Words: Fair Oaks

 

Curing olives with my dad

The glug of the garden hose

In the tub of green fruit

Golden fall leaves surround us

And the smell of

New roses and

Fresh mowed grass

We’ll crank the ice cream

Then take one

Last swim

Before the time fades

Away with nothing

Left but love.

 

~ Marla Todd

 

The Eagle Cried

I’m honored to share a poem from my friend, Northern California writer Richard Turton.

 

The Eagle Cried

 

The acrid smell of cordite

Still hovered in the air.

No breeze to wash away

The scent of Satan’s hair.

 

The Medivac’s are fading now,

Their cabins filled with dead.

So many grisly pictures

Are surging through my head

 

Another hill’s been taken

The earth all charred and black

We all know what’s coming;

Tomorrow…”Give it back!”

 

The Eagle cries from barren trees

His tears, he cannot hide.

Where once a proud, young soldier stood

My Warrior Brother, died

 

The scorched ground that surrounds me;

Am I in Dante’s Hell?

This skirmish now is over

We saw them as they fell.

 

My Warrior Brother, Donny,

Died that gruesome day.

He took the bullets meant for me

With his final words did say,

 

“Tell Mom and Sis I loved them!

Please! Don’t let me down!”

I promised I would tell them

A promise I’d soon drown.

 

The Eagle cried that tragic day,

Back in Sixty-Eight.

A promise made…un-kept,

To my Warrior mate.

 

One thing that I’m sure of,

A thing that gives no rest.

The hounds of Hell still battle

Deep within my chest.

 

A bottle’d been my address

For forty years or more.

I’d take ‘most any drug,

I couldn’t find the door.

 

Somewhere there’s a record,

Of drugs and booze and tears.

When I crawled out of the bottle

I’d been buried in for years.

 

Half a decade sober.

Not a real long time.

That’s how long I’m clean tho’,

My life’s becoming mine.

 

The winds of war are blowing by;

In history books they last.

I’m in the winter of my years,

My best days…they have passed.

 

The one thing that I’ve never done

One thing I cannot face:

To visit the Memorial,

The headstone for that place.

 

My daughter said, “You have to go,

To honor those who died!”

I said I know I should…

But that I’d go…I lied

 

Then one day the phone rang;

A call I knew I’d dread.

It was Donny’s sister,

“Please help me!” Karen pled.

 

“I’ve spent these years just searching

I even hired a sleuth.

I finally found out where you live…

I need to know the truth.”

 

“The Army’s always been real vague,

And their answers never matched.

I need to know what happened;

They always seemed detached”

 

“Our Mother has passed on now,

But I still need to know;

I’d really love to meet with you,

Please…just show me how!”

 

The hounds of Hell are roused again;

Their howling has re-started.

I force their shrieks out of my mind,

My path, it has been charted

 

Quiet now, you dogs of war!

It’s time for a new quest!
It’s time for me to wrestle you,

And lay your souls to rest!

 

Then I thought the one thing,

A thought I’d never say,
Should I meet her at The Wall,

And put my hounds at bay?

 

I finally said I’d meet with her,

With a voice that was not mine.

“The Wall is where I’ll meet you.

I’ll see you there at nine.”

 

I saw flowers in her hand,

As she walked my way.

“Yellow roses were his favorite.”

Later she would say.

“Hello, my name is Karen.”

She said when we did meet

“Donny wrote me many things,

I knew that you’d be sweet!”

 

“I know this must be hard for you,

But I really need to know.

Please tell me how my brother died,

That day, so long ago.”

 

The moment had arrived.

I could hide this fact no more.

I said things I’d kept hidden,

Behind my mind’s locked door

 

She took my hand in hers,

And waited patiently.

My head bowed down as I thought

Of words I had to say.

 

I knew my words would stab her heart

But she would not look away.

She watched me as I told her

Of that ghastly day.

 

“Your Brother died in my arms,

In that nameless place.

He took the bullets meant for me

And died as we embraced!”

 

Her head dropped down, when I was done

Her chin upon her chest.

A single tear rolled down her cheek,

“Now Donny’s laid to rest.”

 

I walked with her as she made her way

To the Wall of Stone.

She laid the flowers at the base

Her silent prayer was sown.

 

At last I’ve honored those who fell,

Whose names are etched in rows.

We touched the name of Donny,

Who died so long ago.

 

And we cried…

 

The Eagle’s cry is heard again;

It lives within the Wall!

Each time a name is touched

The Eagle gives his call.

 

 

© Richard Turton

 

warmemorial wall

 

Note from Juliette:

I met Rick Turton through his son who was my daughter’s 4th grade teacher. Rick joined a writing group I’m an administrator for.  We all soon discovered Rick is a talented writer and a man with a sharp sense of humor.  When I first read this poem I had no idea … I ended up choked up. A few years ago I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. It was such a moving experience – a difficult experience – even though the war is long over. For many it will never be over. Thank you to Rick for your words of love and honor and for allowing me to share this poem.

 

You wait at my door

You Wait At My Door

 

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

oscar-the-cat

 

 

 

 

Inspire (it isn’t a dirty word)

In my home I have a wall of bookshelves. Don’t we all. There are also more books scattered all over the house on other shelves as well. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from film maker John Waters, ““If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”

John Waters also said, “It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.”

But back to what I was looking for. I was looking for a book about California art, but ended up on the other side of the wall looking at poetry and literature.

Then something in my mind just shattered. It was my current WIP (work in progress.) The structure is there but there had to be more. The characters need to care more about each other.

So there you have it.

Over the years, and I’ve been over quite a few, we adults find that things like work (jobs), school, judgmental friends and relatives, and society in general has totally beaten any inspiration and creativity out of us. Or at least they try damned hard to.

I never understood the disdain some people have for creativity, change, innovation, and inspiration. The artist is revered but damned if anyone wants to study art. The writer is mocked as a quaint hobbiest. The inventor is mocked with the mythical idea of the man who would rather spend his life inventing a better apple peeler, or mouse trap than feeding his children.

My advice to my children, and anyone else who finds everyone around them is trying to suck every bit of inspiration out of them, is don’t listen to them. Shut out those who say no. Shut out those who make condescending remarks. Shut out those who say your creativity, be in art, music, writing, or even science, is a waste of time. Shut them out. Make them more of a pariah than they want to make you.

Inspiration isn’t just some stupid workplace poster that usually insults rather than inspires.

Inspiration can come in any form. It can be love. It can be acorns that have fallen on your car. One idea inspires an entirely different idea out of nowhere. Just go with it. Don’t think about it too much. Just don’t listen to the assholes. They don’t want you to be inspired. Being inspired makes you dangerous. That is a good thing.

I also tell my kids that if they’re around those who are boorish and lack imagination, and lack empathy, and want to be jerks, to just keep their ideas to themselves. You don’t have to share your world with assholes.

Creativity doesn’t have to be monetized either. Don’t ever forget that. 

And when you’re young, and even if you’re not, it is OK to just move on.

Let yourself shine, even if it is just on the inside. Have satisfaction knowing that you aren’t like them.

Then share with those who care, and understand, and those who feel safe sharing their ideas with you as well. Yes, know you can always be inspired by listing to others. Your story is wonderful, but it isn’t the only story. Don’t shut others out.

In the meantime, since I’ve turned this post into a vent rather than what I was going to write (don’t mind me, I have other things to share so just move on to the items below.)

I recommend you check out the books below. These are four of the books that distracted me and got me thinking about other things. They are by two authors I admire and respect. I am honored to consider both friends.

They both have a reverence for words, and actually see the world around them. They’re observers of life, and love, and everything.

You might be inspired. You never know.

Sack Nasty
Prison Poetry by Ra Avis

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Dinosaur Hearted
By Ra Avis

dinosaurheartedcover

Centripetal Force and Other Stories
By Jon Obermeyer

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Wingspan
By John Obermeyer

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One last quote. This is something we don’t say often enough to each other.

You are loved.
~ Ra Avis

heart-kittens

For those looking more for the Vampire side of things, I understand Vlad will be back soon with mire diary entries.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Cat (and other bad poetry)

Winter Cat
A poem

Cold
Frigid air
Can’t compare
To the stare
Of my cat
“Where you at?”
Wanting me
To fill her bowl
Hollow soul
Teeth and claws
Hidden underneath
Soft calico
Fur of an angel
Demon of my home
And hearth
Then after she eats
She will barf.

 

Red Moon

I missed the
Eclipse
The red moon
Due to rain.
I heard the
Werewolves
Cry in the night
Missing their
Moment
All covered in fur
And no place
To go.

 

Smelter Skelter
or
Something is Fishy in Denmark

Oh smelter
Skelter
Tiny fish
Of Silver Scales
Too small
To be whales
But dry them out
Salt em up
And package them
In bales
Add them to your
Soup
Your stir fry
And your goop
Chicken coop
Feed them up
Salty eggs
Yup yup yup
Rooster Crows
Orange glows
Atomic bombs
Where’s it from?
Far away in a secret land
Come on boys
Give me a hand
Cut off heads
Cut off balls
Cut off feet
Kill them all
Eat their spleens
Snack in between
Their hearts
And their farts
Show your smarts
Tuna sammich
Wish I was rich
I’d eat sushi
Till I die
With pearls and gold
Gray and old
Throw me in a coffin
We’ll all be laughing (rhyme it with coffin)
Fill us up with chemicals
So we won’t rot or grow
Tentacles
Like an octopus
Mr. Cephalopod
With all those legs
You sure look odd
Just like the smelt
All small and silver
Eat up up with Ranch dip
Gluten free
Super hip.
Yep.

 

My House

My house
Was built
On River
Rocks
My dryer vents
Are full
Of socks
The ghosts
Are kept inside
With locks
They dance
At night
In tattered
Frocks
The sheep
Outside
Live in
Flocks
Watch out
For the Fox
Hide in a box
Eat lox
Dance to
The moon
And don’t
Wear Crocks.
Because Crocks
Are
Ugly.

 

Feed Me Not

He served me
Anchovy pie,
Baked sheep eye,
Nut crusted cat spleen,
Rats in a soup tureen,
Chili pie without a bean
Or a Freeto
And no dips
Just snot ball chips,
Hoof jelly
Kind of smelly,
A casserole
Of duck asshole,
A huge skewer
Of mystery meat
That smelled of
Nasty gym sock feet.
I told him that
I’d had my dinner.
I was on a diet
And getting thinner.
I would not eat
His vile cooking
No matter if he
Was real good looking.
I need a man
Who knows his kitchen
Cause I don’t want
To spend my life
Bitchin.

 

Schrödinger Cat
A Poem

I am a cat
Of tabby fur
The past few days
Have been a blur
The man who
Thinks he knows
Physics
Doesn’t know
What
A cat tongue lick is.
The fucker put me
In a box
Then went out
To dine on lox
He ate some rolls
A sausage too
A pint of beer
Roast Kangaroo
Some gummy worms
No fear of germs
He ate it all
On his terms.
Then after that
He went shopping
For hats and gloves
His buttons popping.
I hate that fat fuck
Just my luck
Left in that box
And now I’m stuck.
But he came home
That Austrian Fellow
I knew that I’d
Pee his house yellow.
He said “Dear Cat,
are you alive?
Perhaps you’re dead,
For I hear no cry.
No faint meow,
For physics sake
No kitten purrs
My heart does quake.
He shook the box
THEN
Opened my prison
I jumped out
And sprayed him
Like a proud cat I is.
I peed on his pants
And his favorite chair
I scratched his face
And pulled his hair
I clawed his
Jacket and favorite chair
I was not dead
But everywhere.
Do not contain
Your cat for hours
Unless you want
Cat piss showers.
Treat your cat
Like family
Or you will
Forever
Smell
Like
Pee.

 

T Rex

I want a
T Rex
To play
And keep
The coyotes
Away
Small arms
No big deal
When driving
It can hold the wheel
It can take
My dog
To the park
It will eat
Monsters
In the dark
It will
Brush my
Cats for me
And jump over
The fence
When it has
To pee
A Rex
Will meet my
Needs
To a Tee
T Rex is
The perfect
Assistant for
Me.
Oh reptile
Giant
With giant teeth
I’ll rub your
Belly
Underneath
Scare the
Bad guys
Who might rob
My house
Make them cry
Roar.
Love ya big guy.

 

Have fun,

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman