I’m an American, happy to be in America.

You see, for twelve years, I lived in three communist/socialist countries, and one on the edge of anarchy. It takes generations for the nature of a people to change, and I was thrilled to join in the evolution of a free-spirited nature in Viet Nam, more than in China or Laos. Sadly, such an evolution in Kashmir has been suppressed for decades.

I crossed many borders during my fifteen years in Asia, and in most countries, people commented with a bit of cheer, or envy, about the freedoms we have in America. The Vietnamese, in particular, admired the American Way and followed the lead of our nature.

You see, Viet Nam’s history reaches back to the time B.C., when their nature was dictated by threats from occupation, feudal wars, colonial repression, and the American war; followed by a corrupt reunification, and finally, rebirth. In contrast, America’s short history began with the Revolutionary War; followed by a broad westward expansion of people with grit, who built the greatest nation on earth. To sustain our brief existence, and that of others, over three million men and women lived and died by creeds, such as: “Give me liberty, or give me death”, and “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Late on a quest across that mystical and sacred land, with occassional curiosity about the depth and disparity of our natures, I was enlightened to the God particle of the American soul; something with greater definition to me as time passes; something missing, or fading, from the lives of too many people within our borders. 

Now, I’m going to entertain you with a story. It’s about an obligation many of you would have felt the same.

“An Ode to My Boys”,

was a funny little ditty I wrote last year.

It’s now a full length poem 

with a message to hear.

I call it: 

Essence

By: Mike Rinowski

 

It’s been a good year

I said with cheer.

 

To the north and south

west and east,

my Boys beat with the heart of a beast.

 

I looked to each with pride

as I would to a bride,

but spoke words neither wanted to hear.

 

Our season has gone

last tracks have been laid, 

I sadly said.

 

You, whose miles are few, my ’98,

with my battle-scarred ’08,

the time has come to hibernate.

 

While frigid winds blow

and trails cover with snow,

I’ll tend to your needs

for another season you’ll roll.

 

And in a blink,

winter’s chill will shrink,

and in May I’ll call

the ’08 to make

another ride to The Wall.

*******

Once upon a time, you see,

its tires laid tracks, 

to honor our fallen 

on the land they saw last.

 

My boots on the ground

they had not been,

nor those of friends

nor any kin.

I was just—an American.

 

From one job to another

I landed in Hanoi,

and with shady arrangements 

imported a Fat Boy.

 

No Harley had been

on trails like mine,

with beauty and welcome

at a peaceful time.

 

The solitude of jungle

was a powerful sensation,

on a war-torn land

now a young nation.

 

A threshold was crossed

where I felt a bond,

and the spirits were quick

to respond.

 

NOBODY rode alone,

it was said.

I became nobody 

with over 58,000 instead.

 

Fearless we were

on my iron beast,

made in America

to say the least.

 

With innocent and noble intent,

no judge of events,

I laid tracks

with a playful vengeance.

 

I taunted trails and elements

with a fist in the air,

and some situations

just weren’t fair!

 

In the spirit of freedom

for them I did ride,

with a handful of throttle

and a heart full of pride. 

 

Beside my trails 

remains did wait,

while their spirits looked down

 from the Pearly Gate.

 

The hell they all passed through

I imagined with tears,

but later to them 

raised Ba Muoi Ba beers.

 

On the land they did battle,

some would say-

their cause was not lost,

in slid shades

of the American Way.

 

Within its borders

our colors are bold,

in fashion or flag

and our nature takes hold.

 

From the tip to the top

41,000 miles I rode,

with the spirits of young men

it was a ride to behold.

 

The wind in my face

blew caution astray.

I was Viet Nam’s luckiest rider

everyday.

*******

With asphalt this year

the ’08’s tires will rhyme,

as they have now

for nine years’ time.

 

My word was given,

and rightly so,

when I’m done with the bike

to The Wall it will go.

 

For those yet to come

I hope they will see,

as an example of many

one acted—naturally.

 

In my life came a quest

you would attest,

to follow a path

truly blessed.

 

What it was for

I thought I knew,

but followed faith

to awareness anew.

 

One if by land, two if by sea,

since the ride of Revere 

grew our essence so pure,

that of a free-spirited 

and patriotic nature.

 

We have freedoms galore

that many adore,

but there’s an old saying, you see,

that nothing is free.

 

To those who gave all

—from that fateful ride

to the latest fall—

we have a debt,

to live responsibly

and never forget.

 

The morals, values, and excitement

they cherished in life,

must be in ours, too,

to honor them true.

 

That, is the American Way

***

Thank You 

&

 Welcome Home

About Mike Rinowski

One Response to “The God Particle of the American Soul”

  1. Eddie Zirkel

    Glad to hear your poem and also that you are stlll fighting the good fight
    Your ride was long and you did with song
    I remember meeting you in Santa Cruz
    And in my heart I know that you stand
    For the red white and blue

    Reply

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