An American Story

from the eyes of a paratrooper (public domain image)

You might be interested in my Cold War military service where I didn’t go to war, but I did go to infantry and airborne school at Ft. Benning, dropped out of the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Hunter Army Airfield. got a state side swap to Texas and rode with the then 1st Cavalry Horse Platoon (now a detachment), was an Indian Wars costumed guest with that platoon at President Reagan’s inaugural ball, after being on a runaway wagon through part of Washington before the parade, which I also rode in, as a muleskinner/swamper, was in the 6th ACCB (helicopter brigade) in their Pathfinder section (now a platoon) where I did a lot of jumping, static line jumps, a some at 5 and 6000 feet, was the Soldier of the Year of III Corps and Foot Hood in 1981, and then I went Special Forces but only did one ‘mission’, parachuting with my team into West Germany with a tactical nuke we had to put in place, a practice mission (it would bear explaining that 3 others and I from my team, 331, pulled security for the nuke team, 334, and so it was a one-shot deal). After teaching summer camp at West Point, a duty of SF, I got an honorable discharge as a sergeant E-5.

Sounds great, but what’s missing? The heart of all that, the military payload.

From the book, its beginning:

Have you ever heard the term military healing? We know we need cops; we just need the whole cop thing to be healed so police keep us safe and not hurt or kill anybody, unless they absolutely have to to keep us safe, having tried their best to keep the person they’re policing safe. Many people are right now trying to define what that police healing would look and sound like. But what about the military? Can you be opposed to war but still support the institution that carries it out? If you hold your humanity close, put that before your own sweet self, and by humanity I mean not the group but that higher part in you that does not act like an animal, is never a beast, you just want to end war and not prepare for it, but let’s be real about this: if we didn’t have a strong defense our humanity would be in danger of being wiped out. Okay, so how to be a beast and at the same time wear your humanity, if not on your sleeve, then at least in the restraint of your hands and in the feel of your heart?

I think I can answer that. The book I’m introducing is a genuine book of healing, military healing. Reading it, you’d understand the military would be reluctant to want you to.

All to do with an interview.
Round to the streets,
it’s easy for me
I’m a poet.
Throw me aside, will yah?

The link to the PDF on this blog:
An American Story, The Service Reflections of Donny Duke

The Pupil and His Divine, a Harmony in Five Measures – 2

Sleeping Arrangements

[Although formatted to fit your screen, the poem was originally written in 2014. It’s in the form of a dialogue with multiple speakers: the poet, his divine, various people in the audience, including children, and even a hostile being. Paying attention to punctuation and listening to the poem read, the voices dramatized, play key roles in interpreting it.]


Mark my words,
a behavioral challenge
amplification wrong.
We poetry in our notebook
understand the behavior.
Get all listened out.
I do believe you’re excited about this.
There’s no place in our notebook
to gather wrong afield
so that we can see it better
and amplify its heal.
Are you with me Houston?
Ground Control to Major Tom,
put your seat belts on.

We have a reason.
Wrong could come break the relationship.
Finish thought:
you need control.
Wrong’s measuring basket:
to drink or drink more?
It’s a field show.
It’s a lessons study.
No ‘what daddy’
my son’s been imaged right.

Your measuring stick,
your wrong.
Do the exercises,
as long as you take the right one
above the window:
good history.
Did you see this?
That’s your heart song.

What happened?
Said to me.
I don’t want him going in there.
I act, we put there.
This is the first page:
yes you can sleep in your daddy’s room.
Sometimes we fail to see a better arrangement.
Sometimes we fail to see the solution at all.
Can get serious:
family court.

May we have your attention?
Please hold onto the exits.
A blue door
a thousand rupees,
that’s a spiritual way out.
Daddy I want to kiss you.
He’s green labeled that.
Whatta we do?
A different time,
a different thing.
Important that you don’t involve matter.
No swimming on the ground.
All need will read
God’s book.

What we’ve got here is a behavioral animal.
It has sharp teeth.
Stay in front.
If he pulls his gun out,
leave it blank.
I’m sorry I’m dividing.
We’ve got to arrange things
so that the muscle
get anybody complicated,
change house.

This is clear music.
You’ll sleep together in peace.
Watch those corner edges.
They rub a body mean.
I’m a happy song
you sing to your children
when she’s not in the house,
a line Molly.

Why did Molly come?
I’ve seen only skin much,okay?
Place the truth in your hands.
You know it won’t control them.
And it’s just like it was now,
trying to figure what was going on.
I’m just telling you something before you react:
I’m bringing you change.
That’s the technique.

The rude imperious surge,
that didn’t get you.
Do you want promise?
The Dallas runway.
You see some good
in this arrangement.
Don’t blow me away.
Keep the tickling hand free of charge
and the alphabet.
Study it please.

Doing things together
don’t let paper weigh you down.
What you want is a free, easy, spontaneous
gift hand.
You take this
you show it to them.
Must be nice to not have any fetters.
Just remember why you’re here.
It’s not to aggrandize the show.
A growth going on,
and the body carries its charge.
Sleeping arrangements made easy,
I go to sleep.

What Tamil movie?
We image sleep,
make it our breakfast song.
It’s the dream image that we care for.
That is molding the show.
You don’t know how sensitive the hand is
in the area of dream.
It is like another house,
another house owner.
It can fasten itself
to the waking movement,
and wrong behavior,
convinced of itself,
plays the hand.
But not when it comes
awake.
That’s the prime time TV.

Your hand has license there.
It meets them in dream.
They seem arranged for the movement,
probably asleep.
You have to go to clean.
You can’t.
A deaf movement.
Which one is that?
The life hand
has no will in it
to move.
Your head
and all its arrangement
is sleeping in the bed.

What you do?
There’s a program to put on.
It’s called make the body safe.
Call on divinity to help you,
some divine name.
Open to them,
and close the hand.
Hercules had no stronger task.
You see,
we can mess up;
we can come abuse
so early.

There is a physical culture.
The body has its own field.
Your body
wrapped around another body
ignites imagery in sleep.
I dreamed that I was in here by him,
next to him in bed.
Doubled doors are open.
Hot red hold me wrong.
Hot red you see,
hot red.

Hidden desire
can play.
These are occurrences in sleep
that hold us down in life.
They can arrange things,
pass this on to another child.
The waking world is full of such traps.
And we don’t even remember our dream,
even though our lightened load
is acting its ground.
This is a double pleasure.
Our child wakes up from his sleep
and waits for a buddy to fulfill it.
Physical culture I’m mad at you.
Though you are mad at me,
you like it
in the dream.
It’s a body arrangement.

What will put peace here is your spiritual test.
Who do you sleep with at night?
Your own dream?
Who it is you are open to
will single out your sleep,
open in the sense
that’s where you move.

You see my connection.
It’s a high note.
A practice song this is.
A night is drama to cross.
Put a pillow under it.
Only names
are personal enough
to put it together.
The name should rhyme with God.

There was something else.
The child in bed with you
isn’t even there.
They represent God’s feelings,
an image in the night
made in both areas:
I have walk in
and close the door.
We move to God’s nature
the sleeping child.

Have you fastened everything?
I can arrange it some.
You didn’t contact me,
subscriber.
A pulled image,
give me a dime to see.
We keep our images and our heads together
or they lose reality.
Bases cover this program,
the high note
we put our money on.

Yeah you hear:
hold your child a little.
Keeps safe with him.
We do not encourage sleeping with children.
No,
it’s just not a big deal.
You wouldn’t be able to
hand out body bags.

You’re not gonna get clearer than that for fifteen minutes,
the poetry of another song
even closer.
I sound your sleep.
Hear a whistle?
You’re an area dude.
You carry your first one folks.

Please dog go.
I gave you one rupee.
He’ll have a warm spot in his freezer.
He’ll want to put something there.
It feels warm to him,
and that’s all that’s interesting.
It’s nine or something no?
I don’t want your answer.
Tell me.
He can’t ride you like that
if you’re going to heal his movie.
He has grass ready.
You just need to cut on it.
We feel good.
That’s the problem.

His sleep knows this distance.
He’s practicing in dream.
You have to arrange it to watch his tower.
You hold the boy with your sleeping arm.
This is a measure of sleep.
No leave the stuff there.
All that we need is what you’re bringing to school on Monday,
okay?

Hey Donny,
his sleep you can’t ride,
but I can.
Go on, get some paperwork.
If you can just move for a minute,
that penis clouded,
you hit the note
that images safety.
You felt a strong glow,
Him.
The divine
had muscle.
He’s favored in sleep.
The urge is there,
but nobody eats.
You’re walking him out of this program:
exclamation point
in his area down there.

Though I’m sure it won’t be understood,
he gets dressed every day.
You must learn to read the music,
siren songs,
then move accordingly.
This is your fifth gear.
Man, speed up.
Do you know what ten miles serve?
Hey man I pass everything.
I’ll see you later.
Life being predictable,
same cost.

What is this?
The harmony of attention.
If I were you
I’d probably prefer to be
part of the program:
let me love you what I do,
but let’s get this story straight.
Touch those together.