Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Bucket "Fucket" List

  • I have PTSD. Fucket!
  • I have Agent Orange Diabetes. Fucket!
  • I have sexual dysfunction. Fucket!
  • I can't feel my legs. Fucket!
  • My arms are going numb too. Fucket!
  • I have right ulna nerve pain. Fucket!
  • I have flashbacks and nightmares. Fucket!
  • I function best in complete isolation. Fucket!

Feel The Steel

I could never comprehend it
How anyone could decide to quit
It's the ultimate of depression
And the final digression

There's always been another path
To avoid this deadly wrath
Until just the other day
When I was ready to die away

I could feel the steel
In my hand so real
My finger on the trigger
To pull it with vigor

I didn't have a gun on me
Or a rope to hang from a tree
But the desire was so real
I was ready to seal the deal

How could it go this far
My thoughts were so bizarre
I slept on it over night
And avoided that deadly plight

I added up everything wrong with me
Decided that was somebody I didn't want to be
It was no longer worth being alive
With my health taking such a dive

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Wall

Visited The Wall for the first time today
Walked it for a minute but couldn't stay

Realized it was built underground
And there were gooks standing all around

Ironic to visit the memorial of my war
Then hear the language of the enemy I abhor

This is my country and my war isn't it?
Having the enemy here is not a good fit

I didn't know quite what to expect
But I never dreamed I'd object

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


My brain has been rewired they say
Not the man I was back in the day

Seems there’s this amygdala section
That exists for my protection

All my junk is stored in there
It reminds me to beware

I’m different than I used to be
All because of this PTSD

Sometimes my circuits overload
My brain no longer meets code

I tried meds but they don’t work
Sometimes I think I’m going berserk

Can’t sleep much at night
I wake up in a fright

Is the amygdala vital for life
Let’s remove it to avoid this strife

Don't want to trip the master breaker
That would mean I've met my maker

22 vets each day flip their master switch
Their circuits hit a major glitch

Strategic Military Planning

The definition of strategic military planning is to build a VA clinic and PTSD counseling center directly under the final approach to a military air base where C-130's and jets are flying final approach at 300 feet overhead.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Veteran PTSD Prayer

Lord, grant me the strength
to accept the things I cannot change, 
the courage to change the things 
I can and the friends to post my bail 
when I snap and go sideways.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Motel California

Since some dance to remember
And some dance to forget

Then I medicate to forget
Just like every Vietnam Vet

I Live In A Cave

When I was young and running
I built a big log home that was stunning

Now that I'm older and crazy
I live in a cave and emotions are hazy

My Bucket List

For many of us seniors who still exist
A lot of us have a long bucket list
I've already had experiences is my decree
But my list rhymes with bucket, you see


  • I won't try any more of your crazy meds. Bucket!
  • I may eventually be one of the 22 each day. Bucket!
  • I don't have enough reserve energy for romance anymore. Bucket!
  • I'm going to live in a cave. Bucket!
  • I can't think of any more right now. Bucket!

Uncomfortable Close

If I can hear your mortars
going down the tube,
you are getting too close to me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The 7 VA Rules By Which We Live

Rule #1: The VA doctors and staff are always right.

Rule #2: When the VA staff ask how you’re doing, just grunt.

Rule #3: High powered VA doctors will diagnose you, but a high school drop out will evaluate your claim.

Rule #4: The VA staff will receive a pay check whether they assist you or not.

Rule #5: The VA staff don’t have to be polite or respectful, because there is no competition.

Rule #6: If VA staff did answer a question, the answer is probably outdated by now.

Rule #7: If a doctor or the VA staff is wrong about anything, see Rule #1.

Homeless Man As PTSD Therapy

A homeless man approached me on the street.
He thought my hot rod was really neat.

I could tell he knew a little bit about cars.
At least he wasn't hanging out in bars.

He was very excited at what he saw.
Several times he dropped his jaw.

We had fun talking about my hot rod.
For ten minutes I lifted my facade.

It felt so good to have a PTSD break.
For a short time I didn't have to be a fake.

When he left, I gave him a hundred dollar bill.
For him it was quite a thrill.

He said "Thank you very much. I won't buy beer."
I said, "Don't worry about it. I'm the winner here."

That was expensive therapy at $600 an hour.
But worth every penny, to feel that healing power.

Happy Tears

Seems I shed many tears these days
My triggers fire in so many ways

I wipe my tears as soon as I can
It has something to do with being a man

I don't want anyone to see me like this
Don't want them to know that something's amiss

Rarely do I shed tears of joy
When I do, I feel like a little boy

I don't wipe those happy tears away
I keep them as long as they will stay

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


My memories sometimes roll down my cheeks.

It's Difficult

It’s difficult to speak of my pain, because it’s painful to speak of my difficulties.

Silent Words Spoken

You can always spot a warrior who is broken,
By the expression of pain that is never spoken.

I Need Predictability

I position myself in public because,
I need predictability.

I search my immediate area because,
I need predictability.

I'm sensitive to sudden loud noise because,
I need predictability.

I warn people, "no surprises" because,
I need predictability.

I don't watch TV because,
I need predictability.

I watch only G movies because,
I need predictability.

I'll write one more line because,
I need predictability.

Boston Marathon Bombing

I just saw a news report about the Boston Marathon bombing trial.
The theme of the piece was to validate the emotional trauma of the aid givers caused by the blast and the resulting injured and dead.
The scene was described like this: People were down. People were screaming. People were bleeding. People were in pain.
There was a helpless feeling among the care givers with no supplies.
Bystanders used clothing from nearby retail stores as tourniquets.
The news piece was convincing how such a horrific experience could cause such emotional trauma
to the victims and to the people who gave aid during such a traumatic event.

Imagine that same scenario times 1000.
  • What if it wasn't two people trying to kill you.
    It was 2000.
  • What if it wasn't a home pressure cooker bomb
    It was a war bomb designed for maximum kills
  • What if it wasn't one single blast
    It was unrelenting blasts all day and night long
  • What if it wasn't just one day
    It was every day of the year
  • What if it wasn't three people dead in one day
    It was 300 in one day
  • What if there was no retail store around for supplies
    It was 9,000 miles to the closest retail store
  • What if there weren't hundreds of people there on site to help with the wounded and dead
    It was only you
Shit. No wonder I'm fucking crazy and resentful.
Don't make me jump through so many VA hoops to prove how fucking sick I am.
All you have to do is watch the evening news for God's sake. Wake up!

PTSD Survival Kit

  • Tissues
  • Lots of psych pills
  • Tissues
  • Appointment book for VA doctors visits
  • Tissues
  • A long rope just in case they don't find a cure soon
  • Have I mentioned tissues yet?

Invisible Scars

The worst thing you can do to veterans with an invisible wound,
is to make them prove how sick they are.

Usually, it’s a whole lot easier to have a visible scar.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Fear In My Doctors Eyes

I have seen the fear in their eyes
When they first realize
What I did during the war
And my issues we have yet to explore

One of my docs even backed away
I'm over my head, as if to say
So he referred me to another doc
I'm tossed around like a dirty old sock

I was referred to an in-patient facility
Do I really have that much instability
I wasn't admitted in though
They said I needed more time to grow

I was actually rejected
For the reason I should have been selected
That's like going to the doctor for a vaccine
And he says you're too sick to be seen

I wish I knew what my docs are thinking
When they stare at me without blinking
My PTSD must be rather severe
When they look at me with such fear

High Stakes Counseling

Imagine counseling for PTSD
When you know there is no cure.
It's like entering a race
You will lose for sure

Knowing that 22 each day
Decide to end it all
The counseling stakes are high
When you start behind the eight ball

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thank you Grandpa Wayne

"I learned about the Vietnam War today.
A lot of our boys had to go away.

Bobby's grandpa flew a plane.
What did you do Grandpa Wayne?"

"I was a combat medic Sweetheart.
Caring for the wounded was my part."

"My teacher said you have a fire in your chest.
Sometimes you don't get much rest."

"I guess that's true.
It's funny how war can affect you."

"'Welcome home' is what my teacher told me to say.
And 'thank you' for the price that you pay."

"Someday you will understand this to be true.
My Sweetheart, I did it all for you."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brain Ache

Everyone has experienced heart ache in their life
Maybe they lost a child or even a wife

Your heart can ache but it still keeps going
It continues to beat and the blood is still flowing

Sure the heart is important but it's just a muscle
It can't think, reason or resolve a tussle

Did you know that the brain can ache too
Emotional trauma can set it askew

When the brain aches it won't work well for long
It controls everything so lots of stuff can go wrong

It's easy to spot a brain that is broken
By the expression of pain that is so often spoken

(Inspired by: Jimmy Coley, Vietnam Veteran)

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Mental Workout

Writing PTSD poems
is like going to the gym,
except it's my mind
that stays in trim.

I Found The Cure For PTSD.

There are lots of therapies for PTSD.
So far none have worked for me.

There's counseling called one on one.
There's a group therapy that's run.

I've tried the Native American approach.
I've tried a professional executive coach.

I've tried eight different meds so far.
I work a lot on my hot rod car.

Started music therapy the other day.
Not sure yet what to say.

Every day I pray to God.
It even helps to drive my hot rod.

But I found a cure that makes me cocky.
It's called "Air Hockey".

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Welcome To My Mind

Welcome to my mind
Browse around if you're so inclined
You'll be lucky to find anybody home
My mind has a tendency to roam

Be careful if you open the amygdala door
That room is full of blood and gore
I hold those memories in reserve
It's my life they will preserve

Sometimes things get kind of crazy
My thoughts get mixed up and hazy
I'm supposed to have a mental disorder
Like some rowdy unwanted boarder

If you venture into the memory room
There's a lot to see I would assume
I've experienced a lot over the years
I've enjoyed many hobbies and careers

Some say I use only 10% of me
What a lie that turned out to be
I use all of my brain
I'd have to, to store all of my pain

22 vets a day put a gun to their head
I wish they would seek help instead
This disease must get pretty bad
22 a day is really pretty sad

Well I hope you enjoyed your tour
My PTSD has no cure
If you find a trick that will fix this
Visit again and we'll restore what's amiss

Friday, April 3, 2015

Realized Today

Realized today...
I harbor resentment from the war
I'm resentful to the core

Realized today...
I'm resentful to our countries politicians
I'm resentful of my angry dispositions

Realized today...
I'm resentful to sit thru a group session
I'm resentful for all of this depression

Realized today...
I resent the general population
I resent our ungrateful nation

Realized today...
I'm resentful because my life is so uneventful
I'm resentful because I am so resentful

My PTSD Glasses

I get my eye glasses from the VA
I've gotten quite a few this way

I'm careful but they always get destroyed
It seems to be a practice I can't avoid

They always get these spots on the lens
Won't come off no matter how much I cleanse

I got some new ones just last week
Thick black rims I look like a geek

Had a PTSD episode yesterday
Put on quite a tearful display

Then suddenly another new spot stain appears
I realized then it must be coming from my tears

So if you see a guy with stained glasses you can bet
He's probably a PTSD Vietnam War Vet

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Buddy Jimmy

My buddy Jimmy was trained to kill
Today has that same mindset still

I've been the subject of his wrath
Don't want to go down that path

My job was to save lives
My mission was who survives

I even cared for both sides
Where compassion and revenge collides

Jimmy and I both have PTSD
Without many differences I can see

This disease will affect us all
No matter what trauma we recall

Every Breath I Took

I may not remember what I did yesterday
And I may not remember some words that I say

I may not remember your name
And I may not remember who won the big game

But almost fifty years after the war
I remember every wound I cared for

I remember every leaf I shook
I remember every breath I took

I guess the war impressed my young mind
There are some memories I can't leave behind

Friday, March 20, 2015

It May Have Been Purpose

I thought I had been seeking
Camaraderie for forty five years
I searched for it in churches, clubs
Organizations and careers

It may not have been
Camaraderie I am learning
But instead it may have been
Purpose I was yearning

Please Don't Ask Me Why

There are some words you shouldn't say
Like...are you OK?

Don't ask what's wrong
If you want us to get along

Don't ask why I sit here
When I drink my beer

If I don't watch the news
I could have a short fuse

If I react and lash out
Don't ask what I'm angry about

Any second I could start to cry
Please don't ask me why

Why It's Called POST

During the war I could sleep anywhere
Today, a full nights rest is rare

Fifty years ago I slept leaned up on a tree
I slept through rain, mosquitoes and artillery

I slept through the hot scorching sun
I think I even slept while on the run

I have slept at noon
And I have slept through a typhoon

But today is a different story
I have nightmares that are gory

I have insomnia with a roof over my head
Tucked into my own warm bed

I have a woman next to me who is a dear
But I still can't sleep for all of this fear

This must be why it's called POST Disorder
My reality sure is out of order

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fade To Black

I'm going dark today
Dropping out so to say

Protecting them from me
Is my new decree

I've had too much anger
I'm too much of a danger

Can't control my aggression
So I'm going into recession

It's not worth the stress
Is what I've assessed

So it's home to stay
Getting out of the way