A Poetic Tribute

This is dedicated to a fellow freedom fighter who has helped me realize my virtual pen can be mightier than the sword. We're both committed to getting our freedom back!

For Amanda BillyRock like many, it started with Ron Paul
What followed was a healthy dose of good old shock and awe

Our country is not what we thought, we feel a little betrayed
Or perhaps a little sheepish because for years we’ve all been played

Austrian economics is clearly the way to go, people get what they deserve
If she had her one great fondest wish, we’d end the Federal Reserve

As for ending government agencies, she says “Don’t throw a fit”
“If you want to see the end of them, just unleash the free market.”

She travels through airports like a thief in the night, avoiding airport scanners
And videotapes TSA employees to ensure they mind their manners

If she had a favorite candy it would probably be a Reese’s
But nothing satisfies her cravings like studying Ludwig von Mises

She dyed her hair blonde and she took a lot of slack
It appears her fans agree with this, they prefer the color black

She’s heading a knowledge revolution, one that all are welcome to join
Any membership fee would be minimal, payable via Bitcoin

Her message is of liberty, freedom, and heck - to carry your own gun
And this is her motto: “Getting free was never so much fun!”

Can Somebody Cry For Me?

I've had this image in my mind for days. I keep seeing this sweet little Iraqi girl sailing into heaven after being killed. This is what she is saying to me, and I don't know how to answer her.

I sail away into the sky
As I stare down below
My home destroyed and family dead
Now to heaven I go

But none will talk of how I died
No cameras are at the scene
No weeping eyes or mourning hearts
Why don’t they cry for me?

Because I'm in a far away land?
My skin is different, I guess
Is that why no one thinks of me
Does this make me any less?

Today I died – a stray bullet they said
My body resting by a tree
I’m just as precious, just as sweet
Why does no one cry for me?

-with liberty and justice for all?

God Bless the Selfless Soldier

As you read this post, please follow the links to learn more.

God Bless the selfless soldiers who offer their life for me
But cursed be our country’s leaders who “spread democracy

Please comfort families back at home that worry every night
And judgment be upon evil men who pretend we need to fight

Keep safe our sons and daughters who patrol fields of poppyoil, and grain
Believed to be protecting our freedom, they're guarding evil men’s gains

Support our troops and bring them home to their loved ones they adore
Stop saying we are bringing peace through useless, dirty wars

Restore the love of family, let the soldiers remove bloody stains
If citizens knew what true motives were, our leaders would cower in shame

The “land of the free, and the home of the brave”, phrases once held in esteem
America needs to awake to the fact we are now a new regime

If we truly loved our freedom we would defend it here at home
Not impose our will on others through killing at night with drones

God, restore to us your favor, remove our desires for power and gold
Turn the hearts of this nation to the principles the Constitution holds

Bring our soldiers back from war; let them feel our loving embrace
Or this fake “War on Terror” will never end, and we’ll never be truly safe

The Wounded Soldier

This post is dedicated to those men and women who, though declared warriors and soldiers, have the goal of returning to their wives and children safe and sound. I've had the opportunity to hear many weep for their actions and suffer unbearable pain for that which they've been sent to do. May the day come when they can share their greatness daily with their families and not be in far off lands. This poem is dedicated to them.

The world honors me as a soldier today
But that's not what I want to be
I've never wanted blood and war
I've only dreamed of peace

You call it a great sacrifice
My leaving kids and wife
But have you once considered
The agony of taking human life?

We say we're bringing freedom
To countries around the globe
But think of women and children
Who cry while bombs explode

Where is the peace for these ones?
The innocent of God's seed
What of the love that they deserve?
Must they die and bleed?

Don't honor me as a soldier
I'm not a man of war
I lay awake and weep at night
"What are we fighting for?"

We are not any safer
We are not making free
With tanks and bombs and gun and fire
Am I the only one who can see?

If you value all my efforts
If you honor my sacrifice
Don't support the reign of war
But stand up for saving life

I'm Not a "TV Dad"

I'm pulling this one out from the archives, because of multiple comments I've read lately about the state of fatherhood and how television portrays fathers. I realized it was on my other blog, and not on my Work or Ark one, so I wanted to add it here. It was originally written June 18, 2011. 

I cried for thirty minutes last night. I hadn't done that, ever. The reason might seem really strange to some – my wife cut my boy's binkie. For the last few days we’ve put him to bed without the binkie, but Friday night he was really begging for it and we decided it was time for him to have the cut binkie in his hand so he could realize that those days are over. 

Our daughter went through the same process. When we cut her binkie she looked at us and said “Why cut it guys?” She tried to pop it in her mouth but it wouldn’t stay, and the confused look on her face broke my heart. I knew going through the same thing with Miles would be very hard for me to do so I had Gina do it. As I heard her and the kids in the kitchen chattering about how confused Miles was, I started to cry. The cut binkie is a symbol of him moving on to a new phase, of him growing up, of me no longer rocking him to sleep as he has his binkie in his mouth.

The next night the same thoughts came flooding into my mind and I couldn’t stop crying. I tried to dry the dishes with Gina but she saw me crying. I went to my bed and just sobbed. I felt so much sadness because Miles is growing up. I also felt slightly ashamed and embarrassed that my wife was holding and comforting me because I was crying. It seemed opposite of what is should be. I felt like I wasn't being a man about it, and I thought “A dad shouldn't be doing this.” But then, the following came into my mind, “I’m not a T.V. Dad”. I include an excerpt of an article on the portrayal of fathers on television, then this is followed with a poem I wrote.

"Often, sitcom dads such as Homer Simpson and Raymond Barone are portrayed as selfish and mindless. Although we believe that they love their children, storylines often portray their offspring as intrusions to other, more important pursuits such as drinking beer, watching TV or playing golf. These dads invest considerable time in thinking up schemes to avoid their family, and they appear overwhelmingly uninterested in everyone else’s lives".

I’m not a “TV Dad”

The message that is spoken, the one we’re all spoon-fed
Is of the clumsy fathers, disinterested, over-fed
They’ve never changed a diaper; they’ve never said a prayer
As for listening or homework, they wouldn’t even dare

It’s time someone took courage, and faced this mockery
For if there are TV fathers, one of them’s not me.

I love my wife and cherish her role, all her gifts and abilities
I like to mop and I do dishes, even fold laundry occasionally.

I try to earn a decent living, but don’t do it to “get mine”
When I come through the front door, I leave my work behind

I’ll always make some time for catch or a pretend cup of tea
There’s nothing I would rather do than be with my family

I don’t drink beer or play much golf, I’ll live if I miss the big game
The joy I feel with my kiddies around means more to me than fame

I love getting sloppy kisses and saying “I love you”
And snuggling with my little ones when the day is almost through

And I know I’m not the only one, I see many dads like me
Pushing a child on the swing or taking them for ice cream

I see other fathers fishing, their boys casting in the pond
Another father and daughter were jogging; the list could go on and on

To all the fathers around the world let’s make sure our children know
That while it may be funny, the TV dads we see
The real truth is, they’re a minority - and they’re not like you and me!

Ben Arkell – June 18 2011

Please share with everyone! If you think your dad is doing it right, share this poem with him and let him know. We never know how long our loved one's will be around. I can't share this with my dad because he is gone.

The Sting of Death

When death comes swiftly in the night
So unexpected to our sight
When young ones die before they would
Our hearts break, and well they should

The pain is deep, the sting is real
It's all-consuming, it's all I feel
I want to move on, I want to mend
But why did this life have to end?

It's one thing if they're old and gray
They've lived their lives and had their play
But when they're fresh and young and new
With so much left in life to do

It's time likes these when all I hold 
Is to my faith of what's been told
Of life forever with those we've lost
God recompensing every loss

But still the aching here remains
Though lessened by eternal gains
What can I feed my struggling heart?
What words of wisdom can you impart?

I need not words but hands and hearts
A warm embrace is a good start
I want to cling to those I love
For fear they also sail above

God - comfort me this lonely night
Help me win this horrible fight
Send some loving friends my way
So I can make it one more day

And bless the memory of the lost
I'll cling to the past - at all cost
But lead me by the hand tomorrow
I do not wish to live in sorrow

(If you like, please share! Thanks)

How I See

This cruel world we live in, you need be wise
They speak of "beauty" but don't be surprised
To find it's all founded by the "father of lies"

They'll tell you that your skin is too white
So strap yourself down under some ultra violet light

Your hair is too oily, or snarly, or dry
So there's a dozen products you'll for sure have to buy

Your hips are too wide, you have "thunder thighs"
But with one small procedure it'll all be disguised

Your lips are too small and your chest is too flat
Yet Botox and implants will easily fix that

Now if you look too common and want to be "your own you"
Just add a few piercings and some gnarly tattoos

If after all these touch-ups you still look fat
Try a new diet, 90 days will solve that


Don't listen to this madness, disregard all the chatter
Take some time to think about what really matters

The solution to this vanity appears easy to me
Stop changing how you look, start changing how you see

Ben Arkell
June 2010

Through a Child's Eyes

I'm learning how to see again
When I look through my child's eyes

I hold my child close to me
He is mesmerized by the world around him

Each sight is a wonder, each movement full of awe
He is my lens, as I now see what I thought I saw

I'm learning how to see again
The grass is greener than it's ever been

A fluttering bird, the dripping rain
Sunlight upon me, will never be the same

For all's full of wonder
There is no commonplace
Every scene is a marvel
As I consider my child's face

I can see a new world
Once simple, now great joy
All when I look
Through the eyes of my boy

I'm learning how to see again
I'm soaking it all in
Nothing is taken for granted now
I see the world through him

Ben Arkell
May 26, 2010

Father's Day

To another I've entrusted the privilege of your care
Yet still I remain close beside, no matter when or where
To another world I've sent you as part of the gospel plan
But my work is to see you fill the measure of a man
I find it quite ironic you'd not think of me today
After all, don't we wish a "Happy Father's Day"
You think of your dads and buy them silly ties
But do you remember me, who watches from on high?
For I am your Creator, a King upon the throne
But always as your Father I wish to be known
To my precious children I make this desperate plea
Next time you think of Father's day please remember me

Receive, as if from mine own mouth

I chose for them a watchman
A seer upon the tower
Then man became infected
And pride did make him sour

I built a brilliant lighthouse
A beacon in the dark
But this has been rejected
Just as Noah and his Ark

I sent the world a Savior
My hope, My Son, The Way
But man became offended
And took his life away

I called the holy prophets
To make my will be known
And man thinks this an insult
Then casts rebellious stones

Have all been so corrupted?
Do all reject my plan?
When I offer it extended
Will any take my hand?

I will thank thee Father
For that prophet and that seer
Whose words with the angelic tone
Do make the path as clear

I will praise thy name, Oh God
And with humble heart obey
All that thy chosen vessels
To thy children do convey

Do not think it blind obedience
Do not give it ignorance’s name
For in me the fire of the covenant
Burns with unquenchable flame

I will kneel before thy altar
I will ever Thy name confess
I will drink of living waters
I will call thy servants blessed
Ben Arkell
Oct 16, 2008