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They Died With Their Boots On

Halloween 2019

The spirit of the American West was not risk-averse. It hungered for danger, in a way that 21st-century Americans can only hope to understand. There were no foes, save those who did not play by the rules.

I wrote this poem because of the realizations that greed and corruption have gained a lazy, sleazy upper hand in a beautifully bold region of the land called America. That region was won for these United States through blood, sweat and countless tears. The West, once upon a time, had to be tamed in order for lawlessness to abate just long enough for Statehood to be granted legislatively to each territory of the frontier.

The flouting of law and the invention of expedient excuses called “law” can lead only to anarchy. Indeed, in some areas of the American West, that inevitable result has already begun. There are, and have been, venal vile sewer rats running through the State Houses of many U.S. states, but I always somehow held the State of California exempt from the absurdity of repeatedly placing a feckless idiot in charge of running things.

I now see that the Idiot is selected to be “in charge” because he is an idiot, without a conscience. It’s not a matter of one nail driving out the other. A nail has a sharp point. These Executive Errand-boys are blockheads. Their basic function is to clog up any intrusion of a free market — or, heck, free will ! into their crony cesspools.

Their slush-fund cesspools are filled with so much scandal that scandal has ceased to exist, even if it were to be reported in the first, or even the last, place. The Investigative Media have been out-to-lunch for decades, and have come to resemble the nearly comatose, alcoholic veteran Foreign Correspondent in the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. He passes along the Government Press Handouts before he himself passes out!

The ten provinces and three territories of Canada must presently suffer the same shame and abhorrence as do their neighbors in the Wild West gone wild again, wild, that is, with the weirdness of whack jobs gone full-out whacky. Whenever I dare look at these sock puppet clowns I often identify with Yukon Cornelius and his pick, looking for the non-existent silver and gold: Nothin’.

In the olden days of the West, women were women, and men were men; and that singular virtue known as courage separated the women from the girls, and the men from the boys. Nowadays, the girls are harpies and whores, shilling for and riding shotgun with the pompous pompadour boys who, as faux-virtue signaling head honchos, are vampires at dawn giddily grinning beneath their blood-shot eyes and veneered bouffants. Goofy as the day is long, they, and their publicity-stunts, are insults to the Disney cartoon creation who at least claimed intuition. Their egomaniacal delusions of grandeur render satire impossible.

These empty suits are thereby slavishly propped up in the saddles of governments. With a stroke of the magic pen, they rubber-stamp sign political pay-back edicts and bans of lunacy to distract from the real-life lunacy spinning out of control.

Is there really any question as to what will happen when Blubbering Little Boy Blue gets thrown from the political poney by that thing called reality? Can there be any doubt as to the nature of the unholy mess when the tawdry charade comes crashing to the ground? Even in the West, tall tales don’t last forever. And these men are so short in the saddle, their tales are pint-sized.

For men who do not wear boots, they cannot die with, or without, their boots on. They die ignominiously, like the cowards they are, in a thousand ways, each day, amidst the indecent infamy and the sordid chaos they create. Custer’s last stand will seem like a cakewalk for those arrogant cowards forced to face crises of abhorrent proportions composing the legacy of soul-less politicians and self-absorbed sycophants.

Ask for trouble, and you’ve got it, with or without your barricade of shysters, people who also do not wear boots.

They Died With Their Boots On

They died with their boots on

‘neath the crimson setting sun

not knowing they were pawns

of the men who done them wrong.

They died with their boots on


they believed in a cause

beyond their unholy selves,

and who are we to judge

the ideals taken off the shelf

and sacrificed to glory.

One man’s valor

is another man’s twisted story.

They died with their boots on

and, I, for one, believe

the truth was left there that day

as the golden sunshine gleamed

and blood became widow’s weeds.

They died with their boots on

so that we can now walk free.

Debra L. Milligan

11 October 2019


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