It’s been a long walk home.

Many of you will be aware that I am (almost) at the publishing stage for a book I have been working on for a little over three years. The book is titled ‘Life in the Warzone’ it is about the effects that living in an area of conflict has on people, be they combatants or innocent civilians, even children.

During my research and interviews (from Sarajevo, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, and the Ukraine) I often come across essays, poems and other forms of accounts which expresses personal trauma.

Here is one such piece I would like to share with you.

This is not my work. I take no credit for these words.

 


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It’s been a long walk home.

(Author unknown)

.

It’s been a long walk home, I’m almost there,

I see that flash, I hear that scream,

I’m right back there again,

lost in that same damn firefight,

It’s been forty years,

When will it end?

Every night it’s that same damn firefight,

We lost Sam and Bill,

Tag’em and bag’em,

we were told,

we’d never seen em again.

But every night, it’s their faces that I see,

and I ask myself why wasn’t it me,

my name should be etched in that cold black wall of stone,

It’s been a long walk home,

I’m almost there.

.

But I hear that chopper so near,

Raining tracers down,

Can’t they see us here?

Marine down, corpsman up,

But silence is all I hear.

Why am I the only one left,

Screaming GOD get me outta here?

It’s been forty years,

I still see that day,

We were almost there.

.

The edge of the jungle,

I see that flash, I hear that scream,

Tag’em n bag’em the list goes on,

To many to remember,

It was their last firefight.

I’m the only one left,

Lost and running looking for my way out.

It’s been a long walk home.

.

My family, don’t understand

When I say that this can’t be real

Just let me wake up one time and this not be,

But it’s that same damn firefight every night,

I wake up shaking like a leaf in the wind,

Tell’n my wife that it was just a chill,

Not that rage to kill,

But she sees it in my eyes,

That same damn firefight,

It’s been a long walk home, I’m almost there.

.

I was telling her good-bye,

When she realized I didn’t fear death anymore,

It was my life I was about to take,

She cried out for me to come out of that jungle, out into the daylight,

Think of the kids and what this would do,

She took me by the hand helping me make that first step,

Coming out of that jungle into the daylight,

It’s been a long walk home.

.

Forty years and I’m almost there,

I see that flash, I hear that scream,

but this time it’s a younger brother yelling out,

trying to find his way out into the daylight,

Out of that smoky fog of that same damn firefight,

It’s been forty years for me,

I see that flash, I hear that scream,

It’s their pain that I feel,

Knowing that this damn firefight is not real,

I’m here to help lead my younger brothers out,

Not to walk forty years as I,

Lost in that same damn firefight of PTSD!


If you would like to know more about my forthcoming book ‘Life in the Warzone’ please visit my website and look on the ‘works in progress’ page. http://paulznewpostbox.wix.com/paul-white

Thank you, Paul.

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Today I watched the sun rise.

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As the sun rose and the darkness faded the sky took on a burnished amber hue.

Birds started to welcome the dawn with the melody of their chorus.

I breathed in the sharp crispness of the morning air and looked up, a few wispy clouds hung motionless in the stratosphere.

It was such a fresh, bright morning I predictably recalled the hymn ‘Morning has broken’; in this instance, my mind heard it being sung by Cat Stevens. I half-consciously found myself humming along, (out of tune of course.)

This was soon followed by the voice of Bob Marley and ‘Three little birds’. I smiled inwardly as I realised both of these hqdefaultvoices were inside my head and I wondered why on earth we become so full of angst when someone admits to hearing voices in their own minds, or indeed fearful if they inhabit our own?

This morning as the sun rose higher and the amber tones dissipated to reveal an azure blue sky, I found I was comforted by the voices I heard singing to me.

Regardless of the scientific, cognitive or physiological explanations, of which I do not give one iota of care for at this time, I was quite amused by my own insight of this experience; which is as a writer I constantly think, in the words of ‘Arthur’ (Dudley Moore), ‘Funny things that make me laugh’.

This was one of those times when even lateral thinking was unable to keep up with the speed of the random leaping of my thoughts. I have coined a personal term for my hyper thought process, I refer to it as ‘Geometric Surging’.

I love it because this is where all the oddball, wild, whacky and seemingly unconnected notions, The weird concepts, opinions and theories somehow find common ground, which allows them to become authentic and viable concepts. This is one state of mind where many of my inspirational stimuli, collected from far and wide over periods of time, meld into solid ideas. All that is needed is a moment of ambience, of atmosphere which can induce the right frame of mind.

Today it was watching the sunrise.

Thank you for reading.

I have a ‘Showcase’ page on my website, please feel free to visit.

© Paul White 2014

http://paulznewpostbox.wix.com/paul-white-writer

Do not cry for us

writers-block

It is another late night.

I have taken myself off to bed once, but to no avail; sleep evades me, scurrying away into the darkness the moment my eyelids become heavy.

So, I return to the keyboard and start tapping away, to see what devils play within my mind tonight. Only it is no longer night, it is two-thirty in the morning.

Sometimes, this is when all the indiscriminate arbitrary concepts and vague notions I have considered during the days previous, formulate themselves into a cohesive interrelated and reasonably logical order, thus forming a coherent chain of words, which when read back, actually convey my original inspiration and intention to the reader.

This period, at least for myself, generally occurs at arbitrary times. It is haphazard, irregular and unselective. Although these late nights, these solitary, unsocial and introverted hours are those that commonly prove the most creatively productive.

In the morning, (read later today), after and eventually, I have achieved some sleep, I shall present myself to the world in a fashion that shall cause the casual observer to regard me as introverted and unsociable.

Although this would not be my elected preference, I cannot chastise those who would consider me as such, because I know I shall be ruminating and deliberating over the words I have written tonight and, as such, my demeanour shall convey my meditation as distant and antisocial.

This is a burden carried upon the shoulders of many, if not all, creative writers.

The creativity and ingenuity required to conjure fictional lives from the rawness of neural pathways, to weave nether worlds from mere suggestion, or pen flowing poetry which stirs passions of the heart and excites emotion, thrives best when it is born from the isolated world of the solitary writer.

Distraction is a temporary remedy, a partial relief of this symptomatic characteristic trait. However, there is no cure. This is the writer’s curse.

Do not cry for us.

This is our choice, our drug of life which brings its own highs, begets its rewards in other forms of alternate kinds.

Satisfaction and stimulation of your mind, your heart and your soul is our reward.

To tease and toy with your emotions until you lose, for those moments, your sense of the world around you and escape into ours, into our fictitious realm, our domain of narrative legend.

That is our reward, our incentive and our recompense.

Thank you for reading, Paul White.


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