Rick's Gallery of Art and Music...My Poetry Page
Welcome to my Poetry Page! I recently finished a poem about drumming circles. Following that is a poem I wrote about working with combat veterans.



Some of us are smiling,
some look grumpy.
Some look timid,
some aggressive.
Some look comfortable,
others look lost.

We lift our drums confidently
…or cautiously
and begin to play loudly
…or softly
…or with reserve
From the heart
…or from the head
Knowing our place in the song
…or doubting ourselves.

We look unlikely to belong
to the same group.
We differ in every way…
We’re Christian and Pagan
Men and women
Black and white
Gay and straight
Sixteen and sixty
Well-off and poor
Educated or not
Eloquent or not
Experienced or not
It doesn’t matter here.

Some are here to make music
and some are here to touch God.
Some came to be together
while others came to be alone.
Some came for the joyful noise
and some for peace and quiet.
Some came to heal their souls
and others just for fun.
It doesn’t matter which.

Some are here to connect with spirit...
…to journey
…to raise energies
…to be entranced
…or find their essence
And some are here to stop thinking.

To just Be.

A dozen souls
Together for a dozen reasons
Headed for a dozen destinations
Yet we travel as One.
Supporting one another
without a word

Building something of beauty
and energy
and spirit
that not one of us
could have conceived.
Ending each piece with laughter
...or with silence.
Feeling so alive,
and in the moment,
and so connected.

When it’s time to go, I pray
I can bring a bit more
of my drum circle heart
into the world this time...

Because the world has much to learn
about community.



I never hid beneath the footsteps of an enemy.
I never ran from Vietcong
alone 3 days and nights.
I never survived an exploded ship
that killed all but a few.
I never heard horses burn to death
in a barn I set afire.

I never spent the night pinned down
in a foxhole with a corpse...
...a corpse who was my friend.
Listening to the sounds
that bodies make
when life becomes most cruel.

I never laid paralyzed for months thinking I had died.
I never carried anyone
whose blood ran down my skin.
I never hauled rancid, bloated bodies
from the water...
Or carried them up that hill...
Or dug a grave to bury them.

I was never ordered to ignore a rape.
or murder an innocent.
or destroy a town or a home.
I never awaited an order after every officer had been killed.

I never carried the leg of a friend,
or his shell-torn body,
or his head,
or tasted his blood spattered fresh from the killing.

To survive this without breaking
A curtain drops...
between you and your feelings,
And numbness becomes your shield.

But numbness doesn't work at home.
For those who love you
...and life itself...
is on the other side of that curtain.
Leaving you with your rage and distrust,
startled and isolated,
Re-living the worse in thought and in sleep.

While night-after-night the horses must die.
You lie frozen in the sound of their terror...
frozen in the smell of their agony.
What God or demon would ask 50 years of penance?

My dreams are without helicopters
and bullets whizzing by...
and explosions from nowhere.

My dreams are without screaming horses
and the smell of burnt innocence.

No invisible snipers,
No minefields,
No traps,
No dead.

Mine is another battleground.
Of the mind and the heart and the soul.
Your war is my enemy.
Helping lift that curtain is my mission.
Your memories are the field pack I carry.
Your courage is a weapon at my side.

Again I'll battle that world of darkness,
and point the way to the light.