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.
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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 Church Lady & The Preacher


There once was an old lady who went church and sat at the very back. She was partially deaf but would shout out her agreement with the preacher at various times. One Sunday the preacher was talking about the sins of mankind and began by shouting out about the use of drink. The woman yelled: AMEN. The minister then began to talk about loose morals and the woman shouted: AMEN. He then drew up in total disgust and started talking about chewing tobacco and from the back of the church the woman yelled: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

2300 hours on April 4, 2019


I have no real title for this message. So I chose the time and date.

Thinking====I do that sometimes. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t I regret it. I am sure that has happened to all of you as well.

I have a newsletter that I am posting my poetry to because I have come across notes on publishers’ pages regarding contests that rule out posts on FB pages as they claim that constitutes publishing. Really?

Anyway, I have sent of 75 pages of poetry in hopes of being published. I hope the poetry is published. That would make me “legitimate” I think. I hate being illegitimate. Don’t you?

I have to say that I have become addicted to Leonard Cohen’s music. I particularly like Take the Waltz. There is such a story hiding in the lines. You have to listen to it several times.

Well, I tried to post it here but it didn’t work.

Will write more later.

 

 

 

 

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

Sunday morning 3.3.19


Well, for starters, I woke to find the 10K going over the Skyway. Over 11,000 runners. WOW. It was on live from helicopters.

I also have still not gotten my results from my colonoscopy. I can’t believe it is taking this long to get information back.

I wrote two poems this morning and posted them to my network newsletter. I am looking to find a magazine or book publisher. I have over 300 pages of poems now collected that needs to be done something with.

I am doing my best to avoid politics these days. Not doing too well.

Nice morning out. Weather is just perfect. Need to get a shower and get started and to write some more. I need a true crime agent to help with publishing Nightmare in Terra Ceia. Anybody with any ideas?

Thinking about changing the theme on this site as well. I have seen some great bogs and I think this is a bit….dusty? old looking? I don’t know.

Anyway, will be back later.

NOTE: for those who wish to be on my newsletter list please write me at GKUHNWRITES@AOL.COM and send me your email address.

For those who want to buy a book?  http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com for autographed copies. If you don’t want that then just go to Amazon and get a download. But an autographed book is much nicer.

 

Hey There Mr. Scarecrow.


Hey there Mr. Scarecrow
Standing out behind the barn
Just you and that old grey mouse that lives in your hay
Thanks for listening to me the other day
As I sat and let my own rain drop from my eyes to the ground
Hey there Mr. Scarecrow
You are so brave standing in the wind and rain,
Lonely there in the snow and heat from the sun
I saw you every morning and just before I turned out the light at night
Thanks for listening to me the other day, everyday
But yesterday I came to tell you of my love for you and found you gone
You had listened to me cry so many times in the day and night
You had heard how much I want to die
I came once with a knife
And told you I didn’t think it would hurt
Just a quick cut to end my life
Hey there Mr. Scarecrow you were there in silence
As we stood in the day or night and talked
Or when I sat next to you in the snow and the rain
With the knife tucked in your pant’s pocket out of sight
It seems just yesterday that you were there,
Waiting patiently in the sun and in the dark
You and that old grey mouse living in your shirt pocket
But that was before they came when I wasn’t there
And with a match and can of gasoline they burned you down
Oh Mr. Scarecrow, you were my very best friend
I told you of the beating of my mother that I saw
I told you of how my father had in anger walked out
And that he had come back, and my parents sat and cried
But something inside of me had died when I saw the blood
I told you of the pain that will not go away
I told you of the times I wanted to die as we sat alone in the dark
When I showed you the knife and tucked it in your pant’s pocket
But I wasn’t there the day they brought gasoline and matches
And not caring of you or me they burned you to the ground
My best friend, my very best friend, and the house for an old grey mouse
They burned you to the ground
To the ground, to the ground
Where I found the knife I had hidden in your pant’s pocket
So very long ago.
But I never found our friend
The old grey mouse.

Copyright 2019 Gordon Kuhn


CROSSING

Crossing the deepest river without a boat

Sailing the storm washed open sea in a cardboard box

My brain is climbing hills that only I can see

Each upward step is alive with pain granted and felt

With no medication to stop the fire

None exists unless alcohol laced

And it is such that it curls up from the earth below

While others float past talking

Their voices in pleasure do share and grant comfort

To them sharing the night and the day and the world travels on!

While the sky opens and — but not to me

I sing my songs in a vacuum it would seem

While standing in the dark on a street without a name

My voice claims the night in shyness

Beginning soft, then rising up to touch the branches of trees

While many memories come to haunt and

There I am, I’m crossing a river without a boat

Sailing against the wind in an open cardboard box

I speak to those passing in the deep dark surrounding me

But no one responds, no one hears my sound

No one notices me there in the deepest gloom

For, in truth, I am all alone

Alone in the night, alone with the gift

While the fire rages from the earth below

Coursing up my body with flaming words that no one can see or hear

There is no medication to stop the pain

That comes from sentence forming words swarming in my mind

But how glorious it all is to be alone in the night

While my voice lifts and climbs in song aimed at the stars and the moon

While I’m there crossing the deepest river without a boat in search of you

Climbing mountains that only I can see

 

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, The Poet in the Rain.