Welcome to Melvin’s Epic Poems




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©Damnation and Retaliation

(copyright 2001)


It was 1880.

I was courting my lady,

Who lived in the small, East Texas town.

Her daddy was a preacher.

Her mama was a teacher.

I was surprised they let me come around.


I guess that they liked me

Or, at least, my family,

‘Cause we worked hard everyday on the farm.

I treated their daughter good.

And they knew I never would

Never, ever do her any harm.


We were at church every Sunday,

And back to work every Monday.

The weekdays seemed endless to me.

But by Saturday night

I’m feeling alright,

As my lady I’m riding to see.


We were making big plans

With future demands.

Yes, I think we were falling in love.

I’m a hard working man

And she knows that I’ll stand,

With help from the good Lord, above.


My family worked hard on the land.

We all had calloused hands.

We did the very best we could do.

Until the day the earth shook,

As the horsemen, they took

The lives of the family I knew.


I looked to my right,

As the day went dead quiet,

And I knew that something was wrong.

I could feel it in the air,

As I began to swear,

‘Cause I knew the ride back was too long.


The silence was broken.

Words were shouted, not spoken,

As the edge of the woods came undone.

With guns blazing madly,

They shot my mama and daddy,

Then went after my sister so young.


I saw angels in the yard,

As I rode in hard,

But the devil’s minion brought me to my knees.

They shot me in the head

And left me for dead,

Then they melted back into the trees.


The night gave way

In the middle of the day,

As an inky blackness over my eyes it crept.

There was a face in my mind

That would remain throughout time,

Like the bloodstains on our front porch step.


There was an ugly scar

That closed his eye like a jar.

It was a face I learned quickly to hate.

I knew I’d meet him again one day,

And I’d blow that ugly scar away.

And I’d live every minute for that date.


The sheriff appeared,

But the trail disappeared,

As the posse searched for days in vain.

When the doctor arrived,

I was barely alive,

But deep hatred was feeding my brain.


The crease on my head

Slowly healed as I fed

On the memories that drove me insane.

I wanted to use my freewill

To go out and kill

Every man-jack that was to blame.


The preacher said, “Hear Jesus speak.

He said turn the other cheek.

And you know that’s what your daddy would do.”

But my daddy’s gone.

And I think Jesus is wrong.

And I’ll tell Him that when the killing is through.


But the preacher’s daughter knew what to say.

And she convinced me, I should stay

And not go retaliate.

So time was a seal,

As wounds began to heal,

And we set our wedding date.


Now across the state line,

On Louisiana time,

There was a family in a bit of distress.

Daddy was mad,

‘Cause after all the fun they had,

It seems they had left a witness.


Now, the Deveaux brothers, five,

They were the meanest men alive,

With one exception, so they tell.

There was one man more crazed than ‘em,

And that was the old man that had raised ‘em.

And folks said he was a demon straight from hell.


Daddy Deveaux

Was a deadly foe,

And he never looked back on sin.

He’d kill for a treasure,

Or he’d kill just for pleasure.

His intention was always to win.


He and his five boys

Were the devil’s toys,

And Satan played them with delight.

Then daddy stood up and said,

“This time we make sure he’s dead.”

Daddy’s good eye was as dark as the night.


So they mounted their horses,

And like Tartarean forces,

They rode for the East Texas line

They were hell-bent with fury.

They were judge and jury,

As they tore up the east Texas pines.


I was standing around

With the sheriff in town

Talking ‘bout the weather and land,

When we hear a shout,

As a shot rang out,

And we pulled our guns as we ran.


A man shot at me

And I set him free,

As I put a 45 slug through his heart.

Another fired near my head,

As he shouted and said,

“You’re gonna die for killing my brother, Bart.”


But I decided not to oblige him,

As I took the life from inside him,

And left him lying in a heap on the ground.

I ran down the street

Toward the smoke and the heat,

As my heart in my chest, it did pound.


I heard shots from afar,

But I just didn’t care.

I could feel something worse than wrong.

I saw the family of the preacher

Swallowed up by a creature.

Oh how I wanted to hear that Jesus’ song.


I didn’t understand this gunplay,

Until I saw that scar from far away,

On the face of the man at the preacher’s door.

I was just out of range,

So I ran like a man deranged,

To put a stop to the devil’s ugly whore.


He kicked open the door

and left three dead on the floor,

Then with a grin, said, “Daddy’s home!”

He turned with a swear,

As he saw me standing there,

Then the grin on his face seemed to grow.


As his pistol was raisin’

Mine was already blazin

But there was stone-silence in my head.

Behind this ebbing life,

Lay the preacher and his wife,

And their daughter, my lady, all dead.


No man should pay this price,

Not in his life, twice,

To lose two families, so fair.

I had lost everything.

There was no song to sing.

There was nothing in my chest, now, but air.


Part of me was grieving

And part of me was seething.

I was so numb I had to remember to keep breathing.

But that monster’s heart was still beating,

So I bent down to watch

As the demons were leaving.


Why’d you kill ‘em? I just had to ask.

He opened his mouth with a halfway laugh,

“Because your daddy killed my brother in the war,

And he left me with this mar,”

As he pointed to his scar,

“And me and my boys, well, we just evened the score.”


“But that was war!” I wanted to scream,

But I knew it wouldn’t mean a thing,

Because that lifeless dark eye was, now, staring straight into hell.

My body had a chill

That the Texas heat couldn’t kill.

I was a thirsty man with a dried-up well.


Six men were gone,

But their hatred would live on,

Because hate just never seems to die.

But love is immortal,

It’s God’s gift to mortals,

He gave it with His Son and a sigh.


I picked up my frail lady from the floor,

And carried her through our wedding door.

Before the sun could set, it began to rain.

I buried most of my life in her grave,

Then packed what was left and rode away.

And I never went back there again.



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