Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Amazon Poems

Amazon Lodge

February, 2001 ar the Amazon Lodge (Peru) 125-miles from Iquitos

We were happy enough there at the Amazon lodge—
       detached from civilization;
In the hammocks in the afternoons...!
Under the mosquito netting in our beds, in our basket
       like cabin—likened to a straw pup tent—at  night!...
Together with the door slightly opened:
Snug, like a bug under cool sheets in the heat of the night!
In its un-silent, and unseen, wonderful darkness—
The long burning gaslights from the wooden walkway,
Jaggedly crossed—from there to here!
The night noises were unending—in particular, the: birds,
Insects: monkeys and all; especially the crickets:
Singing, talking, chanting, whispering, bugs chewing!
Rosa loved to hear them at night, they made pleasant
       noises: if you love the Amazon!
And we laughed together—her in her dressing gown,
Me in my mosquito socks—as I often, too often, I moved
       about: seemingly, aimlessly, trying to get settled—
So, I often thought: if she often thought:
‘How much room is he going to give me tonight—and
       where do I put myself?’
And then she held me tight as if she heard that thud
       from the puma, we had seen nearby the lodge,
The first night… (?) And then like so often, she was
       out:  completely out, like a burnt-out light.


Stride of the Amazon Puma

The Canopy in the Amazon, of Peru, 90-feet up/5:00 PM.

 The puma did no offences against us, whose huge pug marks,
       hid a scare—
She followed us from a safe distance, walking back to our lodge,
       from the towering canopy, a hundred and twenty feet tall
That overlooked a sea of green…
Allegedly a criminal puma of the deep Amazon—she had now
       repeated a number of times—this walk, her pace appearing
       as if out of nowhere, as if spying on her enemy.
Her excessive intruding didn’t appease our guide, Anselmo!
He had neither fiche, nor dossier on her: yet he knew—and that was
       all he knew, is that we were in her territory…
Anselmo, he looked young, wise and cynical, and somewhat
       doubting our way back.
It was getting dark, she looked almost black, and she had a huge
       head, that swayed low, bobbed, to and fro, when she moved.
Finally after two hours time, we saw her going away, into the tall
       grass, that lead into the heavy and tall timbers, and the thick
It was obvious, the late evening shadows of the trees, and solid
       formations about, blinded the puma, having camouflaging
Not a puma to be photographed, rather one to be left alone!


Mail run over Brooks Range

                ((Point Lay & Atuaska Alaska) (6/1996))

Dr. Siluk under the wing of the plane, Point Ley, Alaska 6/1996

I looked down at the unfriendly ground, everything smelled fresh and
       newly washed: brown, and white, and the pilot Aaron—an  Alaskan-Russian from Barrow, chased a solid mass of caribou, across Brooks
       Range; we were to them: steel death over their heads, hysteria, as Their tails and hoofs and horns, trotted, then leaped and galloped as the 
       small aircraft buzzed, and whistled and strutted like an angry crane Bobbing and fanning, jaggedly in the sky, overhead.
Aaron, he was bootlegging, while carrying the mail from Barrow, to Point
    Lay, and then onto Atuaska!...
He per near whispered: “I got a case of Jack Denials, $250-dollars a
       fifth,” that was eighty percent profit.
The aircraft touched down, as a group of the Inuit character, a stirring
       account of the Eskimo,  —dressed extraordinary, a symbol of the far-North of long ago, stood awaiting—; said Aaron, as they slowly walked  
       up to the aircraft, opened the door, with an enduring smile, “Hello Chaps, I got some sweetener for you all, and a little mail,” which was a
       package very small.”
As we took off for Atuaska, the tundra, was lightly brown and green,
       thin it seemed—wet and heavy, and the sun was lightly bright, but The day was gray—; once in Atuaska, it was all so brown, muddy and yellowish brown, with tall 
       telephone poles along the road…and they were waiting Likewise, and they got their sweetener Too!

#3424 (9-11-2012)       

Dialogue behind the Iron Curtain (1952)

“Give me some poison!” said a customer, in Riga, Latvia.
“I’m sorry sir,” said the proprietor, “we’re all sold out!”
Then he stopped and thought a moment, said:
“Wait a minute; I do have some strychnine, for how
many?” he asked.
“About ten,” said the customer.
“Here,” said the proprietor, “these should do it,” handing
him ten in pill form…
How much do I owe you?” he questioned.
“Naught,” he said, “we never charge for such items.”

#3425 (9-12-2012)

Note:  Not long ago, in 1952 (I was five years old then) 20,000 people escaped under the Iron Curtain a month, to find themselves refugees, trying to find free countries to live in. Most tried to go to America, one way or another. Should we forget this, perhaps it might be wise to remember, poison for customers, behind the Iron curtain, were often sold out in the local city and small town stores; that’s how bad it was; or we could say, that is how bad the world was.  The author’s Grandfather was born in that area, and escaped in1916, to England, onto New York City, and then to St. Paul, Minnesota, his brother going to South America (Anton Siluk).

Iran Nuclear Threat

(Silly Views by Silly Commentators)

It is hard for these folks, journalists, writing commentators, and surely those who have never faced war, like Bill Keller, and James Carroll, for the New York Times, to give cheap if not silly advice on Iranian containment, for Iranian containment that is, or at least advocating it. What I believe America or Israel should do, of which Israel perhaps can no longer do without the United States because they’ve delayed too long, is stop thinking like Americans, think like Islamic- Hitlerism, that is to say: don’t think rational, logical, they think in impracticalities, Saddam would rather drain all his oil fields, or burn them up than give them to his people or let the world have them.  Is this practical thinking? Napoleon would have rather seen half his army decapitated than give one inch of ground. Stalin killed 40-million citizens without a blink of an eye. Hitler was responsible for 80-million deaths. What makes these commentators think Iran will not use the big bomb? Thus, we should do what we did in Iraq, knowing this time, there are nuclear substance laying about, we should make a full-scale invasion of Iran, occupy it, blow the daylights out of their nuclear program, Ike would have done that, actually he threatened  to use the big bomb on Iran if they’d not step in line, check your history books.  We have a real threat here.  In consequence, we’d additional solve a few more of the world aches and pains: Hezbollah would dry up some; a nuclear arms race in that area would halt; Israel could step down from being on a 24-hour alert. Obama-ism, which is really, passivism, is simply because he is out of sorts, a man of no military rank, who said “Hell with America,” what can you expect with such a man; a man whose Christianity is no more than a Voodooist.  Plus, Syria would stop getting their military rations from Iran, and there’d not be anymore clashes across the border with Americans in Iraq. To put it into a theological tone, had Satan, or Lucifer, not been harnessed by God, that is to say, had he completely been let loose to do at will whatever he wanted to or was capable of doing: man would have been destroyed—totally, and that is how we got to think of this kind of mindset with the leaders in Iran, that runs through Iran veins, and perhaps those that think like Iran: lest we want to be back in the trees with the monkeys.

By Dr. Dennis L. Siluk
Commentary, Journalist (Peru)
Vietnam Veteran 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oscar, and the Poor Farm ((or, the Almshouse) (1980))

Old Oscar was an odd old fellow, whom never quite put together Chick Evens’ capriciousness. Had become accustomed to his abrupt visits that he viewed them all as matters of course, never knowing the underlining reasons for them. Should it ever be necessary to be told them, perhaps he would have?
       Evens, always asking questions, as the old man quietly looked up at his face. Not once leaving the bench in the garden at the Poor Farm, till the last.
       “Best leave and let you get some afternoon rest,” said Evens, more often than not, when he felt the old man was tired, or he was tired and wanted to leave. The old man with his warm flannel shirt, and thick wool socks on, and sweater in the scorching heat of a Minnesota summer; he was eighty years of age or more: of which he had sat facing White Bear Avenue, sat in the same iron and wooden bench each day—day after day, after lunch, the old farm house in back of him, rebuilt to accommodate the old, dying, and handicapped of the city. The last home they’d ever see.
       Old Oscar had no friends, his family never visited him, what was left of it, but Evens, and as long as Evens visited him, which was on each Saturday throughout the summer of 1986, he had that friend: half past noon he’d arrive. Oscar would take his friend by the hand and ask warmly, “I’d sure like some ice-cream,” and Evens would walk down a half mile and fetch him some, bringing it back half melted, but nonetheless, the old man never complained.
       The old man got to love him: well, love is a big word, perhaps, care for him is well enough, at least well enough to ask for that treat now and then.
       Thus, Saturday after Saturday passed, and they talked to each other, and Evens continued to ask questions, telling himself, ‘The sooner I have all this down the better,’ he was in a way getting tired of running out to the old farm each Saturday, although he was starting to like the old man.
       The old man started to say time and again, “I’m tired to death of living, in this rundown cold, smoky, cracking—once upon a time farmhouse; all night long groaning, dismal. I shall be dead by autumn, I hope.”
       And so was the notion of the old man, and Evens on his way home would write all this down for his psychology class at the University of Minnesota, where he was studying: it was to him a project.
       “What is the purpose you keep coming?” asked Oscar, once again.
       He could have told him, but he told him “I can’t say,” as if threading a needle. And then autumn came, and Evens’ project was over and he went to see Oscar, and he was no longer there: the bench was empty.
       To bear a noteworthy resemblance to old Oscar, the bench had somehow accumulated the old man’s residue, leaving within it, a part of his character, he could sense this—that is, to that of Chick Evens of our story, it was most unexplained.

       His reports had been several of a gaunt and grizzled old man: aging, dying, no longer healthy, in a wholesome sense: friendless, alone and lonesome, feeble but somehow, holding onto a smile while in quicksand.  On the other hand, some secret impediment had debarred Evens from the enjoyment and riches of his passing “A”, in his psychology class. Perhaps for concealing his motive, which is to say, at any rate: Oscar had died without him disclosing the ‘reason,’ the real reason, for the visits.
      Now he felt a lurking distrust within his character, difficult to account for, if even to try and describe. “Yes,” cried his soul, “Tomorrow I will set about it.” But the deeper he thought about it, the more it became irrevocably lost to some hidden vault within his mind, and only once put onto paper with ink in the form of a poem, cynically cover in a shroud,  published in his first book, yet to be published, covered in metaphor/personification, and hence, unrecognizable—and thereafter, buried in the truth—sunken in the sea for twenty-six years, only now to resurface for one last recall, in the form of this vignette, which is in real time, and bona fide truth.

#957 (8-25-2012)                   

General John J. Pershing

(A Poems)

Generals, Kings, Admirals, Field Marshals, Politicians,
These were Pershing’s war heroes… camaraderie,
His compassion, his competition…
So foretells his story, should you look at his war Photographs! Had you examine Perishing Experiences
In World War One!
Thus, he fought the war, with diplomatic visits to his Divisions … inspections and War Counsels 
Fighting on the Western Front, with his men was never nor Ever his gig, nor anything over enduring, in that manner!
Yet he is the hero among America’s WWI’s inflaming battles!
Surely not like Alexander the Great, or Achilles,
Who fought breast to breast with his men!
He was rather the new kind of General, those that sat
Far from the war and watch and listened!

You’d never see him with manned tanks ready to fire…
Or American troops on their way to the front on trains; or,
Sitting with a private, eating hash and beans or Canned Tomatoes!...
Standing in a Red Cross Line, a rolling kitchen at the front,
Handing out tobacco!
What did he do? This American Hero!
He issued formal instructions to launch battles
While he sat back and counted the dead
Never once behind a 340 MM Gun,
While it was firing, in action, during WWI…and
I doubt he ever went into an American Trench,
Especially under the winter snow,
Yet this is our American Hero…!
General John J. Pershing…

#3416 (9-4-2012)

Under the Winter‘s Snow

     ((The Battle of Meuse-Argonne, October, 1918, WWI) (Narrative Poem))

Private Anton Siluk, 1917-18, on his way to The American
AEF (American Expeditionary Forces) in Europe, WWI

The General’s headquarters were hidden in the forest, the
       Argonne, during the Meuse-Argonne battle which was to Peruse on October, 31;
I saw him once, giving directions regarding operations and deciding
       whatever generals decide. 
I had fought in the Battle of the Selle, on October 17,
With the British Fourth, and was sent forward to fight some more, in
       the battle yet to be in the Forest of Argonne by the River Meuse… nearby the Lost Battalion!
       We had captured 1600-prisoners and twelve guns.
It was dogged attacks, which are what we called them, how we won: —we advanced four miles in the face of strong resistance:
Let me explain—resistance: we knew we’d have but little time,
For recuperation, after The Battle Selle, for the Battle of Argonne,
       that was to ensue on October, 31,
So our commanders told us, and we did as they said,
We pushed to attack until we were incapable of further effort—
Red from the cold, per near pale as death;
Marshal Haig said, we’d earn the lasting esteem and admiration of
       the British,
Alive or dead, but surely he meant dead. 
And surely enough the little time we had between the two battles,
       fourteen-days, resting in old cold winter dugouts, trenches the
       Germans had left,
Proved we fought without rest, in the face of resistance.
Anyhow, I fought—like many,
Many, without any thought of alignment, my right hand swelled like
       the belly of a porcupine,
And once attacking the enemy I had learned,
Never lose contact with the battle ahead, once you have found it,
       that is,
Lest you get disorientated, and your mind no longer can concentrate on: life, limb, and killing: and you must kill, willing!
Lest you lose your head by and by; and many did.
       I never looked at disadvantages of position,
Just: attack, attack, and attack, no matter how severe it was on us
       troops: we were the AEF, and it was calamitous for the enemy, If not for us, surely for me: and we attacked, and attacked,  north of
       Verdun road, in the cold, October of 1918, under the winter’s Snow.

#3415 (9-4-2012)

Perhaps interesting notes on WWI:  During WWI,  about October 1918,  there were about 250,000 French Soldiers still in uniform; about, 250,000 British  also,  they had taken big losses,  and,  1.3 Million AEF  American soldiers in uniform, along with 1.1- Million Germans in uniform; perhaps a 35% advantage for the Allies, at this point in time; in addition, it must be said, the Germans were mentally defeated, before they were physically, they were likened to the French and British,  worn-out; where as the Americans, were young and perhaps not as ripe as the veteran soldiers of Europe, but eager to  be tested under fire. The Allies had a 35% advantage over the Germans with guns (or artillery), once the Americans entered the war. The storage of American food at one point was 90,000 tons, for, forty days of command. Also, 80,000 horses were given to the Americans from France; also 59,000-beds were brought from America for the hospitals in Europe; one million cans of tomato soup were requisitioned regularly.  There were 54,000-officers in the A.E.F. They had 57,000-freight cars workable in WWI; 1900- damaged engines. America produced 60,000-additioanl cars for the Military, having only received 7,600 while in Europe during their first months of arrival.  The program accounted for 3-million American Soldiers in total. In July of 1917, $64-millin dollars was appropriated for aviation; in the first six months of 1918, 16,500 planes were to be built. Over $400-million was subscribed from the Americans for the war efforts between June of 1917 and February, 1919. It amounted to 50,000 tons of freight per day, for 2-million men in uniform. Over 45,000 tons of munitions and supplies were sent to the front by the Americans. Total loses, or casualties for the British in the year 1917, between Januarys to December, were 500,000.