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Posts Tagged ‘battle’

Fishing on the Bushkill

When all that meant everything
Was a fire burning deep at night,
With friends to share life’s comic air,
The moon above to steal sight.

That was right, that was right, a time
And place suspended still somewhere.
A vault, untouched, unnamed, floating
Above those who wish they could stare.

Protected there my father lives
At that scout camp Resica Falls.
In his teens and full of living,
Hearing that Pennsylvania call.

One summer out there out posting
Past the main camp to staff Fawn Run,
My young father was on the edge,
A place where deep thoughts had begun.

He had time in those woods alone,
And ran his post when campers showed,
He’d often talk of Bushkill Creek,
Of its bronze color and how it flowed.

He’d make a fire, grab his rod,
At evening time he’d fish the creek,
Time spent in that flowing sweetness,
Relying on brown trout to eat.

Like a bear that is so content
To fish and eat and sleep so well,
Under stars from heavens glow,
The years to come no one could tell.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Did he know what the future held,
Or simply watched the river flow?
Was Vietnam even a thought?
Into that jungle he would go.

Did he know he’d be scoutmaster?
His sons to be and that boy the same,
All destined to be Eagle Scouts,
I knew the man that boy became.

Navigating rivers and life,
In that protected vault of then,
Trout, Brotherhood, Spirit, being
Among the links of boys to men.

Deep in the woods where wild calls,
Links that are not seen, are not heard,
Father’s gone but the Bushkill flows,
He has become that secret word.

Some of his ashes flow there now,
To keep the Bushkill’s spirit safe,
To guard by way of bird and fish,
To strengthen love and heighten faith.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Kyle McHale      2011

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Toy Soldiers

A child with his soldier toys
Shoots and bangs his war time noise,
Knowing not the real cost
Of fallen brethren and true loss.

No one can fault the little ones
For thinking play time soldier fun,
For maybe raised on bravery,
A father dressed for full duty,

And back he comes from war alone
Blessed to see his child at home.
“Go on son with your soldiers play,
I’ll let you know the truth some day.”

Kyle McHale      2012

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That Spot on the Trail

Chances are you’ll wait for me
At that spot out on the trail,
That spot I know that I have seen
Where beams follow that light trail.

And tailing out from sacred place,
The stones, the view, the forest leaves,
All breathing and dancing deep,
At last at peace, at last at ease.

Chances are you’ll wait for me,
Your tattered medal on your shirt,
In life wisdom is loneliness
And bravery is left on dirt.

But in it all I feel you now,
The order of things all in place,
That spot on the trail in dreams,
Becomes awake as real place.

As you guard, protect, and see,
That spot where gentle wind derives,
Chances are that you are there
To watch where all comes alive.

For with that gentle wind I know,
It travels to the sea from there,
To help the sails push on through,
To gently move through salt kissed air.

Guiding all from that trail spot,
Good company I know you’ll keep,
To show the others all you know,
To let the world beat so deep.

Then when I think of brotherhood,
I remember your handshake,
That so few sons and fathers shared,
In death, in life, asleep, awake.

The natural forces weigh on me,
When I think that I may fail,
That place will be there that we know,
That sacred spot on honored trail.

Kyle McHale      2010

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Gramps

I write for the hands that cannot,
And for those of us full of fear,
I pace a life to burn and live,
To fit all moments within few years.

Then I look at a man named Gramps,
At a life I do wish to know,
Then I shall see a golden heart
At a Korean hell in snow

That prevailed through three dead years
In a camp I don’t wish to know.
That one heart kept warm that dead chill
In a place where the dead don’t go,

Is a triumph of faith in life,
For one more day to give a try
Is a will to live again and
For the chance to see an eagle fly.

Then I look at a man named Gramps,
Who had two shots at all true love,
Then I learn from a man named Gramps
Who taught more than life and his love.

I listened through the years to learn,
“Do right, work hard, be a good man.”
I watched as the watchful will do,
The deer, the bear, the dogs loved him,

In a way most creatures did do.
He died in a most peaceful spot,
Not in the days of cold Korea,
But on a gentle sweet hilltop.

Kyle McHale      2006

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