Photos of the War

sample rough draft sample

Photos of the War


my older brothers prepared for war

by learning the intricacies of languages

and lingerie of foreign places

no one explained what they fought for

I was told the children in our village

didn’t need to know till they were older

I didn’t think my brothers were so old

they were still learning to shave and swear


there was talk of death

that I didn’t quite understand

death was a place from where people never returned

in the cathedral the bishop

called it the long sleep of righteousness

I wanted my brothers to be awake

so I could watch them gut the moose

so they could show me

how to get more than shoulders touched

in the strip bars


but they were determined to go to war

all the young men in the village

were hungry for danger

some so hungry

they started in on each other

tore each other’s flesh

ripped clothes to such shreds

even the women couldn’t repair them

these bruised men would roam

the Whistling Wood naked

chant loudly while the choir practiced


I didn’t understand war

but the hungry men in the woods

would haunt my sleep

their bruised naked bodies

danced erratically around a fire

private parts painted by flames

I wanted to join in their howling

but I was too young

I was still playing with boys

learning how to howl and dance naked

smeared with smelt guts and birch bark

we started our own boys’ army

by stomping on ants


my brothers went to war

they emailed short notes every day

“marched to Majorca”

“wet dirty sox”

“send powdered moose milk”

they sent photos of themselves

bright lights in the background

tall buildings that reached the clouds

in one of them by an airplane

they glared at us in defiance

pointed their guns at the camera

then one of them naked on a lawn

their bodies bandaged unrecognizable

these weren’t my brothers

they didn’t look human

as cracked grins of satisfaction

played across what remained of their faces

war after the war

Here’s another of the mythology series. I rarely write directly ‘political’ stuff because I’m more of a story teller than a social commentator. Lapsing into didacticism or hectoring is too easy and drowns all, to me, any real emotional response other than self-righteous anger.

The voice of Mythology is of this innocent boy and I try to see real world events though the eyes of someone without an adult knowledge base. War is one of those things that even adults find hard to fully grasp. War and death.

shoes shoes to be filled after the war

Here I work with elements of the mythos I’ve built into this island world – the moose, strip bars, the Whistling Woods – introduced some modern elements as well – i.e. email. With a gentle hint of sexuality – private parts painted by flame – I develop this voice and this place into, what I hope, is a real comment on how war affects the rush to manhood, soldiers, the ones left behind.

rubble bombed out

There is no actual war in my mind – all wars are the same (the struggle to support the US economy – but I didn’t go into that cynical aspect here). I’ve seen these photographs though. Some were of my Dad in uniform when he fought in WW II. Others from a Viet Nam documentary. Or maybe from the movies, because many of our fondest memories are really from the movies not from our real life.


August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada expo spider atingle at expo 2014

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Welcome to Lake Pinebow pineoct


tree02 lost in the Whistling Woods


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