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Poet Featured in MAMF Anthology has published two poetry books

Freedom Flight

Friday the thirteenth,

lucky or not, I wonder,

climbing aboard my Pegasus,

thinking if others are aware

We’ve spent our year,

some a few months longer.

a year shaking shaping my world,

Tet — no need to say more;

A year when “slain civil rights leader”

enters the permanent vocabulary;

A year when a devil in the City of Angels

murders another heroic brother;

now remembered names emblazon

streets and schools and stadiums

they will never see.

A year when a tormented president whose

massive right hand once grasped mine

tells his divided nation,

“I shall not seek and I will not accept

The nomination…for another term….”

I return to nowhere, to nowhere, to no one,

better than somewhere, someone?

I belong only to me.

Friday the thirteenth,

keep the runway clear of craters,

free from random rockets’ havoc,

quietly, slowly push back,

navigate the labyrinth of concrete aisles,

wheeling to start position.

engines at max thrust, rpms climbing,

brakes released, we hurtle ahead,

five seconds, ten seconds, fifteen seconds.

“Hail Mary, full of grace….”

angling toward the blue blackness,

aloft in dank air of late summer.

In a minute, an unseen voice,

“Ladies and gentlemen,

We have left airspace

Of South Vietnam.”

A tsunami of cheers washes

over all.

Home, my man, back to the world.”

Guam, Hawaii, finally California.

“The land of round eyes.”

Friday the thirteenth — lucky day.

“Baruch ator Adonai, eloheinu, meluch ha’lom, hatou

Vhameitiu)

Blessed are you Ha Shem, our God, King of the Iniverse,

The Good and Doer of Good”

 

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-5-38-33-pmIf using musical terms, Moments of Time by Mark Fleisher ranges through several octaves and timbres, and up and down the scale to define his inspirations and poetic voice. His observations range from uncomplicated subjects to romantic love to thoughts both personal and universal about war and conflict. Along the continuum are poems reflecting his sense of humor, often frivolous and whimsical. Moments of Time contacts the senses and stokes the emotions, but also entertains, encourages laughter, and revives nostalgic memories. Writing in an approachable and accessible manner, Fleisher remembers his youth in the 1950s and 1960s of New York City, the horrific inhumanity of Vietnam and a major personal loss to finally find new life in an unfamiliar place across the continent.

If someone should like a signed copy of either book, they can reach Mark at 505-345-0962 and/or markfleisher111@gmail.com.

img_20161221_0003-2Intersections: Poems from the Crossroads brings together the people, places, events and even occasional dream that informed Mark Fleisher’s second publication of poetry. Fleisher is at heart a narrative poet, leaning on his journalistic background to impart clear and powerful messages as he hammers home the futility, frustration, and hopelessness of war, especially the conflict in Vietnam where he served as an Air Force combat news reporter. Readers will also enjoy the lyrical, image-filled style in the tender and sometimes wistful poems dealing with family and relationships. And although the poems in Intersections deal mostly with serious subjects, Fleisher keeps us off guard by successfully intertwining a handful of humorous works in a pleasing wry and whimsical style.

 


Excerpt from “Taking Back the River.

“For years I carried around anger, guilt, and grief as a result of what I’d experienced being a soldier’s wife during the Vietnam War. After writing my story, I was able to release those feelings and to find some peace.”  Sheila O’Quirke, author of We’re in the Army Now

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I was 35 years old when I began to ponder questions like: “Who am I and what’s my purpose on this planet?” Up until then my identity was dependent on who I was in relation to everyone else. For years I struggled with demons. There were several suicide attempts; I saw death as the only way out of a miserable existence.

But at the age of 35 I recognized in me a thirst I’d never known; the need for a spiritual connection and a reason to live. The answers didn’t come overnight; in fact, I found that for me, the long road was the shortest way home. I’d invested so much time and energy into hating myself that it was hard to give that up. It kept me on a merry-go-round of addiction and recovery, spanning several years. But as I began the difficult work of grieving and facing myself, I was able to see the value-the gift-in having had such a rough life.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1512057851
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512057850

Excerpt: War Ready: In My Father’s Shadow

12961695by Mary Lou Darst

“The first week of school was difficult for me. I had to walk several long blocks from our house to the intersection of a main street. A military bus would stop and pick me up before heading to the top of Mount Kurokuyama, where the American school was located. When I walked to the bus stop in the morning, there were no adults or children out walking. I was the only one on the wide brick street. No one else came and waited for the bus. I stood all alone on the side walk.

In the distance I noticed large groups of uniformed Japanese school children on their way to school, staring at me while slowly crossing the street closer to the bus stop where I was standing alone, and they could have a better look at me.

By the middle of the week they walked to the bus stop, where they stood and stared at me for a long time without smiling, or moving, or speaking- which terrified me. No on had ever stared at me in that way. My mother taught me that it was very rude to stare. I perceived them as suspicious and threatening. I looked for a place to hide, but there was no hope for an escape; in front of me were two empty lots across the street, and behind me was a row of locked gates and doors.

The students never took off their eyes off me and never smiled, but the group moved toward me slowly until I was completely surrounded. I could not have escaped even if I had tried. Without showing any emotion and avoiding any eye contact, a group of students put their hands on me with great care, rubbing their hands back and forth on my arms, watching and feeling my skin. After touching me, the first group moved on, but behind them others took their place. Each student took a turn touching and rubbing my arms, but no one smiled, no one spoke, and no one looked at me directly. I was so terrified. I stood as still as a statue, staring at the ground while my heart nearly palpitated out of my chest. Finally, the last students moved on. I could not endure this every day. I wanted to run home and never leave the house. When I stood alone trying to decide whether to head home or go to school, the bus arrived. The door opened and I ran up to the stairs, sat down, and felt a rush of relief. I was too young and too frightened to know that people care for each other, even when they do not speak the same language. I realize now how kind and caring the students were to show their concern for me. They may also have been very curious about the American student. It was quite different with adults


Excerpt from “We’re in the Army Now,” by Sheila O’Quirke

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“For years I carried around anger, guilt, and grief as a result of what I’d experienced being a soldier’s wife during the Vietnam war. After writing my story, I was able to release those feelings and to find some peace.” Sheila O’Quirke , Author of We’re in the Army Now

I was the typical wife of a combat veteran. I couldn’t understand why Earnie was pulling away from me; why he would no longer communicate with me. I didn’t realize then, the impact that war could have on a soldier. But at the same time, I’d just lost my dad and needed the security of knowing that my husband was still there for me, emotionally. But he wasn’t. He couldn’t be.
Earnie and I began our journey together as a couple of kids, running away from something we didn’t quite understand. We were immature and wounded from the start, having suffered loss and trauma during our childhoods. We weren’t emotionally equipped to handle the stresses of being grown-ups and parents and being in the military. We were a disaster waiting to happen.
Product Details
  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1523231955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1523231959
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.1 x 8 inches

Excerpt: The War Came Home With Him

CatlogExcRead the Excerpt

Compilation: Stories Around the Table

About the Authors:

More than forty writers, from bestselling authors to compelling new voices, contribute to Stories Around the Table. All are military family members. Each has a story to share. Please join us.

Anna Alexander*, Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman, Samantha Andrew*, Marna Ashburn, Terri Barnes, Tanya Biank, Janine Boldrin, Alison Buckholtz, Amy Bushatz, Angela Caban, Randi S. Cairns, Tara Crooks, Judy Davis, Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, Jacey Eckhart, Janet I. Farley, Julia Gibbs, Jacqueline Goodrich, Jocelyn Green, Mollie Gross , Diana Hartman, Artis Henderson, Kristin Henderson, Starlett Henderson, Lori Hensic , Kathie Hightower, Jeremy L. Hilton, Sarah Holtzmann, Sue Hoppin, Sara Horn, Benita Koeman, Julie LaBelle, Thomas Litchford, Lisa Smith Molinari, Brenda Pace, Chris Pape, Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito, Susan A. Phalen, Briley Rossiter, Kristine Schellhaas, Holly Scherer, Sarah Smiley, Chris Stricklin, Amanda Trimillos, Lori Volkman. *These two authors chose to write under a pseudonym due to the sensitive nature of their essays.

 

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Elva Resa Publishing (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934617296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934617298

 


Excerpt: The Young Ambassadors

Submitted by Bruce A. Garner‎

Dachau story by a Frankfurt/Berlin Brat by Brat Dr. Daniel L. Bunting–

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One aspect of Brat Heritage is that we could view significant historical sites first hand, experiences that 95% of our fellow Americans did not have…

“That evening, my father told my brother and me that we would be driving south in a day or two for a special thing he wanted us to see. For the next two days we met with our new friends at the soda fountain and got in a couple of football scrimmages. My father woke us early, and after a quick breakfast, we got into the sedan with him and he drove out of the compound and onto a highway through town. I asked where we were going, and my father said Munich. I knew, from my history classes that Munich was the city that Adolph Hitler and the “Third Reich Nazism” was born. I thought that to be an exciting adventure. We drove until we were close to Munich, but my father made a turn off the autobahn onto a narrow road and entered a small village named Dachau. I looked quickly at my father, and he saw that I had already figured it out. My brother just kept looking at the sights. I made a face, and then my father told us, he planned this trip because he wanted us to see first hand, how terrible things can happen when a madman gains control. I was immediately unsure how to react. I I had an idea of what we would be seeing, and I did not like it. We arrived along a narrow road, and faced a huge gate attached to what seemed like miles of barb wire. Above the gate were the words, “Arbeit Macht Frei”. (Work Makes Free). It was the Concentration Camp, Dachau!

Dachau was still in the process of being “cleaned”. At the time the camp was liberated and the discovery made of the atrocities, General Eisenhower ordered hat the citizens of the village be forced to parade through to see the horrible sights, and, to participate in the cleaning up of the camp. Our tour of the camp was brutal. The sight of cremation ovens still uncleared, the horrible torture sites utilized to brutally kill inmates, the multiple hanging units, and a display of human tattooed skin made into lamp shades, was a terrible sight to see. The barracks, terribly foul smelling, contained wood bunk beds, some four tiered, and thin sheets of cloth for blankets. I remember thinking, “The whole world must SEE this!” After the hasty tour, we returned to the car, and drove away in total silence. Without conversation I remember thinking also, “Dad, you certainly made your point!”

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