Sammi’s Weekender #240 (pavonine)

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An Old Dog Bit Me

My Dog was a big, ugly, fat fucker (BUFF),
boasting an un-pavonine but prominent
forty-eight-foot-tall tail
painted a horrid unreflective tar-black; likewise,
his underside, from empennage guns to radome nose.

Chemical odors inside mixed with piss and puke
fouled the air; noise enough to deafen,
disaster and destruction filled his big ebony belly.

On command, my camouflaged killer would ‘Cry Havoc;’
wreaking horrible death and terror onto the earth below.

Now, we haunt display grounds at air museums across the country.


Look both ways.
What you don’t see can kill.
Mind the gaps and don’t be a target.

Note: Allusion is to “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war,” spoken by Mark Antony in Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of Shakespeare’s history play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

 

A B-52D (circa 1975), also known as a tall tail or the “Old Dog.” It was the B-52 model (there were eight) used in the novel “Flight of the Old Dog” by Dale Brown.

Friday Fictioneers 12 – 01 – 2021

Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write micro-fiction (<101 words) prompted by a photograph supplied by one of our colleagues. It’s all teed up by our friend, extraordinary artist, and fabulous leader, Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page with all the skinny. It’s fun.

Today’s picture has a two-level outhouse indicating politicians up top and voters below. I recall seeing this arrangement in a military cartoon with officers on top and enlisted below.

In the Viet Nam War, officers and radiomen were preferred targets of the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong, which is why soldiers did not salute officers in the field.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Lisa Fox for Rochelle’s blog to get all the FF info.

Genre: Military Fiction (War Story)
Word Count: 100
Title: FNG* Down

The new Lieutenant ordered me to be his radio man. Our platoon leader was callow, yet confident and eager. A stickler for rules, he risked soldiers’ lives needlessly. A poor listener with a gung-ho, know-it-all attitude.

He chewed me out in front of my squad and gave me extra guard duty. Bad enough I had to hump the motherfucker’s goddamn radio.

In the jungle one day the lieutenant ordered me to step back, I yelled, “Yes, Sir,” stepped back and saluted him. The crack sound of the AK-47 made me dive for cover.

Our next lieutenant was a big improvement.


Be aware of enemy presence and men with guns.
Mind the gaps, make more friends than enemies, and keep your powder dry.
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.

Click on the soldier to link to the squares, where other stories are being told.

*FNG is military initialism and jargon for fucking new guy.

Thursday Rune (Kip)

Temporary Friendships

I never understood him.
He told me things,
as others have,
where truth
may have been shaved,
distorted, or it was not
exactly as it was.

He was my roommate,
at times a friend,
but solid ground
did not bridge us
for very long after
I went one way,
he another.

Many silent years later,
Yolonda found Kip.
Living in Florida,
where he has since died.

It’s hard to say
what matters,
so many years later.
I wonder what
I saw then, that
I cannot recall now.


Look both ways but mind the gaps.
Hold on to dreams and memories. But sometimes,
I wish I knew then what I now know. At other times,
I wish we didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

Thursday Rune: Vet’s Day Poem


Why I am Here

Are we united? One,
indivisible nation
facing all that division
and diversion
has to offer.

When politically
trapped rhetoric becomes
the dark knight, when
lies form gospel,
when logic is lost, when
hate becomes faith,
we form our own
deep “Troubles”
dis-united.

On this Vet’s Day,
let us remember,
and never forget,
why we are here.


Look both ways and work for peace.
Mind the gaps as we make it a better world.

Friday Fictioneers 11 – 12 – 2021

Another Wednesday as marvelous Rochelle inspires us for Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories given ideas by a new photo each week, provided by creative and imaginative compatriots. You can read the rules over on Rochelle’s blog and join in the fun. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz. Click for trip to Rochelle’s blog.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100
Title: Blind Man’s Bluff*

If Russians discovered us, we’d be captured or killed as spies. The last we saw before submerging to the bottom of the fjord were escarpments and mountains.

Life in a submarine a thousand feet down on the ocean floor is tense with fear and physically miserable. A whisper meant discovery and death. We sat for days entombed in dark silence.

Our air gone foul; our batteries low; we decided to escape. We started. Slowly, we crawled between underwater mountains.

Then, the skipper’s voice, “We’re clear. Surfacing in international waters. Another day at the office for Cold War bubbleheads, eh mates?


Look both ways as you run silent and deep.
Mind the safety of gaps between glacial mountains.
Learn the endurance capabilities of human life.

***

Click on picture of the Spy Submarine (USS Connecticut) to read other stories from the same prompt.

*Title from the Book, Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew.

 

Thursday Rune: “Tom”


We were
crew mates and friends,
Tom and I.
He came from
South Carolina,
via the
University of Hawaiʻi.

Partners.
A team of two.
For a couple of years,
we had laughs.
But it ended.

Lieutenant Tom, an enigma,
half of a nuclear bombing team,
a pot smoker,
beer drinker (me too),
almost certainly
a skeptic.

A kind of Buddhist,
politically left,
a sky diving
motorcyclist, and
the class clown.

We were different.
Tom deeper,
more spiritual,
and funnier.

After the Air Force,
Tom became a teacher,
back in South Carolina,
and a renowned
BASE jumper.

An avocation
that brought
an early end to Tom’s life
at the bottom
of a high SC tower when
his parachute gear
failed.

I’ll not forget.
I wish it had been
different. I’d call him.


Look both ways and remember even brief friendships.
Mind the gaps, they sometimes hold truths.

Sammi’s Weekender #231 (legion)

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Our Masked Morons

The Kadiddlehoppers:
Abbottomy the bot,
dirty Dan,
and Perrywinkle,
planned four Guard brigades
of water boy warriors
to battle back
Obama’s invisible invading
legions, thirty already here.
Save us
from such morons.


Look both ways for details and the big picture.
Mind the gaps and trust none of them.

Sammi’s Weekender #229 (caboodle)

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It’s All Just Stuff

Measure married history
with social mobility
and acquired caboodle from:

Abilene to Ankara, Turkey,
then back with bounty
to College Station.
Then Woodville.
Then Abilene again,
and on to Del Rio.

Sacramento before
Fort Worth,
then to Guam
for booty from China Pete’s,
Korea, and South Pacific trips.
Back to SAC,
then to San Antonio.

Edmund, Oklahoma,
and Albany, Texas preceded
San Antonio’s redux.

Florida came before Seattle.
Finally,
Georgetown with another
van of encumbrances.
Stuff.
And memories….


Look both ways for what was and will be.
Count blessings, mind gaps, and cherish memories.
Measure happiness and adventure carefully.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #224 (marshal)

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America’s First

An army of one
Pompously preened
Proud Field Marshal for
Pearl of the Orient Seas

Baroque of dress
Greater than grace
Without humility
In defeat or dismissal
Pride over human life, yet
Human to the core, to the corps


Look both ways. History is prophecy.
Mind the gaps and seek the truth that may never be told.


Only one American has held the title of “Field Marshal.” Douglas MacArthur was appointed Field Marshal of the Army of the Philippines in 1936 when the island nation achieved a semi-independent status. MacArthur was to create an army for the fledgling country. He wore a special uniform, complete with a Field Marshal’s baton.

Many beautiful lyrical poems pine after the Philippines. Here, “Pearl of the Orient Seas” alludes to the phrase coined by Juan J. Delgado, a Spanish Jesuit missionary, in 1751, and to a poem by Jose Rizal (Mi ultimo adios), wherein he refers to the Philippines with that name.

Sammi’s Weekender #217 (requisite)

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Tread At Your Own Risk

American men and women at war,
fighters. May I call them warriors?
For their military service
we want to thank them.
Combatants
share experiences
only they understand.
Only they feel it.

Requisites are hated enemies,
courage, weapons, desire for glory, fear,
comrades, pride; and a cause
to die for, one worth killing for.

There’s more.
Much more.
They carry much.

To fear death, or not? To love
and despise simultaneously?
Is war forever part of humanity?
Are we the only creatures
that kill our own for no reason? Just to kill.
To cause death unnecessarily?
Is that combat?


Look both ways for glory and dishonor.
Mind the gaps between mind, heart, and soul.