Sixteen Men

My father is a poet.  He’s also a man I respect greatly and an interesting soul.  I was raised in a strict Irish/Italian Catholic AND military household.  Although, for all of our rules, it was my father who first introduced me to meditation when I was a teenager, and when he saw that I wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid of the church, he and my mother suggested I read up on different religions as to explore all options.  They are good people and I am blessed.

He sent this poem to me yesterday

Sixteen Men
by Thomas

Sixteen men
Loved sixteen women
On sixteen nights in June

Fifteen of them
Went off to war
One drummed a different tune

Fourteen women
Cried lonely tears
Only thirteen slept that night

Twelve bullets
Whistled through the air
Eleven bodies stopped the flight

Ten men fell
Onto the ground
Only nine arose

Eight women
Felt their hearts pulled
Then seven felt repose

Six men stayed
To fight the fight
Five wanted to go home

Four women found
New lovers then
Three women felt alone

Two soldiers fell
For the last time
One drummed a different tune



While strolling downtown San Diego today on my way to meet a friend for lunch, I happened to find myself behind a couple about my own age.  They didn’t hold hands or talk much – Instead they held their phones in their hands and ignored one another – their butterflies long gone. Although I wrote the poem with them in mind, it has many meanings….

by Jennifer Allison 

They escaped slowly –
somewhat methodically.
So slowly, I felt
each last weak flutter

Stomach in knots.
Feelings escaping with them.
Stillness in their place.
While they flew

To house themselves
inside of someone else –

Before flying home to
enter once more 
through my breath 
as it’s being taken

Again they’ll flutter.
Feelings arriving with them.
While I smile
at the mere thought of their

Until they leave again
to house in another –

San Diego Train – Empty