Friday, April 29, 2011

Joiner Center Summer Workshop

Warrior Writers once again joins the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at their annual summer Writers' Workshop. The Joiner Center offers a two-week writers workshop led by a remarkable list of current writers and poets. Warrior Writers founder Lovella Calica will lead veterans' writing workshops and civilian ally training as part of the two week schedule. The Joiner Center graciously offers free tuition to Afghanistan and Iraq veteran applicants, so any Warrior Writers interested are encouraged to apply! The workshop is one or two weeks. Get the schedule and more information here:

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I wrote trigger finger last week, and images came to me, so I recited it to a file, and created this 29 sec videopoem.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The door

The door

My verse and rhyme did start to flowing
With metaphor and thoughts I'm knowing
And yet I knew.. there was something more
What lies beyond the unopened door?
If I look behind it I just might pass
Through the other side of the looking glass
For there are things I might yet find
Release a logjam still confined
I may find visions so sublime
And see the music dance in time
The time was right so I dropped some spores
Quote the raven, grow some more

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Warrior Writers Visioning Call

Everyone check their e-mail for a phone meeting next week. If you want to be on the call and I somehow missed you-just let me know either on here or at
Hope to hear a lot of voices this next meeting!!

"Thank you for your service"

When someone thanks me for my service
It leaves me cold and feeling nervous

I'm glad they took the time to speak
But there’s no glory or thanks I seek

I was in the war so long ago
But it was the lies they told that made me go

There's only one thing of you I'd like to ask
Just please make this war be our last

Jim Hale
April 21 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trigger finger

It followed me throughout my life
A product of the war and strife

My right arm for so long it carried
Long before my wife I married

The force inside my lizard brain
Controls my fist oh please explain

Just who I'm kicking in my sleep
I cant see its in too deep

I made it stop no more to linger
It started with my trigger finger

Jim Hale
April 16 2011


Theres a drug thats prescribed in a form that is green and smokeable

And is now being given to those with PTSD

Though on the streets in killeen its out of reach for those in need

So, people go to the local convientence stores to smoke an alternative

An Alternative that works similarly to the miracle drug that became more widely accepted and has been used for centuries.

The fake product is labeled as popery and its in bags that are labeled in deception that say differently.

I can't be ashamed for those who manufacture it for they know its cheaper then genuine therapy.

Douce those pills down with a bottle of whiskey and amplify it ten fold and crawl into a blanket and be so annihilated that the nightmares might haunt you but not wake you.

The effects of these gas station chemists' drug give the uniformed is not fully understood

Its better then the numerous poisons prescribed to those who where the uniform.

Spice up your night solider instead of taking a cocktail of prescriptions that can't be any healthier then what a man behind a gas station counter can give you.

This town, and its ironic signs like, "Beer is cheaper than therapy".

A silent protest to a healthcare system thats failed us all.

Soldiers of Killeen

First off I'm not saying that I'm some wise man cause I'm not but I've got something to say about this town and waste.

Like many in the town of killeen, I'm a young soldier and I've gone to Iraq for good reason that I can't even think of.

I risked my ass for money that wasn't worth the weight in my own personal suffering.

Did I come back only to see others over-drafted bank accounts.

I wonder whether or not any other GIs realized the worth of the money they've spent.

I'm talking about the four wheeled deployments that they strut down the streets of killeen.

Were they thinking about the custom colored paint job scheme as bullets flew by just shy of them.

My hope for my fellow uniformed individual that the repo-man never comes by to take away their ride.

Call me cheap but I know the worth of money in which I risked my life.

I hope you enjoy showing off your rims in the parking lot while your tanks on E and I drive by.

I love the picture on a nice 1080 hp flat screen TV.

If you ever need a new television I know where to steal one

I'm thinking about getting one myself but I've been waiting a few months for you can always expect a bargain from a soldier back from sand box who never made certain that they could afford it in the first place.

Killeen can be such a big garage sale of greed and shame.

People don't know the worth of their own money unless they've put the hours in

The Army makes an uncanny exception to this old golden rule.

You never have anything to spend while in Iraq

For some of us young ones the paychecks collect and collect.

When you finally got the chance to spend the money it almost feels as though you won the lottery

Its more money then most people have all at once.

My heart goes out to those who lose it all to the simple expensive materialistic desires of the idea of where they see themselves in the future.

As if the tour is over and the job is done

Now they can begin a new life full of Perceived success and total fulfillment.

I am what they call a soldier of killeen and for what its worth I realize that the compensation I've received is not nearly worth my own life.

So, soldiers out their make good of your money and save a little. Be aware that the money you've got was at one point what you earned while you tried to survive.

I'll live with it for the rest of my life

sluggish, sloppy, and drunkenly numb

The next day i'll put on the uniform...go to work

Its almost over but I'll never let go once I can put my work clothes to rest

For they will live as an aurora around me

My medals will be pinned, dangling from me as if for the world to see but for only me to know I've received

They haunt with anxiety that can't be released

I'll live with them for the rest of my life

My rebirth has just begun with a paper colorfully honoring my departure

Service complete

I'll go home to my wife

I'll pick up a bottle of choice that will contain my remedy hoping to bring back a life lost

Then, fall asleep on the couch with my wife snuggled in the bed we share no longer

For the nightmares will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Why do I breathe when my friends left me, bled out in a bag that I put in a humvee.

This is dedicated to a buddy of mine

My Tool Box

I carried it, it carried thirty pounds. It was a keeper of lifesaving tools. Gauze, tape, sodium chloride, and tubing for the infussion of such. Needles and band-aids, even a little morphine. Lots of tabs, you know-- the ibuprofen type. The army considers it a cure-all. "Hand it out like candy" every day is Halloween. Don't worry about a thing, especially your liver being worth a damn by age thirty. Tons of gloves-- my one pet peeve, I would go without on certain scenes, but that; that's just me. I always wanted to be a helper of those too scared to be free. I was a medic and it was my tool box. *What did you carry that left a stain on your brain? What did you do with it, and what were and are your feelings about it?

Friday, April 15, 2011

support the troops

"we just Need to support the troops"
is what they tell me

well, this is from a troop
so listen carefully

what we Need are teachers who understand the history of this country
what we Need is a decent living wage, so people aint cold and hungry
what we Need is bicycle infrastructure spanning this beauteous nation
what we Need are more trees and less playstations
what we Need is a justice system that seeks the truth
what we Need are more books and less boots


is love

for every woman and man
from southern Louisiana
to the mountains of Afghanistan

Now, it's true
The troops need support

-the support to come home

they need treatment and jobs and love for the soul

war ain't no good
for the human condition
I lost a piece of who I was
on every single mission
and I'm tellin you,
don't thank me for what I've done

give me a big hug
and let me know

we're not gonna let this happen again

because we support the troops
and we're gonna bring these wars to an end

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ash and Bone

Your deeds swim in my head
So much so the taste lingers
In my mouth

I close my eyes and see
the sight, the horror
I smell the brisk fire
And inhale the dried sand

I wonder how much of me
is truly left.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Being MIA--benefits and downsides

We all go mia from time to time--either we need to isolate to deal with hard times, or we just get busy and forget to take time for ourselves. When I go mia, I tend to write more. It's usually about what I'm dealing with in my life at the moment. The problem with isolating is that you feel even more alone and don't allow anyone to help you through. It also makes it harder to get back into the groove of things. This is a poem from my latest mia mission--something I've been coping with for a long time. Feel free to post anything you create during your "alone" time! I see your blood from time to time. Cement walkways stained with it... Walls painted red-- I knew you would die judging by the hole in your chest. I see your blood from time to time. It's in my dreams, lights flickering, a girl screams. The walls are stained. She chases me, down the stairs-- never-ending ending stairs Look in the mirror, what do you see? That girl, she could be me... Covered in blood, your blood hands and feet-- uniform, and just me. I feel dirty, wearing his blood for days. I see your blood, from time to time.