Death!

Death, is not a sweet kiss,
nor is it a deep, gentle sigh.
Death, is a struggle for life,
but we lose… and so we die.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

I cannot recall how many times I have heard, “He was in his death throes.” And they have been defined as “sudden violent movements that people sometimes make when they are dying.”

The will to live is so strong, but death will have the ‘final’ say.

Dana Schutz’s “Open Casket:” A Stolen Memorial?

Absolutely spot on! I take this Memorial Day to honor and remember Malcolm X and The Black Panthers and all the other Black revolutionaries who were “beaten to their knees so that you and I may live on our feet!”

Thank you C.C. for this excellent post!

Whispers of a Womanist

This week, Black Perspectives featured a story about the New York art feature “Open Casket” by Brooklyn artist Dana Schutz. The piece features a mirage of colors to portray a slain Emmett Till in an ‘open casket’ at his 1955 funeral. Till’s murder offset the volatile civil rights movement that would dominate the 1950s and 1960s, staining white America’s fictive purity with the spilled blood of black martyrs. Schutz’s “memorial” painting premiered to abundant opposition for its appropriative aura—given that the artist of this feature painting, Dana Schutz, is a white woman. Moreover, what overtly seems like a memorial for a murdered and mutilated black child, resurrects old wounds and splatters injustice across a painter’s canvass Thus, it seems fitting to stumble across this painting on Memorial Day.

America’s memorial day functions to commemorate those “who died so that we can enjoy the liberties that we do today.” Because this is America…

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We Celebrate Memorial Day!

We celebrate Memorial Day in honor of blood spilled.
And we stand silently by and watch those coffins, filled
with the bodies of dead soldiers who once knew joy
but then lined up as though they were a tin soldier toy.

We take this day to solemnly give thanks and praise
to those who willingly reduced on this earth, their numbered days.
What a wonder it is to be alive and to show our gratitude
while those who served this country lie in glorious solitude.

As we head to the store to buy flags made in Vietnam
to bestow upon the grave of the sacrificial lamb,
we honor the memory of every unknown soldier
by giving him a neighbor to lie beside him, shoulder to shoulder.

Why should we cease to inscribe names on yet another wall,
since it is so easy to produce another soldier to heed war’s call?
No, we must never truly show our gratitude for our war weary dead,
and to those whose body lives while their mind died instead.

So, eat your hotdogs and your apple pie and wave your flag
while another soldier is soon to be placed in a body bag.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

And here we go again! Taking a day to honor our war dead while still at war and so what have we learned? Not a goddamn thing! Monday, Trump’s depraved ass will solemnly place a wreath at the tomb of ‘The Unknown’ soldier; ‘The Unknowns’. And just which soldier did he know? What soldier did Obama or Bush know, either Bush, for that matter? Trump, after having just recently dropped the Mother Of All Bombs on Afghanistan and declared that more soldiers are necessary to fight some bogeymen that the U.S. trained and/or caused to be unleashed on the Middle East by way of the CIA will ‘borrow’ some dignity from somewhere just long enough to get through the hypocritical ceremony of the placing of the wreath. And then, it’s off to golfing and ordering some Big Macs.

Oh, how we really mean it when we “Thank a service man/woman for their service to this country” while we continue to add to their numbers because hardly any of us know a soldier who got him/herself killed in the line of ‘duty’ because it has always been some poor schmuck who was too dumb to understand that he’s still poor after having signed his life away and for what? Not a goddamn thing! Food stamps, a gun, a backpack and a flag to drape over his coffin. Yeah! Now, go eat your hot dog! Celebrate!

“Poverty Is A State Of Mind!” Said Housing And Urban Development Chief, Ben Carson

Poverty is a state of mind
because what does it really matter
to Trump’s new housing chief
who is really the Mad Hatter?

You can’t fool yourself into believing
that your hunger pangs aren’t real.
You just keep telling yourself over and over
that on your empty plate is a meal.

The thing about mind over matter
is that it really doesn’t work.
When you lose your job and home,
Ben Carson is gonna smirk.

You see, it’s really funny to him,
he who has no brains at all
that your mind can’t make you rich
like that brain dead Neanderthal.

But what really takes the cake
is that this fool is the head of HUD.
He’s responsible for housing the poor,
I guess in houses made of mud.

This supposedly brilliant brain surgeon
says that “poverty is a state of mind.”
How in the hell did he operate on brains
when he is so obviously blind?

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

For the love of !!!!! Let me get this straight. If I lose my ‘good’ paying $7.25 an hour minimum wage job at Micky Ds because of automation and I told my landlord that I’m really not of a mind to be poverty stricken and homeless and so could he please accept my ‘great state of mind’ as payment for rent due, who in unholy hell thinks that my ass would not be sitting out on the streets in no time flat??!!!

If I lost my ‘great’ paying job at GM due to robotics taking the job and I could no longer afford the mortgage on my house, how about I go to the bank and tell them that I’m not of a mind to be poor and homeless and so could I just ‘bank’ on that mindset to get me to be able to stay in my home? What the hell is the banker going to say to that? “Get the hell out of my office with that bullshit and start packing!” That’s what the banker is going to say.

What the hell is wrong with us when we can hear this type of tripe and there not be an uproar? It is already bad enough that I’ve had to hear of Donald Trump’s budget proposal that guts food stamps, Medicaid and he’s even going after the disabled which should surprise no one seeing as how he made fun of the disabled on the campaign trail. But as usual, the apathetic and complacent Americans just sit back and wait until the shit hits the fan for their ass in particular in order to get to wailing and moaning. And we had the nerve just a few months ago to post some shit about, “When first they came for the Muslims, but I wasn’t a Muslim and blah, blah, blah…” And now, they’ve come for the food insecure, the sick and disabled and what are we doing about it? The usual. Not a goddamn thing, the apathetic and complacent shits we are! GEEZUS Goddamn Christ, I fucking give!!!

Oh and before I forget, Ben Carson also stated that people who have to make use of HUD public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers should “not live comfortably!” Believe me, they are doing anything but. And I have the pictures to prove it!

This was the result of a serious roof leak. I toured this apartment complex and 6 roofs caved in and management did not evacuate the people in the affected apartments because who the fuck cares about those people? These people did not have a ceiling left. But I suppose in the eyes of Ben Carson, this HUD Section 8 apartment was still too comfortable.

The leak in this apartment was so bad, the carpets had to be removed and the tenants had placed buckets down to capture the water. But of course, this is ‘comfortable living’, according to HUD Secretary Ben Carson

 

This is what was left of the sink and the kitchen. The pipe. Real ‘comfortable’ isn’t it? I’d want to live here! I’m sure Ben Carson would.

Great ceiling lighting. Not much ‘mood’ lighting. But who needs to be ‘comfortable’?

Here, we have ants coming from a panel in the hallway. ‘Comfortable’ living for ants anyway.

This ceiling leak is in a bathroom. You can ‘comfortably’ take your shower or bath knowing that the upstairs tenant’s filthy bath water could cascade down on you at any time. This feature will never appear in ‘Better Homes And Gardens’. For sure!

 

Does your bathtub come with a ladder? This one does. Will this bathroom get featured in ‘Better Homes And Gardens’? Never fucking mind. We ALL know the answer to that one! Fuck Ben Carson!

So, there you have it folks, ‘comfortable living’ as established by HUD Secretary, Ben Carson. He’s ALL heart, don’t cha know! Each picture here was taken in a HUD approved housing complex of some sort. Each had passed inspection and was deemed safe, sanitary and decent. This is what is considered living extremely well to the point of being ‘too goddamn comfortable’ by Ben ‘asshole’ Carson’ Fuck that house negro!

Feminism has let heterosexual women down

Sound arguments which I certainly cannot argue against.

Feminism is for lesbians who don’t want or need men anyway.

American Minutes The Blog

The Feminist movement was crafted by lesbian and heterosexual woman alike but works better for the lesbian than her cohart. How do you judge a movement. The same way you judge a tree, by the fruit it bears. Let’s see what feminism has produced for the heterosexual woman. If we look at the last 30 years feminism has produced higher pay, more education and greater opportunities. Great, this tree seems good but wait. There’s some other fruit too.The suicide rate for middle-aged women, ages 45 to 64, jumped by 63 percentin the last 30 years. Marriage percentage has decreased every year since the mid 80s. These two blaring stats highlights the failings of Feminism for the heterosexual woman. It’s message of “INDEPENDENCE” and implications that financial and social equality would mean happiness is snake oil. You can’t tell me you are helping women while under your watch…

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There Is A Simple Solution To ‘Ramsomware’, But You Don’t Want To Hear It!

 

What is this ‘Wannacry ransomware’ or ‘WannaCrypt ransomware’?

‘Ransomware’ is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

On Friday, the world experienced the wrath of a well-coordinated ransomware attack, known as WannaCrypt. The attack caused Britain’s NHS to cancel surgeries, a wide array of Russian and Chinese private and public institutions to be crippled most of the day, and the rest of the world to recoil in shock.

How could a single piece of malware that exploited a vulnerability identified long ago by the NSA, and leaked last month by a group called the Shadow Brokers, wreak so much havoc?

Yes indeed, how could this malware have wreaked so much havoc? It’s simple. Because we are stupid. We have grown so dependent on technology and artificial intelligence that we have lost our intelligence. In handing over every aspect of our lives to machines, we have given up any privacy we had which includes our medical records, our social security number; our very identity. This is why we are constantly hearing of identity theft and this has produced another corporation to operate in order to ‘restore our good name’ and to take back what was stolen from thieves, for a price, of course.

Now along comes this ransomware software that has been holding computer systems hostage until money is paid in the form of Bitcoin. If there were no computers, would this have even happened? Of course not.

The article goes on to state that Britain’s National Health Service had to cancel surgeries. Would the NHS have had to cancel surgeries a mere thirty years ago? No! Because medical records were kept in the form of folders in a file cabinet. You remember those, don’t you? Your doctor came into the exam room with your paper file and in it were your medical records and all that was needed to ensure that you’d had all of your immunizations, checkups and any upcoming medical events. You received a telephone call to remind you of any preparations you needed to make before surgery and guess what, we did fine. But now, since all medical records are electronic and are at the mercy of anyone who wants to underhandedly try and hold them for ‘ransom’, we’ve got a problem. This is only the beginning. You can’t see how easy it is for your information to end up in the hands of those who seek to profit from it? All the hacking of your credit/debit cards taught you nothing? Of course not because you are still handing them over. You don’t even remember a time before there were credit/debit cards, do you? More’s the pity because we were all the better for it.

What we have here is ‘civilization’, is it not? And how well is that working out for us? We are so happy, aren’t we? Can’t you tell just by going on Facebook and Twitter? Isn’t everyone just loving all up and down on each other? No one is sending vitriolic comments back and forth. Family members are not blocking one another over political differences, are they? Can you not see what is happening to us? We are descending, not into civilized mode, but into such boorish, uncouth and vulgar behavior, we would put Neanderthals to the blush. But we have all the creature comforts we could possibly want; electricity, running water, indoor toilets, computers, video games, garage door openers, devices that turn on/off our lights, open our doors, alarms for our homes, vehicles to get us to where we want to go, airplanes to get us there even faster and trains for the view. We’ve got it all. And this has made us most happy. So, why then, this?

HOUSTON —
Americans actually report being among the most unhappy people in the world.
Anti-depressant usage has increased 400 percent since 1994. So why are so many people may be unhappy, and what you can do to change that?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 10 adults in America reports being clinically depressed.

It’s probably more than that. Why are we unhappy? We’ve got it all, don’t we? We’ve got ALL the creature comforts and so then, why are we depressed? Why are we on opioids? Why are we committing suicide at alarming rates?

Suicide; The Saddest Trend
“America is in the grip of a sustained raise in the suicide rate across all age groups and for both sexes. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate rose by 24%. The numbers are adjusted to take account of aging. Men shoot themselves; women take poison. There has been a rise in suffocation and strangulation.”

Add to this the fact that we are a nation of addicts, as well.

Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis

Opioid addiction is America’s 50-state epidemic. It courses along Interstate highways in the form of cheap smuggled heroin, and flows out of “pill mill” clinics where pain medicine is handed out like candy. It has ripped through New England towns, where people overdose in the aisles of dollar stores, and it has ravaged coal country, where addicts speed-dial the sole doctor in town licensed to prescribe a medication.

Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car crashes. In 2015, for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides.

Again I ask, why are we a nation of addicts when we should be celebrating ALL that we have in the form of technology? Technology has given us all of our creature comforts. We don’t have to use a washboard to do our laundry like our grandmothers had to do. We don’t have to go out back and use the toilet like many of our folks in the south had to do. We don’t have to dry our clothing on the clothesline. We’ve got dryers for that. We’ve got microwaves so we don’t have to wait to eat. We’ve got mixers so we can beat that cake batter so much faster. We’ve got a device that will even open and close our window blinds for us. Look at all the gadgets we’ve got. Hell! Even our car can park itself and some can drive without us. And soon, kiosks are coming to fast food restaurants and so we don’t even have to bother with ordering our fast food from a person, we’ll just punch in on a screen what we want and voila, our order is complete. So why are we unhappy, pill popping, suicidal, stressed out and willing to be held hostage by malware? I’ll tell you why. This is not civilization. This is not paradise. This is us aiding and abetting in our own demise. This is what those who are behind the scenes had in store for us all the time.

We are a Social Security number, a credit score, a zip code, an insurance risk, a medical records number on a computer, but we are never, ever seen as human and so we don’t even think of each other as human and this is why we treat each other like shit. This is not civilization. This is a dystopian society; a society of human oppression, misery and disease. And we are all held hostage by the very devices we think we need in order to exist. We don’t need these things. These ‘things’ need us. Those who implement these ‘things’ and who control these ‘things’ need us. We don’t need them. We work because we think we need to and we are only prolonging our misery and our suffering and those who put this all into play are counting on us never realizing and waking up to the fact that we are aiding and abetting in assuring that our suffering and misery will continue until we either get so depressed, we take drugs or we just step up on a stool, put a rope around our necks and then step off that stool.

Why is money important? Who made money important? What do you think would happen if there was a hacker who could bring down our entire electric grid? Oh I’ve read articles telling us that ‘90% of us would be dead in no time flat’. That is just not true. Those of us who are alive today just cannot remember a time when there was no power grid to begin with. Did those people die? Did they all starve? If they did, we would not be here. Think about that. Our so-called creature comforts which are a direct result of an electric grid are what is standing between us and the simple things in life that were all we needed until we were told otherwise. We were told that we needed to buy a house and so get a mortgage. Go to the bank and hock yourself for 30 years and then work for someone to pay for that house because that was the American dream. And millions of us did just that. We were told that the horse and buggy was too slow. Now, you have an automobile and is it getting you where you want to go any faster? Those hours you spend sitting in traffic, a horse could have galloped by you multiple times. And you would not be choking on carbon dioxide fumes. The Amish don’t seem to mind getting around via horse and buggy or not having electricity and so then why are we willingly going along with this ‘Utopia’ which is anything but? Who is controlling us? Who is getting rich off us? Who made the barter system obsolete? Who got us hating one another since we feel we don’t need each other or that we can’t depend on each other like we used to do so many, many years ago?

You see, the so-called ‘elites’ are counting on us not waking up to the realization that money could be made redundant just as they would be if we no longer gave money any value. And to devalue money, to make money worthless is to quit buying and to not buy into the fallacy that without money, life would end. Life would actually begin without money. Think about it. Why have they made it illegal to live off-grid? Because by doing so, you are not giving money any value. You have devalued money. You’ve made it redundant. You’ve made those who’ve made money mean everything to us, redundant and so therefore, there would be no place for them, no use for them and no use for money. We would actually need each other, depend on each other which is what we used to do.  The cops and the military are only there to protect the interests of the ‘elites’. They are there to serve them, not us. And you cannot see this?

I remember when I was growing up, there used to be what was called, ‘rent parties’. If someone did not have enough to pay their rent, folks in the neighborhood would host dinners and every mother would cook and offer plates of food to be sold at the ‘rent party’  and the money would be handed over to tide the person who lost their job over until they got back on their feet. Now, we use ‘GoFundMe’. But the thing about that is, could it be caught up in the next ‘ransomware’ attack and the money stolen by hackers? Again, just something to think about.

It is really sad when there is an epidemic of drug addicts and suicides. It is really sad when people have allowed themselves to be played for that ‘almighty dollar’. And the sad fact is that churches are part of the problem. If ‘Jesus’ could preach by the Sea of Galilee, then why the need for all of these palaces of worship? If Jesus had nothing but contempt for what he called, ‘the moneychangers’ and began to cast them out of the temple, what does that tell you about how Jesus felt about money? You cannot have it both ways; worship Jesus and money. You don’t worship, nor do you adhere to the teachings of Jesus because if you did, you would ‘leave your worldly goods behind and follow him’. But you’re hypocrites because you won’t do that. You are the ‘moneychangers’; the hypocrites that Jesus cast out of the temple. Money is not buying us happiness. Money is only buying us someone else’s illusion of ‘happiness’ and it’s not working for millions, if not billions of us. Think about it.

And Jesus said,

What see I here? Shall my Father’s house be thus dishonored? Is this the house of God, or is it a market-place? How can the strangers who come from the land of the Gentiles to worship God perform their devotions in this tumult of usury? And you,” he continued, advancing a step toward the priests, who stared at him in amazement, “You priests, guardians of the temple, can you see this abomination and permit it to continue? Woe be unto you! He who searches the heart knows why you encourage such disorder. “Away with you from here, servants to Mammon! I command it. Take what belongs to you and quit the holy place!”

Although I am not religious because religion has been turned into whatever your preacher deems it is, I am sure that you can see your own church or house of worship in the above paragraph. And so what does that say for you? Think about it while you’re sitting in traffic choking on fumes and playing with your smartphone.  Think about the fact that the reason why you won’t do anything about your situation other than become a drug addict or commit suicide is because we have been made soft and pliable and this is why despite all of our so-called creature comforts, we are the most depressed, drug addicted suicidal ‘people’ that never lived! And those who put this all into play are counting on our very acquiescence; our submission to the continued status quo and we will not disappoint them.

Is It Time to Bring Down Civilization?

This is a great article, the thing is though, we don’t have a ‘civilization’ to bring down because we are not ‘civilized’. Just take a look around, do you really see much that would lead you to believe that we are indeed, ‘civilized’? Social media alone should be enough to disabuse you of THAT notion. But unfortunately, what we NEED to do, we won’t do. Sadly.

The Most Revolutionary Act

Endgame: The Problem of Civilization

by Derrick Jensen

Seven Stories Press (2006)

Book Review

Although the writing style is quite informal, the basic structure of environmental activist Derrick Jensen’s two volume opus is that of a philosophical treatise. In Endgame, Jensen makes two highly controversial arguments:

1. The planet and the human species can only be saved by bringing down civilization.

2. This can only be accomplished by violent means.

Like a philosopher, Jensen builds his case on 20 basic premises listed at the beginning of both volumes (see below). By definition, a premise is mutually agreed assumption (as opposed to a statement of fact) that is used to rationally derive a set of conclusions. In other words, if someone rejects your premises, they will also disagree with conclusions based on these premises.

I myself agree with all but premise 9 and 12. Ten years ago, it was believed…

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Justifying Oppression: The Lie of Attacking Police

“Police officers are only “heroes” to those who have an interest in maintaining white supremacy/anti-blackness, capitalist exploitation, and hetero-patriarchy.”

I cannot argue with that! And if I were you, I wouldn’t even come all up in here to try!

Zone of Non-being

Since it is National Police Week, Trump gave a speech yesterday recognizing all the officers killed in the line of duty. He declared that the attacks on law enforcement “must end right now.” Lets get a few things straight:

Regardless of what the latest Law & Order episode told you, being a police officer is not the most dangerous profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that law enforcement doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for deaths on the job. There are more fatalities among construction and sanitation workers. Why not focus on all the people who lose their lives while removing our trash? Are they simply not worthy? Dr. King was assassinated while trying to unionize sanitation workers in Memphis. And it was the FBI – a law enforcement agency – which set him up. Remember that.

Police officers are not under attack. We are. Lets do…

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Sirens Are Our Lullabies!

Shots ring out every night
in this city gushing blood.
And in daylight, it’s the same,
awash in a crimson flood.

Sirens are our lullabies;
a crime scene, our parade.
We stand and stare at the dead,
then into a grave, they are laid.

None of it makes any sense,
Black men killing their own kind.
And I just make excuses
as though to reality, I am blind.

I blamed it all on poverty;
a lack of jobs and single moms.
And I threw in for good measure
that so many are bearing arms.

I thought I had all the answers.
Open a store or two in the hood
that catered to the poor,
but that won’t do us any good.

What is needed, I don’t know.
I throw my hands up in the air.
Our murder rate is off the charts.
And it would seem that we don’t care.

Another day, another murder.
And sometimes, more than one.
We’re just mowing each other down,
and hell, there ain’t nowhere to run.

More babies without fathers,
more mothers without their sons
because we have lost our minds,
 when to solve our problems, we use guns.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

‘Did you hear that?’: Amid Baltimore’s surge in killings, a faint cry in a locked car

BALTIMORE — No one saw the baby.

She sat in a gold-hued car with tinted black windows as her 26-year-old father lay on the ground outside, dying.

All eyes were on him, another fallen body in a city increasingly defined by them.

In portions of Baltimore, the strobe of police cars is as much a part of the landscape as boarded-up homes. But the pace of the killings this year has been stunning as the city struggles to recover from rioting in 2015. As of Friday, 124 people had been slain, including five on a recent day, making Baltimore’s homicide rate one of the highest in the country. It is more than triple Washington’s rate and higher than the homicide rates in New Orleans and Chicago, two places that have become national symbols of gun violence.

I came to this city, not with expectations of having everlasting fun, but with the hope that there was something I could do to help in a city that claimed my heart over a decade ago. And now, I am beyond frustrated. If I told you all that has happened to me since I’ve been here, you’d all wonder why I have not thrown myself into the nearest psych ward and wrapped my own ass in a wrap-around jacket. I have been carjacked, almost robbed at gun point on a city bus, my cousin was shot two months after arriving here and I am terrified to leave my own neighborhood. I am already preparing to leave this city. I have not seen anything like this. I guess when I was here before, I was young and fearless, but now that I am older and damn near completely incapacitated thanks to injuries, I look at things differently and I am absolutely horrified at what I see. This city is off the chain. I ask myself all the time, “What was I thinking?” And if you read the article, a statement by a former Baltimore planning director tells it all.

“People don’t realize it’s worse than Chicago,” said Otis Rolley, former Baltimore planning director and a onetime mayoral candidate. His 23-year-old nephew, Andrew Zachary, a former Marine, was the 15th person killed in the city this year. “This man was trained by the U.S. government and had the skills and ability to survive in a combat situation overseas but was unable to navigate the streets of Baltimore. And that is a scary, scary thing.”

There is no need to suit up and head to Iraq or Afghanistan to see some combat action, just come to Baltimore. You’ll get more ‘action’ than you bargained for, believe me! Baltimore is a warzone! Helicopters fly overhead, non-stop. Sirens are non-stop. It is not even safe to take public transit. It is not safe to drive. It is not safe to walk down the street. It is not safe to peep out your window. For the love of !!!!!

Casualties Were Few.

What Toritto has so poignantly expressed in poetic form is so very true and tragic!

toritto

We lost two in Afghanistan in April; four this year.  Our President is considering sending more troops. It has been sixteen years.

The casualties were few we’re told
while preparing to withdraw
Just three last month in Kandahar
Your son, my son and a boy from Florida.

“Your son, like mine, your eldest boy?
Handsome, straight and tall?
Mine too, a young wide receiver
beloved by one and all.”

Do you remember when they left
the sea of flags a flying?
The speeches made, while bands they played
no talk among our sons of dying.

Do you remember when they left
so young and eager to get going
while old men nodded to each other
in the secret code of knowing?

And now each sleeps in a pewter box
A flag draped casket, flying home
A cargo plane to Wilmington
the final miles before it’s done.

“No pictures please of caskets!”

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