our military. I’m sorry, I think our military should be a major concern today given what is taking place in the world. For those not awake, you need to understand that our military is at pre-World War Two levels of equipment, personnel, and supplies. It is stretched out over the world. They are doing two and three tours of duty. The suicide rate is extremely high. It astonishes me to have someone say, as that person did, that they really have no clue about our military. Gosh, I wonder if they even know we have one.

 

BATTLE FLAG


Battle Flag

 

The battle flag snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that even God had forgotten about back then

Rifles swung up and pointed out and down across the clearing

Searing rounds were sent out for the human shearing

A burst returned ripped holes in the flag that flew in the wind

Blood and mud spattered, its fabric so worn and so thin

That flew above boys that day sudden turned into men

It snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that no one, not even God knew about back then.                 6/10/13

***The above poem can be found in the book: Rabbit in a Box.