Motorcycle Boy Lives


otorcycle Boy Lives

a book of poems

by Mark Pannebecker

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Book cover by Mark Pannebecke
About Motorcycle Boy Lives

Motorcycle Boy Lives is a collection of poetry that is essentially a book in three acts. It is the journey of the poet as he begins to express his dreams and desires in the first act, then continuing into the second act where the poet navigates through the conflict of his life as he attempts to embrace the positive and confront the negative, and finally ends with the hope and promise of being a better person through it all. It’s sometimes sentimental and personal, and other times profound and universal, but always honest. The poetry chosen was written over a span of many years and included in this story as the best poems to convey the poet’s path to enlightenment, understanding, and love.

Death of a Soldier

I learned to kill early,

my feelings,


my parents

every night before my sleep,

my friendships

before they could grow,

my life

at night running with strangers in leather jackets.

My mouth watered when my country went to war.

I knew I could kill

and be decorated,

I could kill, 

hiding behind my uniform,

spitting on humanitarians

screaming for peace.

Now the adolescent thoughts of suicide

were not as intoxicating as before.

My parents would be proud of my patriotism.

I was on a hill with trees reduced to two and three feet high

by shells dropped from the sky.

After the death

the only thing left

were moguls for winter skiing.

I was fascinated

by the truth revealed

through dying comrades' chapped lips.

I saw death staring at me

from their cloudy eyes.

And the rapid shot of gunfire

was like laughter to me.

I smiled inside

with a feeling of power.

No pain

will I suffer.

At the top of this hill,

in an enemy foxhole,

I rushed in

and cut through a scream,

bayonet to the hilt.

My first face-to-face kill.

On the hill, 

I heard no laughter 

and felt no power 

and the truth I saw

was another man bleeding

from a mortal wound

inflicted by me alone.

His uniform,

smelling of defecation, food, gunpowder,

was ripped and orn.

It was stained a darker color around his chest,

and under him

his private blood stopped running (jumping, playing),

and laid on the earth that wouldn't absorb any more.

His empty arms stretched out

gently clinging to his shallow grave

where he was so suddenly placed to rest.

I looked upon his pimpled unshaven dirty face,

a face like I used to see in a playground

on a lonely kid

who watched the kickball game from the swings.

I looked at his sealed eyes,

closed forever.

He looked like my nephew

napping on his kindergarten mat.

As the wrmh of his body pushed through me,

I fell in love with him.