Friday, September 20, 2013

From the Ashes Comes the Phoenix!
A 9/11 Memorial Poem

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

The sky was blue and cheerful and the birds sang sweet in trees.
The travelers' destinations varied: some business, some families.
Boarding the plane they thought of things of every day;
Of wedding plans, of keeping kids quiet, of bills they had to pay.

Then sky blue terror, terror, terror, as men stood up and screamed,
and the men attacked and killed, killed and killed again,
to bring America to its knees
and buildings became targets, although one plane fought back,
they screamed of their god's greatness, forgetting his mercy*.

And in the buildings there was nothing to warn them of the day
of the day that would bring horror, agony and pain,
until they looked from Tower One and saw the too-close plane.
Closer, closer, closer it came until...

Flame and crash and burn and fumes and stench of burning flesh
And can't breathe and running blind, no lights, no air, no escape
and heart's pounding, running, running, running,
hearing the screams, terror and pain and smelling
the smells of what is the same of the fear in your own heart.

Voices calling, calling, calling, begging "Help me!" or
calling "This way!" in the flame, flame and smoke,
of the burning, burning, burning; eyes, throat burning
and the building's frame melting down.

And death surrounds them and fear drives them and all around them
the flames, the flames, the flames. And the roaring of
the burning and the oxygen leaves the building
as the people scream and fall and fall and fall
and they wonder if they should join them.

While on the ground and all around the world is
watching, watching, watching, and although our minds
refuse to find a reason worth this action, our hearts stood still
and breath failed to find escape or inhalation
astonishment took away all function except the watching.

Soon building two felt the impact, the impact of the plane,
the plane of their failing, failing of the tower, failing of the safety
the safety of America. The change had begun with the impact
of the tower, the impact of the death, of the death of the thousands
the thousands of the people.

As people came down, down, down to the ground to escape
the flaming buildings, to breathe a breath not burning,
the heroes there helped others down and saved lives and
heart ache for many. And the police, fire department and
ambulances, risked lives to save those still waiting. Then
they looked up as tower two was struck and tears fell throughout the nation.

Somewhere in the sky, two planes flying by were headed for targets
of their own. The Pentagon, with its walls so strong, was
target three that day. And with similar rage the third page
of the plan of terror was writ. Inside that plane, as in the others,
phone calls told loved ones of their doom, doom, doom.

And the towers fell, two buildings down, down, down,
hitting the ground and the rumble, rumble, rumble,
forever in the hearts, shaking our hearts, breaking our hearts,
Shocked and terrified, our hearts cried out, breaking, but
already rising from the ashes, the rolling, rolling ashes.

And the smoke came billowing, billowing, billowing,
blowing down the street, rushing down the street and filling in the blanks,
the blanks of the city, the City of New York, City of the terror, the terror of the moment,
of the shock, of the death, of the hatred killing innocents and the innocents knowing
nothing, nothing of the reason, the reason of their deaths.

People were running, running, running as the ashes and the dust
billowed through the streets and the ashes covered, covered, covered,
choked and hid, blew and slid into each crevice and opening. Eyes
burned, couldn't breathe and the towers were no more... nor were the people.

The search soon began and the reality sunk in and the truth of the day's
deeds were known. Four planes were down, down without landing, and
the death toll was enormous. As people streamed in to help with the search
for living and help needing; or those beyond the help of the dawn
and the task was so overwhelming.

But take it up, we did, no reality hid, as the search was on for
who did this. We found the names of eleven "to blames" and then
the names of those gone. Strange to think it took less time to find
the guilty, than lives of innocence taken. Three thousand gone,
to never see dawn, and their families' lives truly shaken.

And the broken, broken, broken hearts ache still with the loss
and the memorials won't replace the day of tragic cost
and when the anniversary comes 'round again, again, again
the day we all commemorate the day the earth stood still
and none of us could breathe as in unison we grieved and
we watched as the world changed around us.

As years, years, years pass by, and each year we cry and
we try to make sense of it still. It's no easier to understand the men
who chose to destroy for a god who employs hatred to draw men to him.
If a god of fear wants you to draw near, his tactics are truly unruly.
And when his men, under orders from him, kill innocents to obey his orders
then who wants to serve a god who deserves our distrust and our loathing?

Ruling through fear won't work for us here; America the free and the brave.
For attacking our loved ones on soil of our own puts steel in our
spines and resolve. We'll stand hand in hand and of them demand
an accounting for their actions. And we'll do what we can to prevent it
again and we'll not let another act of destruction
make us again victims of men who want to make us subservient!

Terror did reign for through the shock and the pain and
the truth of the enemy's hatred. But hit us one time and we call
back to mind the words of Patrick Henry's resolve;
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains
and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take,
but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

E'en through terror and fear, life so dear, it's clear is worthy of living,
So stand stronger we now, have shoulder to plough and we push on
through brokenness, heartache and loss. When looking ahead we
remember our loss and we plan to prevent it again. But more than that
loss we remember the cost of not knowing the enemy well. Now we're aware
of the depths of despair they're willing to dare bring those they attack.

No more do the towers, those pillars of awe, reflect the sun, moon and
stars. But remember we them in our hearts with the men, women and children
we lost. Replaced are the heights of the towers of lights with the hole left in the ground
and stamped on our hearts. Sacred place engraved with Lady Liberty's flame,
its presence gives us strength, courage and resolve. So those who look for a chance
to repeat the performance. Remember the day that our hearts did pay the price of
lessons we regret. But also recall, one and all, that for from ashes comes the Phoenix!

. * Merciful is ninth word in the actual text of the Koran (as opposed to the introduction).

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Gun Caked With Blood

A Tribute To Tyrone Woods

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Through the mortar fire's bursts, and the crowd's blood-thirst
Through the danger waiting there, and the smoke-filled air
Through the terror of the known fact of being left alone
To fight for his life and others, he fought until death
took him to his brothers.

He'd promised her he'd come back home, raise their child, ne'er again roam,
And kissed her tenderly "Goodbye", he'd said, not knowing for eternity.
Yet he went, and stood his ground, hoped his country would be around
Sooner than later, and signaled he, "There's the danger" with laser light
lit it like a tree.

They called for help, for anything, to help them through this, future bring
And, fighting tooth and nail, through the bullets' hail
They waited, called, and hoped and called again, not knowing if or when
The help would come, the Brass would see, it wasn't just him,
'twas "We".

Returning home he brought salutes, a flag-draped coffin's due
called a "Hero" left alone, a wife, a child, his last hours ne'er to be known
America's gratitude words can't express, because words aren't its fullness
But thank we he, Tyrone Woods, for all he did in trying --
he did good.

A flag-draped coffin, a hero's tome, isn't enough for those at home
Who wanted more than flag's decor, and empty pillow behind bedroom's door
A broken heart -- not one, but more -- and all because you're filled with honor
And obeyed your calling, obeyed your GOD, and with three others
we mourn your falling.

"A gun caked with blood": fitting epitaph for one upon whose heart was graphed
The righteousness of America's truth, and to her you gave your youth
And when America failed you, you stood tall, and answered e'en then the call
Against the enemy's bullet-flood, you stood your ground until
a gun caked with your blood.

GOD bless the loved ones of the Benghazi Four.

(NOTE: Based upon a quote from the Washington Times)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Marble There Said Nothing

-- My 2013 Memorial Day Tribute

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

The marble there said nothing we hadn’t seen before,
Words like “Died in Battle”, “Son of”, “Mi Amor”.
In sunrise, it shines softly, glows upon the hill,
In darkness, it reflects sorrow: so silent and so still.

In rows and rows of marble, we see the price they paid,
For freedom’s greatest harvest: liberty has stayed.
But is the price of freedom, worth all they gave to us?
Or do we stop the struggle, give in and others trust?

Lives that could’ve been saved, their futures lived in full,
Their loved ones must have wondered, “What if…”, “Is it possible?”
Would those who cannot answer give the nod to what
The price of freedom took from them, without a pause or thought?

And there beneath that marble, upon which names endure,
Would those who paid the total price, now be so sure?
Of their sacrificial service as when they signed up?
Or of their country’s value to give their own life’s cup?

To drink from the fount, of n’er ending grief,
For wife, husband, child, parent, and delay the turning leaf?
Or would their answer stand the test of time’s unfailing tock,
Resounding through the ages, and eternity’s ne’r failing clock?

For marble’s future gloaming, for freedom’s future fight,
Their answer lives upon the rock that shines in fading light.
John, Gary, Emanuel… Harry, Favre’, Sam*:
Answered question with stout heart’s resounding, “Here I am!

Moon glows upon the marble that lists the names of all
Who answered with their lives the bell of freedom’s call.
In Vietnam, WWI or Two, or Afghanistan, Iraq,
Liberty tugged their heartstrings; refused they to turn back.

Memorial Day upon us, I want to thank you again
For giving of all you had for America to win.
The marble there said nothing we hadn’t seen before,
Words like “Died in Battle”, “Son of”, “Mi Amor”.

*Sam = Samantha

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Truth of Light

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Benghazi's shadow casts its gloom,
The IRS scandal looms,
Fast and Furious and Eric Holder,
A truer wrong -- could it be bolder?
And other things not yet known
Await discovery, to cast their gloam.
This administration's disgrace,
The president shouldn't show his face.

Our country -- great once it was --
Now in tatters, its glory does
Shine no brighter than scandal's dark,
And "free" health care was just a lark,
As lies and division created by his hand,
A darker version of Triumph's stand,
Against the foes of foreign shores,
Instead, our enemy's Michelle's paramour.

Destroying all he can by day,
Into the night he slips away,
Benghazi? Nah, he'll sleep through,
As four die under red, white and blue.
It matters not to him who rules,
He goes golfing (he has the tools).
It's not important what we think,
For him it's just a fart and blink.

America was a thing of the past,
He'll have his dream, longing at last!
Destroy her quickly, unless they learn
What the plan is and on him turn,
Taxes, lies, stimulus,
They all combine 'till we go bust,
And America that was, goes down in flames,
Him? No. He'll take no blame.

It will be us, or Bush's fault,
His plans will march on, will not halt,
Until She's dead, this land of dreams,
It won't be him, nor his foul schemes,
George Soros won't be part of it,
E'en though he'll smell of _______.
Sharia Law, the goal to gain
The Constitution is just a pain.

But remember...

A spark is lit by one man's breast
In whom the light still shines, and lest
We all forget the truth of light,
It shines the brightest in the night,
And when one person answers the call
Of freedom's voice so sweet, recall,
That it is then the flame revives
And spreads anew into other lives.

Don't count freedom out, call "Strike Three!"
Until you're certain of dead it be.
For in the hearts and in the minds
Of just a few freedom finds
A place of refuge, the light still burns
'Tis to that place where liberty turns
And finds a leader to call men home
To once again ascend the "throne"
Of Freedom's call, of our true rights,
Of GOD's gift, FREEDOM, still burns in the night.

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Whose Hands Is YOUR Freedom?

There is a growing list (currently) 400 U.S. Sheriffs who have publicly stated that they will not be enforcing unconstitutional gun laws. They support the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
I thank and applaud every one of the Sheriffs who have chosen to publicly support our Second Amendment rights.

According to The National Sheriff's Association, the office of Sheriff started circa the 9th century in England and much later, when America was being formed, the Magna Carta delineated some of the responsibilities of -- and restrictions upon -- the Sheriffs of the day. In fact, of the sixty-three items in the Magna Carta, twenty-seven of them dealt with the Sheriff and his duties. The first appointed Sheriff in America was appointed in 1634; first elected Sheriff was in 1652. Early Sheriffs in America also collected taxes (aren't you glad that part has changed?).

The traditional Sheriff's oath of office, shared by at least 43 of the 47 states that have Sheriffs, goes like this:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of __________; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of Sheriff of ________ County, ________ (state), on which I am now about to enter, so help me God."
With only three states (Hawaii, Alaska and Connecticut) not having Sheriffs, there were 3,083 Sheriffs across America as of September 1, 2010. That makes the 400 (and growing) Sheriffs only about 13% of the nation's Sheriff population. That's scary; especially considering that 98% of those 3,083 Sheriffs are elected officers who can deputize people they wish to participate in the law enforcement efforts of their counties. Which begs the statement on the Association's website:
"The Office of Sheriff is not a department of county government, it is the independent office through which the Sheriff exercises the powers of the public trust. No individual or small group hires or fires the Sheriff, or has the authority to interfere with the operations of the office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of their county."
Where are the other 87% of the Sheriffs across the nation? Where is there representation of and accountability to the people? Why have they not signed onto the Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officer's Association gun rights statement? Does their NON-signature mean that 87% of the people cannot yet rely on the Sheriffs they elected to protect them to do just that?

Let's not jump to conclusions. The National Sheriff's Association held a press conference on February 1, 2013 and released a statement that says in part:
"WHEREAS, sheriffs strongly support our citizens' protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the National Sheriffs' Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and


"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the National Sheriffs' Association supports the rights conferred by the Second Amendment and further recognizes the ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights."
In other words, they'll stand by whatever the courts decide. With the current president appointing judges that are those of his liking, what can that tell us about upcoming court decisions? (That's why electing a leftist/Marxist president is never a good idea.)

Remember the SCOTUS's health care ruling? Justice Roberts suddenly decided that the health care bill was a TAX instead of a law stating that you had to buy what the government said you had to buy (a la low flush toilets, CFL light bulbs, high efficiency washing machines, etc.)? Can we count on the SCOTUS or any other courts to do what is constitutional?

Second chance for their stance: the Sheriff's Association's Executive Summary in which they state in part:
"1. Rule of Law. Our nation's Sheriffs recognize the rule of law in the United States in which the Supreme Court and lower courts are the ultimate authority in determining the constitutionality of any law."
Oh. They started with the courts get to decide it. Well, I think that confirms the point. The Sheriffs of America will let the courts decide, as is Constitutional and they are sworn to uphold the Constitution.

The problem with that stance is that it leaves our Second Amendment unprotected from the courts. In fact, the Sheriffs Association's statement leaves us totally unprotected from usurpation via the president's cronies in the court system. It leaves our Second Amendment in jeopardy and balanced precariously on the ledge of judicial activism.

It was judicial activism that took prayer out of schools, established "separation of church and state" as the rule of law; under the newly found "right to privacy" gave us Roe v. Wade and paying for abortion via taxpayer dollars became legal. Judicial activism also gave us an alleged "right to sexual privacy, which encompasses a right to possess and view sexually explicit material in the privacy of one's own home." This included "films - which depict rape, torture, and murder" with the actresses in the films being literally beaten, etc. Some would argue that judicial activism also gave us the Dred Scott decision.

Judicial activism being what it is, and the president's appointments being who they are (his Czars, his judicial appointments -- including Sotomayor and Kagan), how can we count on the courts to interpret laws in favor of our Second Amendment rights?

So many of us tout the Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officers' Association's list of Sheriffs who will support and defend our Second Amendment right, considering their own statements and press releases about it, who are they saying will be the ultimate judge?

That leaves it up to us, "We, The People" who will have to defend our Second Amendment rights, does it not? Is that not the way it should be: "We, The People" never leaving our freedoms in someone else's hands? The question is: Are you ready to stand where others will leave it to the courts?

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easter painting

Easter painting by Mcubed8
Easter painting, a photo by Mcubed8 on Flickr.

He shed His blood for us and although they took His body down, the blood was still shed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

And The Nails Went In...

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

An innocent man, never lied, cheated, stole;
nothing was there to place the blame on Him,
yet, there it was. In their mouths, in their
eyes, on their skin.

They blamed Him for their fear, the loss of pride,
their growing dissatisfaction with their place
in society and in the grandiosity
of their own minds.

He came in love, peace, with truth on his
lips of laughing kindness, gentleness, healing.
And yet, they couldn't believe, accept, leave
their places of power.

So they accused; falsely, but that didn't matter,
for they were the judges and false judges
with false charges, their own choices make:
right and wrong gone.

Judged, He judged not. Condemned, He condemned not.
Slapped, beaten, mocked, whipped and whipped
and whipped again. Till flesh left bone and blood
dripped, ran down torn flesh.

Crowned and forced to carry the cross of
His own mechanism of torture and death and
stumbling, could not complete that task,
another forced to help.

Golgotha gained, his muscles strained as arms stretched
so wide. And the nails went in, one hammer stroke
at a time. Pounding, pounding, ripping, tearing,
spreading bone, not breaking.

They nailed his feet, his hands and stood the cross
up to hold him, as he struggled through the pain of
torn flesh, nailed hands. And breath came in bursts
of pain and anguish.

"Father, forgive them!" He cried through it all,
no mention of punishment, no cry to damn them
as He struggled to cry out, forgiveness He gave
as they gambled for his clothes.

And as His breath came harder in rasps, He
saw there His mother, and gave her away, to
ensure her future and her care. He saw those who
had put him there.

Still struggling to breathe His last breaths, lift up
and gasp, piercing pain on the nails, the nails that
went in, and He for us paid the price
the price of our sin.

In heaven, GOD the Father looked away, as our sin piled on
the Son He loved so much more, but they both had agreed,
before earth was made and we were here,
that this was the price we were worth.

"Eloi! Eloi! Lama sa-bach thani?" Father, why have you
forsaken me? His heart broke as the separation -- the full price
was paid, and then a whisper, "It is finished." and the only One
without sin, died covered in ours.

Thus is the story of this Eastertide. A story of love
and betrayal, of judgment without truth, of forgiveness
where none was deserved. Three days later,
the story complete,

Christ rose, nail scars still there, as Thomas can attest,
and His resurrection brought us final rest. For now we can
spend eternity in His Father's house, where none of us really
deserve to be.

As you celebrate this Eastertide, remember the Reason,
remember the price. 'Tis not just the death, nor just return
to life. But the thirty-three years, without sin; perfect,
obedient, God's Son.

And the nails went in...

© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved