I Salute You! And only You.



Join up and be a man. Join up and see the world. Join up for the adventure. Join up to learn a valuable trade. These and many more PR tidbits still ring in my head. It’s funny; no one ever said, “Join up to stick your hand inside your best friend’s chest cavity in a futile attempt to save him.”

Where was the commercial about only sending us to the shittiest assholes around the globe? To the most god-awful heat and humidity; which was actually sub-zero compared to the hellish and volcanic emotions vomited on us by the locals: and those were supposed to be our allies.

Where was the commercial about the exotic cuisine… both eating and being eaten by? Monkey brains, insect stew, tarantulas, snake, maggoty meat pies, and gallons of blood… to keep you full and enticing to the swarms of kamikaze mosquitoes from the air, and the submariner legions of leeches infesting nearly every putrid waterway you’re forced to traverse.

Where was the commercial about the people you were helping betraying you in every way imaginable? The lovely ladies with soulless black hearts that would tempt and seduce the lonely GIs, only to surprise them with razor-sharp blades placed in their pussies for a sensual mood-killing surprise; or worse, those truly sadistic that would literally bite a mouthful off in the middle of fellatio. Or the men and women that would send their own children wearing the latest explosive fashions into a group of GIs to blow them to kingdom come.

Where was the commercial about “all is fair in love and war?” Which, when translated, meant we were expected to follow the most restricting rules of engagement while the enemy, so-called allies, and any other trigger-happy, booby-trap rigging, motherfucker could make up their own rules as they go, while our Brass-Hats mutually masturbated to please whichever politically correct puppeteers are in power at the time.

America is a country that lies, cajoles, seduces, and manipulates its bravest and finest young men and women to wear the uniforms and bear the burden and responsibility of fighting for our freedoms, and cleaning up the messes around the world that our politicians and corporations continually create or exacerbate for political or financial gain. And yet I still run into people who have no clue why we honor our fallen heroes, or why they should respect anyone that willingly puts on a uniform. Go figure!

To all my fallen brothers and sisters, who understand my rant—I salute you! I do not salute you for this country or its leaders. I salute you for your willingness to bear the burdens, to accept the responsibility, and to sacrifice for an ideal that this country and its leaders have tarnished beyond all repair. I salute you for your youthful exuberance, your dedication, and your professionalism. And, most of all, I salute you for your courage to stay beside your comrades in the heat of battle, to save many of your brothers-in-arms, and to willingly pay the ultimate sacrifice: making sure that it costs the enemy dearly. In short, on this day, I salute you and only you, my fallen brothers and sisters.


So I am Told

proud shadow1

I am a byproduct of civilization

Blood from two of the five

civilized tribes flows in me

So I am told

Tribes of the Southeast

Why is the Southeast not my home?

Because of the Trail of Tears

So I am told



New roots for ancestral kin

So I am told

Why is Oklahoma not my home?

Because of the “New Deal”

So I am told

Placate the politician

Vacate the reservation

Paddy-cake a new direction

Earn more money

Have jingle-jangle jeans

Forget your language

Homicide your Spirit Guide

Be a “real” American

So I am told

A few went to Texas

A few to Southern Cal

Indian maiden finds white-eyed Prince

Indian brave finds white-eyed gal

Broken water sets me free

Born in Long Beach


As far away from my ancestral home

as I can get

without getting wet

So I am told

Separated geographically

Separated culturally

So I am told

But I have lived




and laughed

But never with a true connection to kin

My inspiration to begin again

A byproduct of civilization

So I am told

More often than not – civilization sucks

© JW Thomas


sad indian2


We are taught to take pride in clan and tribe

But it’s taught through centuries of victimization

We are told we are strong because we survive

But many on the rez’ don’t live – merely exist

We’re told on the leeward side of visions is a better life

But chemical visions are now the trend and bring death

We’ve been taught to take all handouts and even beg for more

Do we only stand tall when standing on the feet of others?

We’re told to focus on our future by not forgetting our past

But crashing is inevitable when you cannot see ahead

We’re taught to sell holy symbols like side-show concessions

And act surprised to live in the desert of disharmony

We’re taught tales by story-changers claiming truth in lies

So even those that listen only hear us as strangers

We’re told a sign of character is in dying well

And so many of us do it well before our time

We taught our children how to die

We forgot to teach them how to live

© JW Thomas



Humans and animals often go to great lengths when the urge takes hold or the need arises. He never looked my direction, just made a beeline for you. I had a bird’s eye view from start to finish. He took the dominant role quickly. You lay prone, submissive, as he hovered beside and over you for ease of access. You were already naked below the waist with a fragrant helping of morning dew on the landscape. He watched your reaction as he ripped open your blouse. The buttons flew in all directions. Then one slice with the knife and your bra was no longer an obstacle. I wondered if you felt the cold steel. Your skin was already flushed. He covered your mouth with his in an impassioned urgency for life and the adrenaline rush. Your breasts undulated like the swells of a stormy sea under the forceful manipulation of his hands. Your eyes had the glassy distant stare of extreme pleasure or pain: ecstasy or death. As one guy watching another I had to admire his ability… and resolve. But, naturally, I was a bit jealous. Yes, just a bit. After all, he’s the second guy I saw you with today.

The first bled out.

Now that the lust of you and he is nearly sated… my blood-lust burns.

staring eyes1

© JW Thomas

Tricky Rick is Dead: Goodbye Little Coyote


A carefree day

Beaver stays busy

Salmon travel

Cougar roams

Eagle soars

I listen to the symphony

fluid sounds of lake,

creek, and brook

North Wind’s turn to conduct

melodious tunes:

light, airy, breezy

Sway of branch

dance of leaf

inspired vocals

tweet bird, tweet

Cues to laugh,




Ancestral home

visible for miles

Missed cue

by technology:

ring-tone clamor

ancient Hammer hip-hop

need upbeat Mother Earth apology

Voice of lost love

suspicion aroused

“J-Bear, you cool?”

Does glacier worry about snow flake?

All is frosty

“It’s about Little Brother:

Little Coyote.”

Spirit Guide robbed her punch line

Tricky Rick is dead!




Land of the Devil Sun

Late night on a lonely road

Backseat rider

business bound

Staring down the bright lights of woe

Two-ton bullet gaining speed


At the helm

a DUI three-peat

Slim Picken’s imitation

rocket rodeo

missile madness

No time to act

No place to go

except where faith

may make it so

Fire-water scores four more

One married to addiction:

three collateral damage

but the count’s too low

What about opposites

and offspring?

Little Coyote’s wife

leaving hospital:

Gave birth to their first,

now grieving

Daughter now daddy-less

Is that not collateral damage?

Statistically speaking,

who speaks for

ghost statistics?

Who qualifies

the unregistered quantity?

So much concern for criminals

Much less for crime victims

Don’t blame color-blindness

gender prejudice


political incorrectness

or financial deficiency

Lady Justice is blind

to personal responsibility

She’s a gold-diggin’ bitch

with a greedy itch

Where, pray tell, is my compassion?

Spread among the innocent dead

and kith and kin

Destroyed when Mr. Booze

performed a dozen

long-necked elbow bends

scorned common sense

chose to drive

Giving no thought to the living

Receiving no mercy in the end

When Wolf tells Moon

a lunar joke

Crow caws just because

and Coyote abandons his den

© JW Thomas

Red Sisters

[Inspired be two well-known Native American authors having a squabble over who is “More Indian than thou” and which one represents the Native American way the best.]

Why must you argue red sisters?

Chirping and clucking – clucking and chirping

“More Indian than thou,” says she

Perhaps Coyote is again under the skin

Red on red should not be anger

Green Monster should not be released

She and she are both quite rare

Rare as the White Buffalo

The words of one are grand

The words of the other are deep

Talent is talent

Talent is a gift

Gifts are to be shared

Sisters – make peace

© JW Thomas