Saw a Man
E. W. Richardson
I saw a man in the park today, sitting alone, under
a tree, surrounded by a serenity so peaceful and strong, Even the wind's
gusty play, meekly respected his tranquility.
The man was writing in a book, whose cover was
battered and stained and though he sat some distance away, I could hear
the scratch of his pen, an oddly soothing sound...like a whisper of
someone softly singing a hymn, or reciting from a book of prayer.
Once he raised his eyes from his work, and gazed at
something far away and in those eyes were anger and pain and a hardness
of once having seen horrors not meant for the eyes of man...
Then I knew him...
He is one of those remarkable men, who has looked
the devil in the eye, and laughed, and cried, and survived...only to be
forgotten, his sacrifice and contributions ignored or outright denied.
Yet, there he sits, peaceful and calm...enjoying
the simplicity of the day perhaps with an understanding of how to open
life's many doors, reserved for those who have fought our wars.
Copyright E. W. Richardson 1999
The Sound of Resolve
On the wind,
I hear the sound of sadness...
the soft crying
for their children...
to those who murder
in the name of religion,
in the name of God.
fall like rain...
in the distance, faintly now
comes a keening cry...
mothers with tears
still in their eyes
now filled with fierce resolve.
Hand in hand
from land to land,
their voices can be heard
and the message is clear and sane...
"Beware, workers of iniquity...
you stand on the edge of the abyss
and we come as the whirlwind...
In our voices is the thunder...
in our hands, the lightning...
our aspect is resolute
and there will be no rest
until there is justice
copyright E. W. RIchardson, 2001
When I was young, more years ago than
I care to think about now,
my friends and I use to play at war...
Cowboys and Indians
Knights in shining steel
and space marines fighting slimy, bug eyed aliens.
Sometimes we were wounded,
sometimes we died,
but always dramatically
and always heroically.
A decade or less later,
some of us experienced war's reality...
No more games,
No heroics, no drama
No warm, safe bed, surrounded by loved ones, when the fighting was done
for the day.
So, I say to you, let the children
leave them to their games
Their imaginary victories and fun...
comes swift enough on icy, thunderous wings.
Copyright, E.W. Richardson, 2001
E.W. Richardson is a former Marine and Vietnam
veteran and is editor for Distant Echoes. Raised in Kenton, Ohio, he now
makes his home in Van Nuys, CA. His work can be found in a variety of
print magazines and e-zines, such as, Niederngasse, Romancing The Skyze,
Poet’s Corner, Voice Magazine, The Circle, Bound (a Grey Book Press
Journal), The Florida Villager, Waxing and Waning, The Sidewalk’s End
and Millennium Shift.
You can find more of his poetry at Viper's
Vietnam Veterans Page