Amber Stone

The Taste of Donuts

Constantly taking advantage,
some don't appreciate
the small things.

Those who never felt,
the chills run down my spine
as I hold my breath.

A ritual when driving by a car,
twenty seconds later –
it explodes.

Pulling my friend out,
of a dusty, twisted humvee –
pieces, so many.

Wonder how her parents
will take the news-
she won't be coming home any more.

Those who have not listened,
to the still air that surrounds me,
interrupted by a loud, incoming whistle
coming closer, and closer, and closer.

Taps being played
as a flag-draped coffin passes you by.

Only a single tear
allowed to escape.

Those who don't know –
take advantage of –
don't appreciate –
just how good

a donut really tastes...

These Boots

These boots were never comfortable
and they always meant work.
I must have been crazy to want a pair
so desperately.
Little did I know they
would change my life forever.
I loved my boots though.
Took great pride in the fabulous shine.
Tramped all over South Korea.
That sure was a good time,
yet lots of training—I was glad to leave behind.
They’ve been everywhere man.
Georgia was the next stop.
These boots.
These boots are tan;
stained with the sandy dirt, sewage, and blood.
Not my blood.
That sentence makes me smile.
Not a smile energized with happiness,
rather gratefulness—for it wasn’t me.
These boots have walked upon the Holy Land.
But I couldn’t find anything holy about it.
These boots have become a part of me.
I have grown comfortable in these boots,
and they comfort me.
These boots carry me from place to place.
These boots have a story.
One they’ll never tell.


Dripping in this thing most call sin,
Green-eyed, hairy troll that comes from within
Our simply perverted minds and
Does it cause one to catch cold so as to
Never shed it like wintery fur coats?

I still find you hiding in the cracks of everyday things.
Indeed, you are with me through everything
That is fine, fun, happy and flirt.
The other one of you just gets on my nerves.

Controlling the spirit of spontaneity,
Leaving empty surprises and forced kindness from me.
Waves of shame slam against–
Damn you for ensuing quick
As a bolt of lightning in time negative.

Nah, finishing from within is main course–
This time...
This time of finding out feels like a slap in the face
Of divine moments unusual and felt worldwide.


They say change is good–
but I guess it depends on who you talk to.

Sit a spell and visit with me–
just wait, listen, you’ll see.

How important,
yet disappointing-change can be.

Change can make you smile,
laugh, live, love. Cry.

It can also show you just how ugly–
your soul can be.

Mirrors hang on my walls–
I want to break them all with rocks;
Big rocks–
like the ones you find near mountains…

And speaking of mountains,
how many have you climbed–
just to see the sunrise early in the morning.

Or to see it set so early in the winter–
when it’s cold, ugly and bitter.

Do you see what I see?
Change is constantly happening–
happening to you,
happening to me…
As you hear my rants and rambling.

It never stops, if just in my head#8211;
the never ending cycle of PTSD.

Where Am I

Where am I?
Swinging to and fro
Through the hoops
You have conditioned me to-–
Adapt to the changes you desire most.

Where am I?
On the short train to hell;
Fire blazing on my trail
As I consider your final destiny.

Where am I?
Holding onto nothing in the very air
That suffocates me
And stifles my very words;
Words you don’t want to hear.

Where am I?
Inside a tiny jar
Struggling to climb up
To the brim;
Just to be shoved back down
To the base again.

Where am I?
Somewhere I never hoped to be
Deep inside your head yet
Colored and painted red for hate.
You hate me and that’s okay.

Where am I?
Facing such confusion, anger
And pain–
Time for seclusion to set
Up camp and stalk my brain.

Where am I?
Leaving comforts and joy in the wind
As I step out to be new again.

Where am I?
I am here;
Sliding down the hill of hope faster than a bullet
Will make one choke.

I am everywhere you look
With those vacant eyes.
Try, try, try to move on with this
To be simply, just me.
I am here.

War Veteran

You look me up
you look me down.
You do a thrice over
trying to figure me out.

I have tattoos
I have crazy hair
several piercings
many do stare.

You;re sizing me up
you're cutting me down.
You don't know me,
but you already am

putting me into
"that" category,
never taking the time
to get to know ME.

I may have issues
you can't understand
but I continue my service
for a different man.

A man who doesn't judge,
condescend or slam.
A man who gets me;
accepts who I am.

We work to end wars,
more bennies for servicemen
taking action against
the rape-we have endured.

We speak out with truth
not lies.
Listen to me-
you know I'm right.

Right about the wrong
you refuse to believe.
Right about the problems
with our whole damn country.

Take it or leave it,
that's my command,
but one of these days
you'll get what I am.

The Taste of Donuts

War Veteran

From The Taste Of Donuts, text and artwork ©Amber Stone

Amber Stone

I served in the U.S. Army for 6 years as a Combat Medic. I wanted to save the world, see the world and have amazing life experiences. That’s exactly what I got; it just wasn’t what I had made it out to be in my mind. I spent one year in Korea; things were looking good and I was fast-tracking. Then I was sent to Ft. Stewart, GA. I was there long enough to draw my gear and weapon and head out to the desert. I was at FOB Loyalty during OIF III. I spent the next year gaining life experiences in a war zone. I was one of very few medics pulling duty in the aid station and running missions. I saw a lot of things I wish I never had seen. I patched up so many tan bodies. Too many. I ran more missions than any other medic on my team. I pled with the medical officer to allow me to go on more humanitarian missions. This is the only time I felt like I was doing something right and well and good. We would provide health care to Iraqis for many hours in a local house. I returned from war a completely different person. Everybody else saw it right away, but it took me a couple of years to recognize. Healing through the arts has been very therapeutic for my PTSD and me. I write to heal. I write to tell. I paint to release anger. I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t been introduced to Warrior Writers and found a more positive way to expel the horrid thoughts and memories.

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