Music Is

A Wonderful Thing


~ Clyde Collins ~

     Two bully boys, belching and wasted, swaggered down the hall of the barracks, bottles of beer in their hands.

     One of them let go a yodel so piercing that it may have caused a star or two to fall from the sky.  Then he hurled his bottle of beer against his next door neighbor's locked barracks room door.  The bottle shattered ~ left a lake of beverage and glass in the hallway.

     The two fellers laughed.

     They stepped into the next room and hollered and stomped.  The one who lived there turned up his stereo 'til perhaps a few more stars fell from the sky ~ the raunchy, twanging tunes were that loud.

     The two fellers carried on.

     The stereo's twanging, clanging, banging music in the late hour of the night seemed to be the pitiful screams of souls lost on the bottom floor of hell.  These tunes careened through the barracks.

     The two fellers in the booming room were stomping and hollering with glee over some bad joke just told, when the door crashed open.  One of its hinges flew off.  The door lay atilt against the wall ~ and where the door used to be stood Pvt. 2 Donald Duty with an M-16 in his hands.

     Duty was outfitted in fatigues and field gear, which included helmet and helmet liner.  A full banana clip was inserted in his weapon and the expression on his face was grim.

     He pulled the charging handle on the M-16, clicked the bolt into firing position, and snapped the safety.  Duty then shot the screaming stereo full of holes.

     "I gotta work tomorrow and I need some sleep," said Duty.

     The two plastered fellers in the suddenly quiet place leaped out the window.  Duty moseyed across the room, brought a grenade out of his pocket, pulled the pin,  He tossed the grenade out after them ~

     PFC Tom Weasel, Duty's roommate in Medical Company A barracks, suddenly awoke and bolted to a sitting position in his rack.  Wow, what a dream!  He was covered with sweat.

     He leaped from the tousled sheets ~ peeked around the lockers.  Duty's rack was empty.

     But then Duty opened the door and quietly walked into the night shadows of the room.  "What's wrong with you?" said Duty as he crawled into bed.

     "Where've you been?" cried Weasel.  He was still peeking around the lockers and slightly shaking.

     "I went next door and asked them to turn their stereo down.  That's all," yawned Duty.  "Good night."


photo above:

Afghanistan 2001 adinfinitum




From the book

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba

by Jacki Lyden



We were war correspondents.  I guess you would have to call us that because the Gulf War was on & we roamed Arab capitals & because wars were in his case a specialty & in mine something of an inner & natural dialogue.  There are parts of the world that are settled, and call for a kind of civility & conformity to the rules or norm.  And there are parts of the world that are unsettled, and call for self-invention on a daily basis.  You make your own rules, and if you are scared or lonely it is best to let no one see that.  Your first rule, always, is to get the story...




secret agent challenge:



Howdy Soldier!

Mary J. Blige

"I'm just plain old Mary"