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Archive for April, 2012

Windshield Wipers

Windshield Wipers (Photo credit: shannylynne)

Sonnet 19 – Fog Weeps

Fog weeps against my windshield as I drive;
It knows it is a wisp, a passing mist
That comes on suddenly but can’t survive
For long, past when the sun this earth has kissed.

We weigh its time against the length of day,
And find it transitory, short in span.
It is the sun that lasts, that rules, holds sway,
As fog morosely packs its caravan.

I weigh my years against the centuries,
And find I barely tip the cosmic scale.
I feel the sun, the heated, speeding breeze,
And sense the brevity of life, and wail.

I weep upon the windshield of the world;
I am a moment’s mist against it hurled.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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                         Griggsby’s Station

Pap’s got his patent-right, and rich as all creation;
But where’s the peace and comfort that we all had before?
Le’s go a-visitin’ back to Griggsby’s Station –
Back where we ust to be so happy and so pore!

The likes of us a-livin’ here!  It’s jes’ a mortal pity
To see us inthis great bigt house, with cyarpets on the stairs,
And the pump right in the kitchen! And the city! city! city! –
And nothin’ but the city all around us ever’-wheres!

Climb clean above the roof and look from the steeple,
And never see a robin, nor a beech or ellum tree!
And right here in ear-shot of at least a thousan’ people,
And none that neighbors with us or we want to go and see!

Le’s go a-visitin’ back to Griggsby’s Station –
Back where the latch-string’s a-hangin’ from the door,
And ever’ neighbor round the place is dear as a relation –
Back where we ust to be so happy and so pore!

I want to see the Wiggenses, the whole kit-and-bilin’,
A-driven’ up from Shallor Ford to stay the Sunday through;
And I want to see ‘em hitchin’ at their son-in-law’s and pilin’
Out there at ‘Lizy Ellen’s like they ust to do!

I want to see the piece-quilts the Jones girls is makin’;
And I want to pester Laury ‘bout their freckled hired hand,
And joke her ’bout the widower she come purt’ nigh a-takin’,
Till her Pap got his pension ‘lowed in time to save his land.

Le’s go a-visitin’ back to Griggsby’s Station –
Back where they’s nothin’ aggervatin’ any more,
Shet away safe in the woods around the old location –
Back where we ust to be so happy and so pore!

I want to see Marindy and he’p her with her sewin’,
And hear her talk so lovin’ of her man that’s dead and gone,
And stand up with Emanuel to show me how he’s growin’,
And smile as I have saw her ‘fore she putt her mournin’ on.

And I want to see the Samples, on the old lower eighty,
Where John, our oldest boy, he was tuk and buried – for
His own sake and Katy’s, – and I want to cry with Katy
As she reads all his letters over, writ from The War.

What’s in all this grand life and high situation,
And nary pink nor hollyhawk a-bloomin’ at the door? –
Le’s go a-visitin’ back to Griggsby’s Station –
Back where we ust to be so happy and so pore!

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Kentucky Fried Chicken's breadless chicken &qu...

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s breadless chicken “sandwich,” composed of 2 fried chicken filets, bacon, pepper Jack cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

KFC
Closed! Did the Colonel
Fly the coop?

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The owner
Didn’t pay taxes;
Chickened out.

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No wedges!
No Double Down! I’m
Doubly down.

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Town’s a loss;
I may have to move,
To take wing.

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photo by Michael Saechang

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed:     https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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             The Knight’s Tomb

Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O’Kellyn?
Where may the grave of that good man be? –
By the side of the spring, on the breast of Helvellyn,
Under the twigs of a young birch tree!
The oak that in summer was sweet to hear,
And rustled its leaves in the fall of the year,
And whistled and roared in the winter alone,
Is gone, – and the birch in its stead is grown. –
The Knight’s bones are dust,
And his good sword rust; –
His soul is with the saints, I trust.

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Forget-me-not

Forget-me-not (Photo credit: Sir_Iwan)

          Some Spring Day

One by one, we’re planted in
Our cemetery plots,
By careful hands and quaking hearts –
Beloved forget-me-nots.

Our sleep – long, deep, while others are
Still toiling like the bees,
Collecting nectar day by day,
And playing in the breeze.

They bring fresh flowers to our graves
To brighten up our room,
As if to give example so
We just might dare to bloom.

And thus we will, on some spring day,
Like seeds begin to sprout;
We’ll burst forth from our flower beds,
When beckoned by a shout.

And on that cold or sunny day,
Will we be wheat or weed?
Will our swift rise be a surprise?
What is our kind of seed?

Not chance our lot, but charted course
For, in our lives we chose
To be what seed is planted here –
A bramble or a rose.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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I occasionally publish a post with a link to some of my earlier poems. These
three were posted when manyof you weren’t subscribing to my blog. I
thought you might want to read these as well. However, since some may
have read them already, I’ll try to give a description and/or enough
of the beginning lines that perhaps you can recognize the poem. That way,
you won’t have to read it again – unless you want to.

Fourth Of July In Calcutta

If in Calcutta slum and street,
The cast-off castes could view
Our contests where the warriors eat,
What would they say or do?

The gladiators, glass in hand
To wash without a taste,…

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/fourth-of-july-in-calcutta-by-dennis-lange/

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Points Of View

It seems our godless land is cursed
By drought; my yard cries out in thirst.
The lawn is like a mottled skin
Shed by a reptile, dry and thin.

The water, scarce, is rationed here,
And only gold is held as dear…

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/points-of-view-by-dennis-lange/

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The Land Of Never Ending

In the land of never ending,
In the country far away,
There are loved ones who are waiting
For the end of night and day.

In the land of ever always,
Where the river never dries…

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-land-of-never-ending-by-dennis-lange/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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Portrait of Lucrezia (di Cosimo) de' Medici at...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My Last Duchess

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive.  I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will ‘t please you sit and look at her? I said
‘Fra Pandolf’ by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus, Sir, ‘twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say, ‘Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,’ or ‘Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat: ‘such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy.  She had
A heart – how shall I say? – too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ‘twas all one!  My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace – all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least.  She thanked men, – good! but thanked
Somehow – I know not how – as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift.  Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling?  Even had you skill
In speech – (which I have not) – to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, ‘Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark’ – and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and make excuse,
– E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop.  Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile?  This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together.  There she stands
As if alive.  Will ‘t please you rise?  We’ll meet
The company below, then.  I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
In ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object.  Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir.  Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

 

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Mmm... ham 'n eggs

Mmm… ham ‘n eggs (Photo credit: jeffreyw)

Pig, chicken,
Sat down for breakfast –
Ham and eggs.

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Pig, chicken,
One rose from breakfast –
Laid more eggs.

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Said chicken,
“Let’s do it again.”
No answer.

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The three haiku are based upon the old story that follows:
A pig and a chicken were walking along one morning and the pig said, “I’m hungry.  How about breakfast?  Cereal sounds good.”
The chicken said, “No, I want ham and eggs.”
The pig thought a moment and replied, “No, ham and eggs wouldn’t be good.”
The chicken said, “Why not?  What’s wrong with ham and eggs?”
The pig replied, “For you, it would only mean a contribution.  For me, it would mean total commitment.”

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
    The thunders breaking at her feet;
 Above her shook the starry lights;
    She heard the torrents meet.

There in her place she did rejoice,
    Self-gathered in her prophet-mind,
 But fragments of her mighty voice
    Came rolling on the wind.

Grave mother of majestic works,
    From her isle-altar gazing down,
 Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
    And, King-like, wears the crown:

Her open eyes desire the truth.
    The wisdom of a thousand years 
Is in them.  May perpetuate youth
    Keep dry their light from tears;

That her fair form may stand and shine,
    Make bright our days and light our dreams,
 Turning to scorn with lips divine
    The falsehood of extremes!

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Everest, Nepal

Everest, Nepal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What tender touch formed butterflies
   And rosy petals drenched with dew?         
What artist painted morning skies,         
   Composed, carved, sketched, sculpted, and drew?

The same arm flung the stars like sand;          
   His shoulders thrust up Everest.         
A word, mere word – sun’s flame was fanned;          
   Sequoias, beasts - and earth was dressed.

Soft rabbit’s fur, rough rhino’s hide;          
   Wee hummingbird; giant dinosaur;     
The same hand made the hawk to glide           
   That made the mighty ocean roar.        

Twas One created great and small,                                             
   He with a fist and tender touch -                    
The God of wrath who’ll judge us all            
   The God of love we love so much.

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photo by r hyland

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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