Afterwar

Image: Pixabay

Brother-in-arms
Greeted with open arms,
Briefly disarmed
By disarming the ones you love.

But nighttime sounds of armaments
Break through the arms of Morpheus;
Can’t keep the memories of war
At arm’s length.

Thank you for your service*
And how you brought us peace,
Shouldn’t we do more
To help pick up your pieces?

 *Title of a thought-provoking movie, which is inspired by true events. The film follows four soldiers returning home from Iraq and their struggles in trying to settle back into civilian life. Main cast: Miles Teller, Amy Schumer, Haley Bennett, Scott Haze, and Beulah Koale

War of the Words

They jibbered,

They jabbered,

Their words bitter,

Worse than spoiled batter,

Carelessly strewn like leftovers and litter,

Equally bad, both the former and latter.

They push too far their scare and dare,

The situation getting too dire,

Evoking fear

Of who will spark the first fire.

Walking with the Enemy (a movie review)

I usually reserve films from my library, so I can watch them in the comfort of my home. When I came back from my vacation in Central Europe (Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary), I received notice that a couple of movies were ready for pick-up. One of them was Walking with the Enemy, which is based on true events, although the characters themselves are fictional. The hero is a young Hungarian Jewish man, Elek Cohen, who joins the Labor Force during World War II, thinking it would be a way to help serve his country even though the Force has only Jewish people serving. He soon realizes the work he and his fellow countrymen are providing is met with harsh punishment if they show any signs of physical weakness. He eventually escapes with a friend. When they go back to their village, they find their families gone and their non-Jewish countrymen living in the houses where their Jewish friends resided. Elek is determined to find his family, which soon leads him to Budapest. There he witnesses the terrible fate unfold on those of Jewish heritage that happened toward the end of the War and Hitler’s rule.

He soon goes underground with the help of an acquaintance, Hannah Schoen, with whom he had flirted at a social club many weeks before and has come across again while in Budapest. Hannah’s uncle turns out to be working for the Swiss Council, which agrees to give passports to a fixed number of Jewish people to emigrate legally to Switzerland. However, by making more than the allotted amount, the Council hopes to save even more Jews by secretly delivering them to the Hungarian Jewish citizens. In the middle of all this, the Nazi presence continues to dominate and a Hungarian fascist group, the Arrow Cross Party, allies with Hitler. Together they round up the Jewish people to get them out of the country and into a concentration camp.

One night, Elek ends up killing two drunk German SS soldiers, as they try to molest Hannah. He and his friends bury the dead soldiers in an unmarked grave. Later, the death of those two soldiers turns out to be fortuitous for Elek and his friends because of their uniforms. When one of Elek’s good friends gets captured by the Nazis, he decides to save him by digging up the dead Nazi soldiers and taking their uniforms. He disguises himself as a Nazi SS soldier and pretends to have orders to take into custody his friend. With the successful rescue, Elek wears the uniform again and again, successfully executing similar types of rescues, often saving many of his countrymen at a time. Tragically though, as history later tallied, from Hungary alone, 500,000 Jews were exterminated.

The film has suspense, romance, and historical highlights. It was good timing that I was able to see this movie after learning so much about Hungary’s history during pre- and post-Hitler times. The pictures below are some taken from my trip in Budapest. They depict how the Hungarian Jews had to flee immediately because of the evil that fell on their country, and the world.

A New Day

apocalypse

The global apocalypse started at noon E.S.T., but no one knows for sure who initiated it. It doesn’t matter, the damage is done. Those unlucky enough to live another day have energy sufficient only to look for shelter, food, and loved ones. Many wail for their losses. Some mute from shock. Others eventually drift off to unconsciousness for lack of will to go on without their familiar conveniences.

The total death toll increases every second as the tally continues to rise each day. Chaos rules the majority. Order is obliterated from daily practice as the world is now as foreign and uninhabitable as the whole planet of Saturn. Many years will have to pass until the waters run clear from blood, gore, and residue from the bombings.

Nothing is pure or unscathed. No one from heaven or hell has come to rescue either the good or the evil. All surviving people are now finally equal but in a most unpleasant way. Their only legacy is another fresh day of suffering.

©2016 Karina Pinella

Good Kill (a movie review)

This is a look at the frustrated and conflicted life of a pilot, played by Ethan Hawke, who sits thousands of miles from war in a station in the Las Vegas desert. He works out of an over-sized metal box which inside looks like a cockpit. He works with a co-pilot and their job is to control drones that target selected sites, persons, or groups, depending what their intel tells them to do. A good kill is when they hit efficiently and quickly strike the enemy. Continue reading