–The Official Website
HOME WITHOUT A FLAG is a collection of poems written during my combat tour in Vietnam, and across the decades afterwards. The poems are of war, and of the warrior returning home. The book will be available in paperback from Amazon in a few weeks, and as an e-book shortly after that.
The following paragraphs are the introductions to the major sections of the poetry volume.
These poems were written during the war in the village of Vo Xu, Hoai Duc District, Province of Binh Tuy, Republic of Vietnam. The author lived for a year with a team of American advisors assigned to a South Vietnamese outpost. The team trained, advised, and accompanied irregular infantry forces on combat operations
"The World" was the United States. "Back In The World" was everything - dreams of things to do, girl friends, wives, families, and a return to civilian life. Getting back to The World was the thought on each soldier's mind each day he was in the jungle. Each day was one more day notched off a "short timer's" calendar, and one day closer to going home. "The World" loomed large, perhaps too large, in the dreams of what soldiers would find when they returned home.
As time passed, memories became less recurring but no less intense. In some ways, memories merged and the less poignant details became lost, allowing the strength of the remaining memories to grow. They, indeed, became an entity unto themselves that each combat veteran carries with him in his own way. On occasion these memories were shared. But, they were usually shared only with another who carried the same baggage. Somehow, there was a cheapening of the value of the memories if one attempted to share them with someone who hadn't been there. In the end, the baggage of memories was a knowledge that none of us were fully able to understand, anymore than we are willing to let them go.
Twenty five years later the demon dreams have been trundled up, packed off, and consigned to locked trunks in the attic. Occasionally, they escape, but the legacy of the war is now not so much the memory as the act, and a subsequent life different than others in my generation who had not gone as we had.
Call it an armistice. It’s certainly not a victory. That’s too clean and crisp a definition. But all these years later there is an uneasy peace between the past and the present. There are still occasional triggers, but they are few in number. I have an acceptance now to what was and to what will reside in my memory and soul forever.
"Monsoon Over Poplars (466)" Home, 2016, Outrider Press
"When She...(2303)" CSP, Monthly Contest
"When It Rains (2284)" CSP Monthly Contest, Home, 2016 Outrider Press
"Gail X (2354)" California Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 4.
"A Stray II (2333)" Honorable Mention, 2015 California Poetry Society Annual Contest
"To Vo Xu" to appear in Proud to Be: Writing By American Warriors, volume 4 anthology
“Somehow" (2329), CSPS July, 2015 Monthly Contest Award, Third Prize
“Ground Fire”, appeared in Embers and Flames, 2015 published by Outrider Press.
“I Saw a Man Dancing On the Sidewalk (2256)", CSPS March, 2014 Monthly Contest Award, Third Prize.
“Memorial Day 2012 VI (2220)", appeared in To The Mountain, 2014 published by Outrider Press.
“Radio Kuwait” California State Poetry Society Annual Contest, 2013, Third Prize.
“Pocock’s Scalpel” California State Poetry Society (CSPS) Monthly Contest Award, First Prize, October 2012.
“High Bank Canto IV” appeared in the national anthology of Deep Waters published by Outrider Press in affiliation with the TallGrass Writers Guild, 2012.
“Twelve – Death In The Air [Witness (656) (2207)] CSPS Monthly Contest Award, March 2012
“Dustoff” CSPS Monthly Contest Award, December, 2011.
“Litany For A God-Vacant Sunday II” CSPS Monthly Contest Award, March 2011.
“Two – Grenade Booby Trap” appeared in the national anthology of Bird/Hand published by Outrider Press in affiliation with the TallGrass Writers Guild, 2011.
“The Bridge” appeared in CSPS 2010. CSPS Monthly Contest Award, October 2010.
“You Scare Me” appeared in the California Quarterly, State Poetry Society, 2009.
“Dustoff” appeared in the national anthology of Fearsome Fascinations published by Outrider Press in affiliation with the TallGrass Writers Guild, 2009.
“Clay” appeared in Blue Unicorn, 2007.
“Trip Wire” appeared in the Autumn 2005 issue of The Blind Man’s Rainbow.
“Tightening The Noose,” and “Tiger Patrol” originally appeared in DEAR AMERICA published in 1985 by the W.W. Norton Company.
The Complete Book of George – Collected Poems 1963 – 2013 (2,265 poems)
Tap Dancing In The Shadows of Death