Happy Veterans Day 2021!

In honor of my brothers and sisters who have also served this country in time of war and peace and those who are active duty and continue to serve in the present, Aloha Promises Forever wishes you all a Happy Veterans Day 2021! To honor this day as best that as I might, I offer up two poems that I have written over the years.

From 2014:

The Art of War (Parts I-IV)
by Michael Doyle

Part I:

War today does not match the designs
Left over from glorified yesterdays
No longer nation against nation
As much as warlord against warlord
The blood and treasure expended
Will seldom match expectations going in

Today requires a cadre of the highly trained
Lightning quick. orchestrated commandos
Once there was a work called The Art of War
Now in this insurgent environment
War itself has become largely art
Modern and just as ugly to the eye

It requires men such as us
And most of us are dead
So proclaims a Highland toast
But when the challenge is high
It is us who are needed most
Success is hard to argue against

The public sees a shroud of secrecy
They talk about gunfights and
The mind blowing training
But it is the openness and honesty
Of dedicated, patriotic men
That makes for the art of valor

Part II

Heraclitus once said
That of the hundred in battle
One brought the rest back alive
He was a dreamer
One alone is dead
Banded brothers like Mongols in saddle
That’s what it takes; the rest is just jive
Still you want each man to be that dreamer

If you’re going to walk through hell
Do it with those who will keep going
See the victory and be it
It’s the man not the weapon
Choose your brothers well
Trained in a school of pushing and pulling
Willing to give their every little bit
This is no fairy tale of once upon

Each of us with can do confidence
Melded within an interlocking team
Learned to never swim alone
And to have a fortitude of stone
That’s what makes the difference
Arm in arm, no chink in this seam
Separately tough to the bone
But a brotherhood never alone.


Red –Green–Green
Green–Green- Green
Click, bang times three
Three pirates fell dead

Tonight the good captain smiles
Delivered by three snipers on a fan tail
Who had crossed 10,000 miles
So that all might end perhaps this well

Trained up right at the killing school
Where the only easy day is yesterday
All lessons written in blood is the rule
Until mankind finds its better way

We step from the shadows played
With war remaining an ugly thing
Thank God that’s how it’s always stayed
Yet at times there are worse things

Like being willing to do nothing at all
As we live in and through this age of terror
An impatient rhythm takes hold of us all
Perhaps fear of death is the greater error

The varsity team slowly took 10 years time
To seize the headlines in a moment of glory
But this text book moment in time
Manages to miss the deeper story

What of Mikey who took the grenade
So that his platoon would live?
What of John who though shot in the eye
Refused to stop fighting and die?

What of the thousands of incursions
That could not be planned out?
Into the hostile battle space of insurgence
Where every moment is spent in doubt?

A question to those of you who live for peace,
Do you keep these men in your prayers?
Or do you call them names like head hunters
And instead of smiles greet them with stares?

Art of War IV

Down at the water’s edge we circle up
Offering our prayers silently and spoken
Reminders of vows we have made
Truest of brothers, through the years we’ve stayed

Each of us, servants to our nation and our homes
Each of us, loyal to the core and twice as sure
Of the love behind why we make this sacrifice
We have sworn to protect against those less nice

From this point forward until we get home
We are together and yet still alone
Each of us longs to hear “mission complete”
And our return to our loves so sweet

Through the years, in the prayers I have heard
None of my brothers fear that we may die
The dance of battle is both patience and time
And all we fear is making our families cry

And so we shall live as long as we can
Though moving fast into harm’s way
To the gates of Hell and back again
We strive to live to fight another day

We have lived with much deliberation
Into the battle, all thinking done
Thoughts of glory a wasted temptation
We fight for each other that it may be won

Our inner lights having been led by courage
Into where even angels fear to tread
Having had willingly taken the risks we take
The way of my brothers both living and dead

(c) January 3, 2014 Michael Doyle (All Rights Reserved)

One from 2017:

My Daughters’ “American We”
by Michael Doyle

Looking on the America of today
With all of its conflicts in the way
It reminds me of post Revolution life
Ablaze with near anarchy and civil strife

We of today should be under little confusion
The unity we’ve stood for has always been illusion
Competing interests have always been more the norm
As we have sought to find ways to more or less conform

We did not slip into an easy peace
Nor, then did we find man willing to appease
Instead, we very nearly broke apart
And that’s how it has been since the very start

Last night as I watched my youngest daughter
Performing in a school musical, I was a proud father
Loving how she belted out about an “American We”
There’s a sense of pride in my patriotic family

I watched her searching eyes probe the audience
Seeking out her father’s approval and preference
Something easily gained as I watch her grow
Loving her no less than her sister; and they both know

They both know my firm set of beliefs
And those things that give me grief
They and I stand for God, family and country
Embracing our essence in our call to duty

But, they also know my insistence on truth
I have endowed this in them since their youth
As I have never allowed this to be compromised
And lies bring quiet wrath to be realized

Still, I have also instilled a sense of fairness
And a belief that a better America prevails for this
So, it brings to me happiness to hear her sing
Knowing her eyes are set on these noblest of things

That all Americans should live in liberty
Each of us inheriting a strong love of country
It’s a blessing to see her proud eyes look out on me
As she sings in honor of my time of service in the Navy

There is something in raising my American daughters
A blessing that swells in being their fortunate father
Last night belonged to my youngest and her generation
Snapping to, I stood at attention, holding her in veneration

So very blessed to know that she will hold true to our ways
That she and her kind will keep America free beyond my days
There is a boldness in her style and love in her sweet smile
That’s made all the difference and all I’ve done worth while

(c) November 10, 2017 Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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