Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Support the publication of our next book! Donate today to help get the voices of our veterans in print and in the hands of those who need it! Click here to donate.

If you haven’t bought one of our previous anthologies in awhile, consider gifting one to yourself or a friend. Check out our new online store!!

Warrior Writers is partnering with Outward Bound to take veterans on a canoeing and rock-climbing expedition! The course is from July 15-20 in the Delaware Water gap. All expenses paid, including travel to Philly. Paperwork is due Friday, July 1! Don’t let this chance pass you by! You will be glad you went! Click here for more info.

Join us for our next Veterans and Community Conference in Chicago this September. Details will be available on the website next month. Click here to see photos from our Philly conference.

Give thanks for all the new veterans who joined the Warrior Writers community in Boston this past week at the William Joiner Center. We are very grateful for the openness and amazing writing that the Boston vets contributed, and for the allies who helped make it possible. WW Boston be gathering in the next couple weeks to start preparing their submissions for the book. Contact Ian at for more info.

Featured Artist: Hart Viges

War feeds my soul
It gives me purpose
Fire coursing through my veins
Water through my eyes
Gunpowder through my fingers
Heart beats with adrenaline
Mother slaps my face with a kiss
Everything is upside down
Right side up
I hide
I forget
I pray
Home is gone
Sleep in sweat
Drink piss
Hurt people
Hurt myself
War feeds my soul
It gives me purpose
Phoenix rise
Flip the coin
Wear black in Summer
Family safety brief
Found the struggle
The new war
A new way to fight
Fire coursing through my throat
Water through my eyes
Music moves my fingers and feet
Love feeds my soul
It gives me purpose

Writing Exercise - Hart’s piece speaks of purpose. For many the feeling of contributing to something was lost when they left the service. How have you found purpose in new places? Was there a struggle to find it or are you still searching?

Please share your work at any stage with the Warrior Writers community at If you need a login, contact

Be in the loop! We’re in the process of building our database and need your addresses so we can send you postcards about our upcoming events and what not. Please click here to submit your info via our website.

BE OUR MURALIST! If you or someone you know is a muralist or can collaborate with one (apply as a collective) is interested in powerful, innovative work with veterans, download
the application now. We’ve extended the deadline and will post the new date on May 10th.

Be in the next Warrior Writers book, be a peer editor! We’ve sent out the call for submissions for our third anthology of work by veterans. Download the complete submission guidelines
here. Submissions are due by August 1st, so use the summer time to get your creative juices flowing! Remember, you can post your work on the blog or Facebook to get feedback from others. Warrior Writers artists who are interested in helping to provide in-depth feedback to your peers about their writing should email us by July 6 at to let us know. Start deciding which four pieces you want to submit.

Be on the website! Warrior Writers artists, what are you up to? Send details on the events you’re organizing or involved in and we’ll post it on the web. Send to

Become our friends/supporters/fan on Facebook (Warrior Writers) and invite your friends to spread the word to their network.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 29, The Eyes of Babylon - Artist talk/discussion

Warrior Writers hosts an artist talk-back and discussion immediately following the play, The Eyes of Babylon, showing Off-Broadway this Wednesday June 29. We’re offering 20 comp tickets to our network, so if you’re able to attend, send us your name asap.

In this commanding solo performance, Jeff Key describes how his Southern upbringing and determined patriotism lead him to enlist in the Marine Corps as a 34 year-old gay man. When the U.S. is attacked less than a year later on September 11th, Key finds himself unexpectedly preparing for war.


Wednesday June 29, 7pm

59 East 59th Street, NY, NY 10022

Free, first come, first served tickets – Send your name to

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lincoln's Speech

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan -- to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."

From Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Lincolns speech

The Gettysburg speech did pave the way
For all the benefits we enjoy from the VA

Like hospitalization, and primary care
Our GI Bill, didn't fall from the air

Like travel pay to get to my appointments
Full dental, mental health and antidepressants

If your damaged from service and your life is affected
In theory your automatically service connected

But a bureaucrat will fight you each step of the way
The process is tedious with years of delay

And once you granted the attention you needed
You wake up to the fact of how much we've been cheated

Who would have guessed all these perks of today
Came from a president now rumored to have been gay

Jim Hale
June 24 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Christmas 1914 & 1968

It was fifty years and four more ago
Since World War I was being fought in the snow

Christmas 1914 the soldiers endured
In the darkness, no mans land was obscured

But then a holiday tree could be seen in the wire
In the hearts of the soldiers, dreams of peace were inspired

The soldiers from Germany, France, and the UK
Played soccer together on Christmas day

The truce was not sanctioned, they were breaking the rules
To keep fighting on Christmas, they'd have to be fools

There was peace in some places till New Years Day
But higher up officers made them again square away

Now its Christmas 1968
Up all night for the Sun we await

Our lights are all gone and our vision impaired
It's so dark at night, except for the parachute flares

Our mortars are thumping, the tracers are flying
My heart double pumping, there's somebody dying

Bullets reach a target, may not be what you think
Its war for Christmas, we went over the brink

A hundred yards past the airstrip that night
The Viet Cong were trying, to get in close for a fight

Back in the world, Silent Night they were singing
When our mortars took out, the gifts they were bringing

Than came the sound of secondary explosions
I just put it away, and forgot those emotions

But now its all finished with, over and done
In spite of the dying, no peace has been won

World War I happened a long time ago
The reasons for fighting I never did know

In 2014 it will be 100 years
Since the war that was stopped by those brave mutineers

Is peace on Earth just some words in a speech?
Or could it be something war veterans might teach?

Jim Hale
June 18 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Combat loss

They said there'd be no shooting I believed it of course
When I turned 18 and joined the US Air Force

Fifteen left behind on a forward air control post
On this island 5 miles off the Cambodian coast

The duty was hard but I did my time
But why did they take out the claymore mines?

I guess we were just a combat loss
It was down to us to pay the cost

I didn't know what all went down
It was just a bad place to hang around

Forty years past and my heads still a mess
The VA's calling it combat stress

If you serve your country just like me
You too may qualify for the VA extended warranty

Jim Hale
June 15 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey you guys! I am working on a proposal to submit for Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2012. I want to do a group reading with other Vets to show the healing power of writing poetry. If any of you guys would be interested in performing, please email me for more info. My email is or hit me up on Facebook under Nicole Goodwin.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What war, what other news?

I wrote this a couple months ago, before I was a member here. Allot of this holds true now........

On the TV news they keep on preachin
To go 24/7 their really reachin

Politicians under the gun
Must be day ninety one

Ice in the south and snow in the east
Tuscon mass shooting 6 deceased

Never a word on the two wars were fighting
Funeral protesters must be delighting

If we cant see the war we're waging
How are we to be a gaging

The cost of war is all but hidden
The VA system is overridden

There must be a way that we can see
The real news, and that’s bugging me

Jim Hale
January 12 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Out of here

Democrats hate republicans
But they have no guts
Republicans hate democrats
They all drive me nuts

No other nation can take our crown
The lies they're tellin will bring us down

The war goes on its in the overtime frame
Vietnam Iraq different names but the same game

Open up your eyes and lend me your ear
Declare victory and get us out of here

Jim Hale
June 7 2011

INNER VOICES: An Afternoon of Poetry

Come one, come all! This free event features some of the most ecclectic array of poets in New York City. What a way to start the summer!!!! Location: 125th Street Branch Library, East 125th Street and 3rd Avenue. From 2pm-4pm!
June 20-July 1 Warrior Writers 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. More info here:

who's the enemy?

this is for my battle buddy, Cooper, who in basic training
lay on the floor in a pool of his own blood
teeth missing, eyes swollen shut
I could see the boot prints on his face
beat for bein black, beat for his race

this is for G-force
the brick house jumpmaster, paratroopin disaster 
Maaan, he could sing!
and make everyone laugh
but they called him names when he turned his back
see, G took care of me and I trusted him for that 
he taught me how to fly, how to pull the trigger
and no afghani ever called him nigger

this is for the Vietnam Vet
who told me he didn't fear the death he might meet
because of his skin color, 
he already worried about bein strung up
just for walkin down his own street

we were told the military would teach us 
how to share our freedom
but what we learned was a new level of hate.

when we weren't training to kill people with turbans 
we were conditioned to hate our sisters and brothers
foreign, domestic, and urban 

this institution thrives on hate:

there was a swastika brand on the chest
of my first army roommate.  
he told me uncle Sam don't care
but I couldn’t help but stare

at the absurdity of a man
wearing an arrowhead patch 
representing the spirit of the Native Americans 
crowned with a U.S. flag, on a blouse 
encasing a chest
branded with a symbol of hate 
this uniform supposedly defeated?

I’ve got news for you America
the enemy isn't in the Middle East
or Africa or Asia or Central and South America

It’s within you 
and it’s within me
It’s the institution of hate
that keeps people from bein free.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This is not about any organization but a weird connection

I was a teenager speaking to my principal

A Vietnam Vet

At the time I was impressionable

gun ho for the invasions and slaying of evil doer muslim blood

He reached out to me and we never agreed

Except of our two minds that thought differently

At a young age I embraced music

Flavored in foreign worldly delights

I burned a CD of music that contained

Southeast asian 60s/70s infused acid rock

I gave this gift to my principal

I gift soon to become nothing but a gift but a prophecy delivered to me

He played it in his office and it came clear instantly

That he was no longer the head of the school that I was enrolled in

He broke out in tears

I didn't understand it fully until I became what he once was

A veteran

I wonder some nights

How foolish I was not to see what a grown mans tears can warn me of what I was about to be apart of

Now I live a life of pain trying to not forget but accept peacefully that I was once apart of something larger

Something not to be proud of but something large nonetheless

Apart of American Imperialism

Apart of something I fought for and made it clear in my mind that it was right

Recently I tried to reach out to him and I still wait for an e-mail or call for all I got was a old teacher I use to have from that very school

She told me that she'd pass the message along

I told her weather or not I would ever speak to him that to leave my forwarded message with my quoted words

"You were right!"

He was a veteran of foreign wars

Wise in his age

Sending a message louder then any bomb

To a soon to be good ol boy

In Uncle Sam's fan club.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Grind

and the burning coffee.
The elixir of the night shift
stripped of its essence:
decaffeinated, over-extracted
and burnt.
Sporadic sleep under artificial darkness,
and challenging the insistent sun.
Running to embrace the comfort
of night
only to find that all things had been raped.
Stripped of all fragrance and beauty,
to a bitter sludge
of shapeless grinds.