“How Johnson Got Out of the War” – Ascent Aspirations

Ascent Aspirations Magazine December 2012

Ascent Aspirations Magazine

In their words:
“Ascent is a literary magazine that specializes in the darker shades of short fiction, publishes poetry with an edge, and features creative photography and art, as well as essays and reviews. From Ascent you can also visit some other interesting pathways. Established since 1997.”

Ascent Aspirations has always been one of my favorite sites because of the diverse nature of their content. I was thinking that I should “get out more” with my writing. There is a feeling of legitimacy that comes from being accepted by editors that feels good this morning as I read my short story they have honored me by publishing in their latest issue. They are a respected site and I should feel honored.
The story is my first short story about a character named Johnson.
The story is rather close to my life and was hard to write. I didn’t know it was so hard. I was inspired to try by my friend, the noted author, Seymour Shubin. His imagery and sense of the inner feelings of the character intrigued me so the ol’ poet/engineer set out to try. Like I say, I didn’t know it would be so hard on my psyche.
It’s a war story that begs the question. Here is my story of war, How Johnson Got Out of the War. Does the selection itself send our best to die?

I urge you to read Ascent Aspirations the Current Issue

Thanksgiving Poem


I’m thankful for
this brown carpet
with human fuzz
the sound of feet above me

the winds howling outside
me warm inside
alone but sheltered

the womb warmth
of my own soul energy
and of those I’ve gladly known
our cascading colors of light
happily perplexing
in this fluctuating perpetuation
of life


the intensity of youth
the sharp, edgy freedom
spending time

coins with their edges rubbed off
that’s what it’s like
to be older


I was three quarters
and felt everything
more than it should be
my hands colder than snow
the wind the howl of the artic
I shivered with Christmas hymns
all the way back to Santa
in the magical frightening world of child
I tingled with glad, knowing numbness
then I was transported
connected to every atom in the cosmos
I was cold and warm
I was there and I wasn’t
I knew and I was innocent
I loved and I was vacant
I was human, vegetation
and the swirling forces
blackness and pure light
then I realized
everything is infused with soul
I am a seed and I have grown
I am a part
I am whole

Thanksgiving Poem by Belinda Subraman
If you like Thanksgiving poem you may want to read Belinda’s Cinco de Mayo poem .

Thank you for your visit.

George Washington Poem by David Michael Jackson


the dollar lies on the table
a crumpled george stares

steadfastly at me

as I write my critique

to a poet

who someday may need no critique from

some no one

such as


A crumpled george stares


he looks to be still troubled by those bad teeth

after all these


Ah george, get off my case I say

I told her the best I could

you smile the best you can

don’t you, George

you smile the best you



When next i am to sleep again poem by Edy Benjamin

when    next i am to sleep again
will    you be there with sheepish grin
i    will not brush nor turn away
see    you not in yesterday
again    we make the figure 8

bells    go tingling in the night
books    unwritten taking flight
candles    dim but light is longer

midnight    come and we will go now

the nightmare came strongly to a him repulsive kiss
before he half collapsed
his arm over her shoulder her arm around his waist
she would find him a hospital bed medical help
white nurse offensive
fat lady without compassion (expected)
phones had secret codes
who were patients non discernibile
over an hour she supported him
walking thru a maze of hallways
once she woke and remembered
all her nightmares took place in hospitals
falling back asleep she was there
still seeking hospital bed and help
“ok” her self said, “wake up”

coffeed and tobaccoed

the hopes and fears thru all the years
rest in autumn peace
the struggle with no resolution
put to rest
in it’s own halls of circularity
as piano man ‘splained
“too much mercy is wasteful,
too lightening bolt heavy is non justice.”

and Jesus said to Moses,
“What the crap happened
to Abraham’s children?”

justice lives not only in the now
sometimes it’s waiting in some halfway house
between the blood-letting and the peace
only with justice

what will reflect the blood on distant hands
that fashioned the knife
that foresaw the bomb
that Jack and Jill built?
that support the men
who light the fires
that scream the women
that scars the child.
does he hang down his head
Tom Dooley
or does he just look away
and dulled his senses
to no sense.

Is their hope Hooey?
Ah, Louie,
paint them a picture
from May to December
of eleven year old children or so
then when they remember if they remember they’ll
(you know)
their heart.

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