Konch Magazine - What Homer Left Out by Sam Hamod, A Kind of Magic

What Homer Left Out by Sam Hamod

and wasn’t Ulysses 
a bit foolish, along with
Odysseus, for leaving
their wives behind, to
wander into a useless war,
just to satisfy the ego
of an ignorant and vain king, the
way American troops blindly follow
orders in wars they don’t 
want or understand, wars that
go against everything they were
in church, in
school, at
home, and that they 
believed, in like that easy word,
“democracy,” the other words that
got twisted by men pretending to
speak for God, like “Christian values,”
as these preacher men screwed their secretaries
or their choir directors, or senators who
cheated on their wives while preaching
constancy, the same ones who felt it
was good to send others to these wars
in Carthage, in Troy, in Iraq and Afghanistan,
and then left their children at home, knowing
they were
defenseless, while they killed
defenseless Iraqi and Afghani 
children, and wives of men who
had their hands and their feet bound
while they shot their husband’s brains out,
then when they finally did get home, they
were lost, they didn’t have anyone to give
them orders, so they issued orders, and when
the wives didn’t recognize them, or didn’t
obey, they whacked them, or slapped them
silly, the way Odysseus felt like slapping his 
wife when he got home, and they never told 
us what he did to her or how she treated him,
Homer made it seem as if it was glorious, his
homecoming, but Homer never went into that
other part because
it would have spoiled his story, just
as the U.S. Government doesn’t want anyone
to realize how rough these men are when
they return home, having learned how to give up
their Christian values, that they’ve learned to
shoot at the slightest movement they don’t like, or
slap someone when they don’t obey in the first
it was first in the brain, then it was sent down
to deaden the heart, to teach them, when they
were at Boot Camp and after, that you shoot first,
don’t think about it, 
and you sure as hell don’t
ask questions, just as Odysseus was told, then
told his men, not to ask questions, but to "just do it,"
take revenge when and where he felt like it, just as
the men who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, 
will take revenge as they see fit, and if they don’t get to
bring their guns home, they’ll know how and where
to get one, not just a pop gun or an old 38, but a spray 
gun, one that takes care of the enemy, whether it be
friend, foe, wife, cop or whatever, or someone who
made them mad in a traffic jam, and their voyages,
unlike those of Ulysses and Odysseus, will not
become part of great literature, but will get lost
in some Pentagon papers that will be torn up or
and they, like their friends they left behind
in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Viet Nam, in Troy,
will be forgotten , 
buried with lives
lived and lost
without names

A Kind of Magic by Sam Hamod

has a 
of its
own, there is no
other way
than the dreams
it creates that
each of us
when the sun
widens through early
morning trees
as they stand
against the golden
white snow
and birds that dart
back and forth
among the earth
and branches

it makes us
dream again
of Santa Claus, when
we were children, awaiting
dawn, when we could
run to the Christmas tree
see all the brightly
packages     anticipated
and unknown
boxes with mystery
and hope, the
wrapping, we realize now
was as much of the 
magic as what was
inside, because the
things inside
were never as 
as our dreams of

but love
is different, it
is something, that
when it comes, is more
than the excitement of
that first kiss, or that
first night when you
never have enough
when you are abed, and
her skin is velvet and silk
and you dream into one another--
it is that later hug, that
smile, that time when you
awaken  again
after that short slumber
feeling like
this world should never
end, but should go on
and will go on
 in the same way, you
remember the phrases from
The Night Before Christmas,
with "she in her kerchief and
me in my hat..   we'd both
settled down
for a long winter's nap..."
it is this closeness when
you finally understand
that love
is a kind of peace
where nothing can go wrong,
even though you know it can
during the coming day, but 
for now,
there is this peace
that is beyond 
understanding, yet
as warm
as snow
falling ever so softly
puffs      surrounding us,
covering the earth
with its quiet,
and so is love
quiet, finally,
in this same way
as this december snow, in
its silence


c: sam hamod, dec. 23. 09  early a.m. on another day of snowy fields