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!

Poetry, Food, & Wine… Oh, Don’t Forget About The Photography

Photo Credit:
DJ Mario Bee

Today, I was in completely chill mode regardless of the lack of sleep that a combination of my body and my damn dogs did not allow. I was reflecting on my wintery hibernation as I was enjoying our full first spring-like day today with two of the most dope artists I’ve come across in my life this far in my journey.

I am smiling. One of my best friend’s texted me well wishes before last night’s event at a local culinary spot.

I just figured, “Yay! This will be an opportunity to work my photo magic and continue to build my portfolio,” but little did I know getting out of the house, especially to the poetry, food, & wine event, would I get a boost of inspiration.

My best friend couldn’t be more right. I was inspired. Inspired to leave my winter hibernation. Inspired to return to “Open Mic” at a local coffee joint. Inspired to situate some administration tasks for my favorite non-profit organization and my schooling situation for the videography trade. Is that inspired enough? Nah…

A multiple of reasons plays their parts on a successful Sunday & Monday. It was a completely relaxing environment, overall at the Poetry, Food, & Wine night. Oddly, I was also ready to work the moment I got there.

I didn’t hesitate to let Chef Shawn know of graduating honors in the culinary field. He didn’t hesitate to put me on the spot with the opening question, “You got an open hand?!” I raised both hands and assisted with the food before the event.

I clicked with all the artists associated with last night spot on from the introduction. Quick smiles, laughs, stories, photos, and plenty of sarcasm to go around all night, as I met new friends in the local area.

A fan of mine came out for the showing, asked for my autograph. Let’s just say, Deuce was impressed. I joked with him about being a bigger deal than he was in these neck of the woods.

I sold a couple copies of each book, as well as raffled a copy of each to the crowd, as well as a free photo shoot. A long night well worth what money can’t ever buy. That right there inspired me to keep working on my third book.

Today continued the good vibes and memories after my morning class, as I showed the New Yorkers, Deuce Ellis & DJ Mario Bee around this small town, as well as, got some dope photographs of the two at a couple various locations.

The two wanted good food and good beer, so I led them to Dublin’s Irish Pub and had them eat some of the best cheese curds La Crosse has to offer. I also got to witness Deuce & Mario trying our famous/infamous beer cheese soup.

I promised next time they are in town, I would show them a low key dive called River Rat’s, one of my favorites, with some of the best chicken wings in town, and one of the best scenes in town, on the river. I always keep my promises when food is involved.

I have a lot of editing to do between the event photos and the photo shoot from today, but this is the stuff I live for. The artistry of life. The challenge of what we can create with what we have. That’s what I love living for.

Waitin’ (Poetry)

Late winter night,
The moon’s shine is creeping inside my window.
I can see the glow from the side of my eye.
Hypnotic stare into the clock’s neon lights,
As I watch the minutes tick by.
I’m trying to relax my mind,
Music meditation to ease away from reality.
That’s my self-motivation and validation.
I’m on the right track.
Three jobs, school, and building my own business,
I ain’t got no time to lack.
I’m afraid to rest these weathered eyes,
Feeling I need to keep the grind hopping at every second of my life,
The voices from inside tells me,

‘You can sleep when you die. 
Don’t you dare fall behind.
The wicked don’t sleep. 
So just allow your goals remain as a close keep.’
There’s no time to drop back.
Got to keep transforming my dreams into facts.
Is it a sin to grind from my skin to my bones?
Sacrificing the life I hate, I deserve the life I love.
I won’t stop until I’m filled with satisfaction, full throttle motion.
Sometimes I question if I’m in a zombie mode,
Like I’ve given up on my soul,
As I try to connect with the universe through this twilight zone.
Will I get the answers for the questions I dare to spit?
Or will these words remain as unanswered bits,
Of the truth, of my future. I need to stop askin’ and recommit,
To this supposed callin’, the voices remain within’.
Even though I’m still waitin’.
Still payin’ my dues, 
For the sunshine to come through,
Part the clouds and reveal the sky of blue.
Looking for my late wintery muse.
Even though I’m still waitin’.

Sneak Peak Into My Closet (Poetry)


Day to day, I keep questioning myself…
How do I express my feelings without offending you?
I guess you should have thought twice,
Before you put me through what you put me through.
How would you feel if I revealed the truth,
The real roots of my PTSD and the rest of my mental issues?
Still today, I’d rather be back at the front lines of war,
Then be on the home front, being repeatedly reminded of my childhood nightmares.
The noisy citizenry is now wondering where, what, why? Do I dare to even open that door?
The door to my closet, where skeletons lay all over the floor.
Piling up as if I am just a professional hoarder,
My closet is a mess; it’s all out of order with the door half-broken.
I am almost thirty, and I still fear of having children.
The fact I fear the most is being like my parents.
Do I dare explain it on my end?
My emotions have hit rock bottom.
I don’t know any other way to release them without the bottle.
Personally, that’s my problem. Once an angel, now fallen.
I got to try to find a way for my heart to blossom, before it hardens and becomes rotten.
I am almost thirty, and I still fear of permanent commitment.
My father expressed it with his actions, through his heartless abandonment.
I was never taught properly how women should be treated by men.
I mean, where was he when ma found out I was being molested?
So when a good man is found, I just find a way to end it.
I act as if I have a lack of confidence, but really I am just full of my conscience.
People stress to me that I should let my past go,
Easy for you to say considering you never been in my shoes.
Behind closed doors was a whole different show that was played for the views.
Til this day, I still get the abrupt end of verbal abuse.
Til this day, I’m trying to find a way to heal the scars and massage the bruises,
Without necessary making accuses with my distancing excuses.
So the only way I’ll be able to let it go is if I talk about it.
It’s unfortunate that I never got the professional help I needed as a kid.
I guess my writing and my spoken words are a reaction for what should have been.
Before blame is put on me, look in the mirror and think of the things you did.
This poem reveals that my rage and my resentment, is still alive and kicking’
But instead of beating around the bush with the little white lies, I’m only being honest.
Isn’t that what you wanted? Even if it’s written, although I am feeling a bit smitten?
Is it a crime that I’ve given you a sneak peak into my flaw-filled closet?
My pain through a rear-view mirror, just a bunch of ugly roots.
This was just a preview of a chapter that is to be continued….
2014©H.M.Gautsch

As I Lie Awake (Poetry)

Eagerly waiting on what dreams

Waits for me on this…
Cool and collected mid-summer nigh’.
To welcome my request into fantasy
Crickets whistle slowly fades,
I am delivered into a refreshing ride.
As I lie awake,
Hypnosis transfers my surreal mind,
Touches my emotions, as I fall asleep.
I’m battling between two comas,
Two separate lives.
In confusion, new scenery comes to life.
I am aware,
But my other life remains in control.
I allow it like a child lost in a book.
Are dreams just pure fantasies?
Or reality waiting
For the time to be revealed for a purpose.
Taking notes on each episode,
For each season.
To the illusion of what’s to hold.
2014©H.M. Gautsch