The Eagle Cried

I’m honored to share a poem from my friend, Northern California writer, and Vietnam Vet, 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.

A Faint Smile

He turned to her

A faint smile

With depth

And sharpness

Yet when he turned

It was as if

He was only

An image

In a daguerreotype

A ghost within

The confines

Of a photograph

A metal plate

Yet there

He sat in

My big wingback chair

A ghost

Just a ghost

With a faint smile

Then a wink

That knew

What I was thinking.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Full Moon Brings On A Party

Full moon

Brings on a party

In half lit oak woods

Possums and owls

Look for the same

Shadows

With different purpose.

Full moon

Brings on a party

Of ghosts of

Regret and remorse

Lost loves

Searching

For the light they’ll .

Never see.

Full moon

Brings on a party

Of wolves

Who only hours ago

Were human lovers

Whispering in

Each other’s ears

Plans of romance

And hopes of love

Forever without doubt.

Full moon

Brings on a party

Yet I shall stay inside

With my book

My wine

My cat

And the man I love

Behind locked doors

To keep out

Human kind.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A need you dare not admit.

A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.

People won’t admit they read poetry and are moved by it…but late at night they go on the Internet and search it out. It is like pornography. I’m dead serious (no pun intended). It is a need that most people will not dare admit to.

It isn’t a good time for me to expound upon the history of poetry or what caused the American population (among others) claim not to like poets. But I would like to remind everyone, especially those of us who can remember the past several centuries that there was a time that poets were the Rock Stars of our culture.

Sometimes I pull out my old volumes of favorites and read in the quiet of the night or on a rain soaked day. In turn, I also look for the new. I marvel at the many voices I see with poetry on the Internet.

Part of me believes technology with recorded music, radio, TV etc maybe brought an end to the poet as a popular icon. But in turn the Internet, yes the Internet has brought poetry back to life.

I see in the online communities poets being read, not ignored. I don’t read those words online “I don’t like poetry.” I see people who NEVER would read a poem, forwarding poetry to their friends and loved ones.

Poetry is a gift to the soul. Poetry is for everyone. Everyone needs poetry, like a vampire needs blood, like a hawk needs to fly, like a fish needs to swim. I know that wasn’t very poetic but you get the point – I hope.

Your assignment today is to READ, SAVOR and SHARE poetry with someone you love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Poetry, Ghosts, and Vampires

He told me that he loved

The warm breeze on his face

The smell of pine trees

And water on granite

The sounds of nothing but the woods.

Then he vanished

Never to be seen by me again.

He was my best friend,

Falling 

Then gone.

Now I am the Ghost and he is gone to me.

——————-

The Ghost gave me a little bit of a smile with a cold chill that went with it. “I like how you wrote that down for me, all poetic like. You know, my story and your simple words.. You have a talent of making a complicated story simple in sort of a bad free verse way. I like it. The fact that you’re a Vampire doesn’t even figure into it.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment Nigel.” I told my Ghost.

When one lives in the presence of a Ghost you do things for each other, like write down verse and banter about life and death and more so the in-between areas where we exist.

“I’ve really missed him,” said Nigel.

“I know,” I told him, “I know.”

We talked of the woods, rock climbing, long-lost friends, and of course what we’re doing for Halloween. Just like normal folks, then again, this is normal… at least for me. You know, poetry, Ghosts and Vampires.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

First posted here in 2014

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.