A Scribe’s War

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-11-42-42-amA Scribe’s War

by Philip Scott Wikel


handwritten manuscripts

wartorn pages

thoughts scratched down

added to the ages?


blood-bathed and heartfelt

recorded with wired veins

swords and guns and knives

moan of trials and pain


trenches dug

hopes of gaining

inches of ground

at least sustaining


wartorn manuscripts

handwritten pages

land mines laid

in literary cages


machine gun fire and mustard gas

truces never made

all is quiet on the western front

some dues can never be paid


Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 7: Livy on the Continent



There can be no integration of love and ambition, deception and clarity, compassion and war. So long as occupation and relationship are kept apart, so long will there be endless conflict and misery. All reformation within the pattern of duality is retrogression; only beyond it, is there creative peace.

— Krishnamurti, 1945

Livy stepped toward the full-length mirror to get a look at her outfit. Travel she thought, and looked at her face, her blue eyes, her small nose and full lips, framed by an oval face and shag cut auburn hair. Hair that curled down to her neck and conjured corinthian columns, beauty. She was like a lovely caryatid holding up the temple of beauty. She shook her head like a go-go girl and smiled, then moved her eyes down to her full and firm breasts squeezed by her halter top that left exposed the olive skin of her bare midriff which slid into her child-bearing hips that rounded into sleek, fountain pen legs, painted in blue jean.

“I’m glad I have such pretty feet,” she said to her reflection, “they should want some pictures of me for my column… if I went blonde and tousled it a bit, I’d be a dead ringer for Stevie Nicks.”

She picked up the phone and dragged it out on the patio.

“We need to do a photo shoot Rame.”

“Photo shoot of whom?” Ramie replied.

“Of me of course, what do you think of ‘Livy on the Continent’ or ‘Livy goes Continental’ as the title for my column,” she asked.

“You’re getting into this now, aren’t you? Let me think about it.”

“What’s to think about Rame. We could even use my middle name, Zhena, to spice it up a bit.


“Yeah I’m Russian on my mum’s side, all gypsy mysticism. She never talked about it much, she was a cold sort, but I got a lot out of my granddad before he died.”


“You see Rame, it’ll work. I’ve had a good response to my little bits in the magazine. More than some of the honchos. People like me, let’s do it up! You can start promoting it now and I’ll have your first piece in a few weeks.”

“How about Livy incontinent.” Ramie joked.

“C’mon lovey, I’m feeling good about this, humor me.”

“I don’t know if the man’s gonna go for this.”

“He’ll love it, deep down he loves me. He must. He’s given me a dream.”

If you don’t start laughing, or crying, it might be…

Serenity_by_dobeeIf you’ve ever spent a couple of weeks or more in solitude in the Natural World, you know more about reality than any scholar who’s spent his entire life studying politics.

What do birds know of reality? Building a nest, caring for their young, and finding sufficient food to stay alive. Compare that to your life, to what you’re witnessing in the news, and to what you see going on in the human world around you. If you don’t start laughing, or crying, it might be that you’re forever lost.

Deer, bears, birds, snakes, worms and ants know more about what’s important than the average Harvard or Yale graduate. Woodland creatures don’t bother themselves with a life of the mind or even care much about upward mobility or buying the right stock or what car to buy when the new models come out. They’re simple creatures with simple needs and you’ll never find one of them jockeying for position in the supermarket parking lot.

If that analogy isn’t good enough for you then let’s look to the human realm, Native Americans. Native tribes were almost entirely devoid of homelessness. Everyone in the tribe held nearly equal importance. While they did wage war with one another, their wars were never the sort where one tribe sought to annihilate the other. Many times it was just simply a balancing of numbers, adding to the tribe, or a feud over a breech of sacred grounds for hunting or prayer. It wasn’t until White Contact that their form of warfare resembled ours in any way. In some cases, like with the Chumash in California, war consisted only of sending up a flurry of arrows into the sky until one person was killed or injured. For them, that was enough. No need to destroy, humiliate, or commit genocide against the enemy. A simple exercise of strength was satisfactory.

So, in between breaks from the ramblings of Fox News and CNN and the endless parade of fools and fops (it’s all just deflection from the horrible state of our union anyway to the tune of 17 trillion), I hope you’ll stop for a minute, or a week, or a month, or a year; put aside the silly busy-ness of our crazed “civilization” and listen to a bird sing, watch the moon rise, breathe deeply, and remember what peace may be found in silence.

I believe that it’s only by stopping absolutely everything and listening again to our inner voice that we can accomplish our search for serenity. This works twofold, one, in bringing us back into ourselves, and two, by becoming quiet within ourselves we’ll be reminded what a lot of noise and nonsense we’re surrounded by. And in doing this we may once again know what needs to be done to give this gift of serenity to one another again.

– Phil Wikel, June 5, 2014

excerpt from “A Strategy of Peace” by John F. Kennedy

"Peace in all time."
“Peace in all time.”

excerpt from “A Strategy of Peace” by John F. Kennedy, American University, June 10, 1963

“What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles—which can only destroy and never create—is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”

The vision set to music:

See Gravity (I like Ike) by the julian day