Once there was a Great Lake called Michigan and a harbor placed north of Milwaukee. While walking across a series of bridges, flocks of birds perch or take wing either nervous or called south by late summer’s notions of warmth. On beach-side rocks are scattered both large and small across sand and into the water. Lake calm—neither a ripple nor waves. Remember! Brain-cry to cross this lake and pass thru the Saint Lawrence Seaway then onto the North Atlantic and to sail away and to go home…
We walked these piers dressed as Naval Officers and as civilians and as warriors. We walked along the water-fronts in both Annapolis and in London. We stood on the bows of ships-of-sails and of merchant steamers and on the wooden decks of sinking ships damaged from fire-fight with broken masts and crater sized openings in both hull and deck. We survived and we physically drowned from war. We neither required air to breath nor understood fear beneath one hundred feet of water.
We listened while both fiddler and accordion played harmony on Bourbon Street without those cars and those trucks and those noises—too loud and too distracting. Cajun violins and songs of both happiness and of sorrow still dance and wail through the night and through these dreams.
We rounded the Horn of Africa and we watched those light-housed flashes bounce off Cape Hatteras. We traded cannon fire and death along the European Coastline and onto seas and ports protected by forts and friends and foes. We sailed from the great northern oceans as adventurers and ports away called us to find something unusual or new.
We gained shores with strong forces and off-loaded horses and infantry of sailors and marines of combat strength from five hundred ships. We marched and rode toward those carefully engineered and magnificent castles. There, became a leader of warriors and a master of nothing except war and impending death. Time warps and the fires of arrows as skies darken with too many shafts and feathers and blood. The launch of spears and skill opens great wounds and both men and horses combat one another and death. Life does stop and start without the knowledge of living or the hope of peace. This finality continues with ruin and the slap of spear to flesh and a fall from beast to sand and the continuation of living inside and outside the body. We gain the freedom of watching battle unattached and the non-fear of living and of dying. The fall ends and life stop/starts and freedoms continue through the strength of billions and the songs of battle and of the harmony of peace.
Still the fiddlers play on into the night and the drums cause those millions to dance and swirl and twirl and mock death until it all begins again and ends and begins and ends and begins…ad infinitum. Simple choice? Not to fall in Battle—but to fall in Love?
And! Beautiful you are…