Singing Freedom

Posted on by Aaron Hughes

Written shortly after a solidarity march Iraq Veterans Against the War held in Madison, Wisconsin on March 19, 2011 during the union occupation of the Wisconsin Capital and protests against proposed laws attacking worker rights.


Former Vietnam Veteran Against the War

Former Civil Rights Warrior

Former Black Panther



Madison Wisconsin

March 19th spring crisp day

Ten thousand workers march with us

Ten thousand strong but alienated

The struggle divided



He sings for freedom

The crowed sings for the middle class

This is a war on the poor

But the slums are not here

But the working poor are not here

But the unemployed are not here



Another day

Another hour

We walk



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About Writing

Posted on by Aaron Hughes

About Writing

I get anxious even thinking about writing about this

A feeling

My heart

Not broken

Scared, wanting, hide, you can, I can

Feel my heart roll away to hide

Where is my beer?

Iraq and Memories

Sandbox and green army-men

Look how big this fucking handwriting is

I remember writing small in my truck in the heat


I remember Kuwait cold hot dirt sun salt sweat

Never at rest at home

I remember wanting home wanting peace wanting to be a hero

I remember playing hero

I remember roads with no maps

I remember never knowing were I was, were to go, constantly lost

What city is this?

What camp is this?

What day is this? What week? What year?

I am lost

I remember I am lost of my thought of my self of my love of my understanding

I remember popping the safety off

I remember staring

I remember a smile a rifle

I remember oil broke steam Humvee

I remember laughing MPs and 50cal

And I remember switching to fire and wanting to fire

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Posted on by Aaron Hughes

Ahmed Jabar Shareef is my friend and my guardian angel.

The children lining the roads of Iraq begging for food fill me with guilt, cynicism and anger. 

Yet Ahmed who has been raped by this war, raped of his youth, raped of his body, raped of his sight, raped of his home, raped of his freedom, has no cynicism in his thoughts.

He gives love and trust without fear.

He grabs my hand and yells, "Run. Run please? Please, run."

He is a nine-year-old boy who wants to run.

He is a nine-year-old boy who can't run without someone to lead him. To stop him before the curb, before the tree, before the car that he cannot see.

He is a nine-year-old boy who wants to stomp his feet and twist to pop music.

He is a nine-year-old boy that teaches himself to play piano.

He is a nine-year-old boy that is a bird who knows no barbed wire.

He is a nine-year-old boy that is my guardian angel constantly reminding me that life is for love and trust, not cynicism and anger.

Ahmed Jabar Shareef is my friend

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