The living roses are now gone
both of them.
The world sings a more sad song
No more blossoms come
to cheer and light the day.
No sweet scent to guide the way
In their place two angels sing
Peace to those who loved them bring.
He sat in the garden where, so long ago, she brought him to tell of how she and her mother had tended this place and how beautiful it had been. There were tears of remembrance as she recounted how they had, each springtime, cleared, planted and nurtured the flowers…, and the love they shared for each other…, and how much she missed the warmth of her mother’s tender and sheltering care. He looked around him at the weeds and overgrowth, and after hearing her, he began to understand how much love had been alive in this place, resolved that it would once again be a tribute to the two women who had shared so much here.
She would be away for a couple of days now, plenty of time for all to be accomplished. He brought out the tools and implements he needed from the shed and began by cutting everything to the ground. All would need to be replaced, even the roses whose canes had died. He had finished by noon and had gone to the nursery to look for flowers. He selected everblooming roses, red ones with large, full blossoms, then a collage of annual and perennial color to complete the vision she had described. By early afternoon the next day it was finished and he was satisfied. He scrubbed and polished the marble bench that was at the end of the walkway in the middle of the plantings, turned and walked back to the house to wait for her return.
Around five o’clock he heard her car in the driveway but was puzzled when she didn’t come into the house. Looking out the front window, he saw her sitting on the bench among the flowers. After a while she came into the house and took him by the hand and led him back out to the garden. She looked up into his eyes and said, “Love is growing here once again…”
The garden, the roses, both of them, the marble bench are all gone now, but not the love that lived there. That is forever.
To all my wonderful friends…
May the blessings of the day follow you wherever you are
and wherever you go, for as long as you may live.
New computers are the pits !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trying to transition from Vista to Win 8 is a real pain !
I’ll be getting back to everyone as soon as I figure this dXXX thing out.
Computer crashed. Will be back soon as its fixed.
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
This speaks so eloquently of the feelings of a generation of soldiers, sailors, and airmen who witnessed the atrocity of this war. It aptly describes the private hell that lives in us and the memories that, while somewhat faded with time, still haunt us in the lonely late night hours. After witnessing this there could be no return to the innocence of life before it. Young men, instantly old, or maimed and old, or dead. There are those who would not admit it, but we all lost parts, important parts of our lives over there, be it the friends who died there, or something of us that died there. As you read this, please take time to honor the men and women who have served this country in the past, serving it in the now, and those who willl serve in the future. Reassure them that their sacrifice is worth the price they pay.