Tis the Season… To Get Back To Writing.

I’m breathing, hastily, but still… I am breathing. You can either thank the harsh, wet winter or the fact that I have survived another semester of the college life. I should be happy working on a second college degree, but lately I been frustrated. These days all I want to do is write. Write, write, WRITE!
So of course I am working on my third book once again after putting it aside for 18 months and focusing on a largely transition in my life from moving to a bigger city, getting robbed in six months of living here, consuming my life with institutional training and now working a decent job. All of this gives me a hard time to let my creative juices flow naturally.
But there is a positive note for my challenges. I have written enough new poetry for a fourth book to publish within the next year as well, but I need to get my third book done first! My ADD has other plans though. I have no idea what theme or design to create my book cover or even a title for my fourth book.
So, I pinch myself to refocus on my current projects and to finish editing this damn book I been sitting on (figuratively, not literally) for the past year or so. Ironically how I am killing time while typing you up a livelihood of an update in my articulate journey.
Life is fucking crazy!
Okay, I feel better now that I screamed that out…

…In my mind and onto this blog.

Bottom line: The Road to Healing: An Equestrian Journal will be published on 12/22/16. Two years after my second book was published! Speaking of my second book, I need to go back and edit the format for that book and my first book to make it more readable for my readers and republish those collections. After that, I can figure out where to go with my fourth book.

For now, I need to snowboard through this two-part snow storm to get my ‘happy-ass’ to work for the evening. I am closing with a sneak peak photo and poem that will be in my new book.







Unloading The Negative Stresses To Load The Passions

I’m prepping a new chapter in my life. I am giving the civilian life a second chance after a total ten and a half years of military service.
People would question why I would give the military life a second chance after my experiences in the first round. It’s because I don’t give up easily, even if the flame diminishes in my vision.

I am not perfect, but I am an individual who looses focus once the passion is gone. The fire went out of me years ago for the army life. However, it was the only thing I knew in life, so it was hard to let go for me. Until now.

Well, not until now, but more recently as I put my insecurities away, learn to expose my vulnerability, and tell my story to the world. I realize people from my past will sham me for it. I am aware, but that doesn’t tell you who I am. That tells you who they are as a person. I would never claim as one of the best soldiers in the military. Shit, I consider myself more of an underdog.

I’m not just an underdog. I am a geek. I am embracing it. My passions are my therapy. Photography, writing, kickboxing, horses, dogs, movies, music, all are my therapy. Unfortunately other veterans who struggle with PTSD don’t find their strengths and therapeutic remedies. I have been working to rebuild my strengths.

We tend to be hesitant with coming forward with PTSD, because of the shamming it provides, not just in society, but also in the military. We need to change this stereotypical bullshit. We need to help the veterans find their new strengths outside the military life and let them openly expose their vulnerabilities without judgements.

I want veterans to stop being unsecured about their weaknesses and turn them into strengths like I have as a combat veteran poet. Learn to turn a negative into a positive. I do that with my poetry. My poetry keeps my emotions in check. On paper, it looks like a hot bi-polar mess. Reality, it helps me situate my feelings of what’s permanent and what’s temporary. I want to help and now that I’ve unloaded my military stresses more, I can help others unload theirs. I want to help others. I am tired of seeing the “22 a day…” slogan/statistics. We need to change it. Now!

Psychological Demons Teaser #3

Here is teaser #3 for my story, Psychological Demons. I am introducing the relationship between Eve and her mother, Cynthia, as Eve visits her mom for the first time since she left for the military. Not all is what it seems on the surface. 

Cynthia Torseman only had a couple skills for work, waitressing and bartending, while raising Eve after the divorce with Joe. The divorce resulted in a hardship for Cynthia, as she was used to being a stay-at-home mom, now had to manage herself when Joe moved out. Cynthia and Joe only lived a couple blocks away from one another for Eve’s benefits and relationships with both parents, but that didn’t change the fact that Eve wasn’t raised on a silver-platter. She developed an appreciation of her mother, as Cynthia worked more than 40 hours a week to make ends meet. There was no need for court dates between the parents, which was rare for a broken home in the United States.

As she came to age, Eve enlisted in the military to assist her mother with her bills. Eve would send an anonymous envelope with money, while she was away for training or missions, no matter where she was in the world. As Eve returned home for the first time in two years, Cynthia would discover a change.
Cynthia walks to her mailbox to get her mail. She opens it and grabs the stack in the box. Cynthia skims through the mail and notice an envelope is missing from the stack. She looks down the street on her right and then left as she pats the stack of mail on her chest. Her facial expression expressed a concern. Did the mailman drop the envelope? Did the envelope get lost on its way home? Cynthia slowly bit her lip out of nervousness and double-checked the stack again to make sure she didn’t misplace the envelope herself. The middle-aged lady takes another look around the area and turns around to walk back into her house.
            Two blocks away from both her mother and father’s houses, Eve was waiting in a taxi cab parked. Inside the taxi, the driver looks through his rear view mirror to his passenger who is smirking and flipping the envelope over and over in her hands.
“Ma’am, I know it’s none of my business, but isn’t it illegal to be digging and stealing other people’s mail?”
The taxi-driver expressed his concerns towards Eve. In response, Eve smiles and continues the conversation with the driver.
            “Not if you are the person who sent it.”
            Eve flips the front of the envelope with the addresses facing the driver and leans forward. She grabs her bills out of her back pocket and hands forty dollars out of the money stack to the taxi driver.
 “For caring, lunch is on me. Keep the change, buddy.”
            The taxi-driver responds with a relieved laugh, “Thank you, Ma’am.”
            Eve kicks open the back passenger door and grabs her duffel bag from across the seat. She shuts the door and walks across the street and up to the front door of her mother’s house. Eve puts down her duffel bag. The duffel bag is weathered and the color is faded from the use Eve has put into it. She claims it’s her lucky bag, as “lucky” is stitched across the pocket on the side, symmetrically across the pocket. The doorbell rings.
Cynthia yells from inside the house, “Coming!”

            Cynthia opens the door while still skimming the mail. Before Cynthia can look up to see who the visitor is. Eve sets the envelope in front of her mother’s face. 

2015©H.M. Gautsch


Navigating with a Notepad (Poetry)

I’m trying to sit in the dark,

Late at night, staring out at the stars,
While sorting out my thoughts to write another poem.
Yeah, it might sound like the same old song,
But the pen and pad are the only things I can depend on.
It’s hard to have family and friends
Who can’t see or understand any of my social problems.
Some days I’m quietly awkward,
Other days I’m rudely obnoxious.
Maybe I’m a good actor,
Or maybe, I just don’t know how to act.
I am sure people think I am just playin’
To get money from the government,
But if I was doing that,
I’d apply for other assistance,
Along with food stamps.
I don’t want any of that,
I just want to live peacefully before I’m dead.
If I was faking my problems,
I wouldn’t have prolonged my issues from 2009,
Or even longer, like…
…my whole life.
I wouldn’t still be walking that fragile line.
People just rather be blind,
To the facts of my short term memory distortion,
My insomnia, and the voices in my conscience,
That transfers through my body, to my fingers,
To the pen to form these words on this notepad.
In my eyes, I don’t see insecurity with my vulnerability.
If that was the case, I wouldn’t have the courage to share my story.
So what if I am a bit sensitive or even a bit pensive,
My depression and anxiety has always been repetitive,
I’ve accepted these anti-socializing traits,
The best of this world’s artists can relate.
I am sure other kids can to, but too scared to navigate,
And get lost deep inside their heart,
Emotions, and words to collate, in return create this art.
So if you’re afraid, just turn to my unique poetic philosophy, Descartes.

I wish people would stop being concern about how the world looks at me,

I’ll be the executive producer of my decisions and consequence,
Revealing the tattoos and scars that live deep down in my heart.
It’s my skin. It’s my ill mind. It’s my life.
So I’ll keep dishing these poems like my pen is a spoon or fork,
Because it seems it’s the only therapy that truly works.
So if you think I am writing to ask for help,
I’m not. By the time this poem ends, I’ll be my better self.
I just want to thank you for reading and listening,
To my rhymes, my provocative conditioning.
2014 ©H.M. Gautsch

Post Traumatic Stress (Poetry)


I stand in front of you on this stage with a smiling mask.
But give me a minute or two to unmask and ask,
What do you really know about post-traumatic stress?
Day in day out weight is oppressed in the hearts and chests.
Very little does one see his/her life as a personal success.
For adrenaline, many involve a life that becomes transgress.
Through time natural facial expressions and habitats change.
Insomnia becomes normal, even the bags under the eyes become rearrange.
Our moods are irritable, anxious, and estranged.
Nightmares, flashbacks, and reminders limits activities,
Fireworks are always ruining summer festivities.
Very rare can one ever overcome this particular sensitivity.
Frustrations and sympathy grows for the high number of suicides,
There are more of us alive than those who gave up on their lives.
The ones who are still breathing, still feel invisible to the world.
Many try to use humor and sex to cover up the actual feelings.
Instead of opening up, solitude is actual a comfort to hide the dealings,
Of strangers and family who fears the lack of knowledge and adaptations.
Truth, there is the misconception of medications, very rare do they improve,
Drugs and alcohol are the first things those who only want self-help turn too.
Natural healing & therapy is best suited for those who are desperate to move on,
We may look strong on the outside due to the imprinted war face,
Nobody ever takes the consideration, deep down fragile as a pencil case.
Doesn’t mean the survivors are more dangerous than a terrorist.
When it comes to the survivors of post-traumatic stress,
Majority find exceptions in the imperfections, a new strength.
That is the most important factor in an unfamiliar multitude force.
2014©H.M. Gautsch