When award-winning poet, Appalachian State University professor and advocate for literacy Joseph Bathanti was named North Carolina's poet laureate in October 2012, he announced plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry.
To celebrate Veterans Day, Bathanti has written a special poem for veterans, families of veterans and for everyone who honors America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
"North Carolina, arguably the heart of the U.S. military establishment, is overflowing with unforgettable stories of veterans and their families, and across the state there are various initiatives, as well as writers and countless others, dedicated to bringing these accounts to the surface," Bathanti said.
"As Poet Laureate, I find myself suddenly in a position to make something very meaningful happen in North Carolina by serving as a lightning rod to publicize these programs, create a consortium of thought and action among them, and help create a sustainable collaborative model for teaching writing workshops for vets that can be duplicated and delivered anywhere in the state."
All creatures have the same source as we have.
Saint Francis of Assisi
A reclusive small brown butterfly,
white and yellow stigmatic suns
deployed along its wing ridges,
Saint Francis's Satyr - christened
after the 12th century Italian soldier
and POW turned mystic -
secretes itself, miraculously,
in 10 by 10 kilometers
of the 251 square mile brash
of Fort Bragg - exact coordinates classified -
beyond which - we know this much -
it has gone undetected. Shy, endangered,
preferring anonymity, it hides
in high artillery impact domains -
life often chooses death -
the fires triggered by bombardment.
It wears Marsh camouflage,
resembles in its favored habitat -
blasted sedge and beaver ruins -
a tiny standard issue
Advanced Combat Helmet.
Parsed from the chrysalis,
rent too soon from its dream of living,
the satyr blazes in desperate glory
but three or four days,
in its imaginal stage,
then tenders its life in writ sacrifice.
Its gorgeous numbers dwindle.
The caterpillar has never been seen.
We accept, on faith, metamorphosis.
To support students deployed in the military, Appalachian State University's Office of Student Development is preparing holiday care packages. You can help.
Items can be dropped off through Nov.16 at two campus donation points, B. B. Dougherty Administration Building and the International Hallway stairwell in Plemmons Student Union. Suggested donation items include:
Currently deployed students are Ryan Pope, Michael Simmons, Ethan Smith and Ryan Smith. Additionally, the Office of Student Development plans to send "well wishes" to James Pierce, a former student who was severely injured recently in Afghanistan.