Archive for December, 2015

Forgiveness is the patch to bind
A breach that one won’t bring to mind.
For such forgiveness must involve
Forgetfulness, or it won’t solve
A brokenness between two friends
E’en though the one repents of sins. 

Forgiveness plus remembering
(Not passing thought, but lingering)
Is nothing but a thin veneer
O’er rust that will soon reappear.
For each long visit to the sore
To pick the scab and moan some more
Brings back emotions of the past
Into the present, where they last
As long as they did at the first,
Or even longer, and they burst
Like boils erupt, or simmering
As coals of anger, sullenly. 

Turn loose! Let go! the rottenness
That would ooze back and make a mess
Of Now, and what is precious yet.
When you forgive, also forget.



© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.



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There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium’s capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o’er fair women and brave men.
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell! 

Did ye not hear it? – No; ‘twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o’er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet,
But hark! – that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before;
Arm! arm! it is – it is – the cannon’s opening roar! 

Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick’s fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with death’s prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell;
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell. 

Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which, but an hour ago,
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness.
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne’er might be repeated; who would guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise! 

And there were mounting in hot haste; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder, peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips – “The foe! they come! they come!


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Sudden fear:
Open a barn door,
Owl flies out

Over head!
So startled, the thought,
“What?! Who?! Whooo.


photo by Jay Simmons at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/ohwmR6M/owl


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

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed:


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players upon a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and clam,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls
Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her shape with eager, passionate gaze;
But looking at her falsely-smiling face,
I knew her self was not in that strange place.


An oral reading of the poem (52 seconds) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXaFOdfd1R4

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I came to see the doctor and was told, “He’s running late.”
The reading fare was magazines for women as they wait.
Was this a gynecologist or were men second-rate?
I felt I was a sparrow looking for a speck to eat.
I wish I’d brought my book to read; I knew that it’s a treat.
The Civil War had frills and pink in ev’ry which way beat.

A man went to the window after I’d been there some time.
(‘Twas feeling a bit sorry for myself as if a crime
I’d done and now was jailed, no lawyer and no dime.)
He first was given papers, then decided not to stay,
And turned them back and told the nurse he had to go away.
He mentioned who he was; she said she’d go and say.

And after just a little bit, the fellow jumped the line;
The place he took without a place was that place that was mine!
Without my extra hour wait, that might have been just fine.
Then fifteen minutes more and out the door the prep nurse came
And after all that time I’d spent, I finally heard my name.
It seemed to me that I’d been called for golden Oscar fame.

And as she led me back to yet another waiting room
We passed doc and the jumping toad – talk, talk in hallway’s gloom.
I waited half an hour more within an inner tomb.
When finally he entered, my year’s happiness was nil.
He said accept apology, all day had been uphill.
I looked him in the eye and said, “I don’t think that I will.”


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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God is a distant – Stately Lover –
Woos, as He states us – by His Son –
Verily, a Vicarious Courtship –
“Miles”, and “Priscilla”, were such an One – 

But, lest the Soul – like fair “Priscilla”
Choose the Envoy – and spurn the Groom –
Vouches, with hyperbolic archness –
“Miles”, and “John Alden” were Synonym –


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Grant’s Memorial,
But not Grant.

Nearby, pictures Grant
Sitting calmly.


photo by Nicolas Raymond at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nBfrAYS/Grant+Cavalry+Memorial


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

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed:


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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The rain sounds like a laugh to me –
A low laugh poured out limpidly.

My very soul smiles as I listen to
The low, mysterious laughter of the rain,
Poured musically over heart and brain
Till sodden care, soaked with it through and through,
Sinks; and, with wings wet with it as with dew,
My spirit flutters up, with every stain
Rinsed from its plumage, and as white again
As when the old laugh of the rain was new,
Then laugh on, happy Rain! laugh louder yet! –
Laugh out in torrent-bursts of watery mirth;
Unlock thy lips of purple cloud, and let
Thy liquid merriment baptize the earth,
And wash the sad face of the world, and set
The universe to music dripping-wet!

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Though gone its symmetry
For our utility,
With Kilmer we agree. 

Thus, beauty’s left to see. 

There’s still a majesty
E’en in a semi-tree.


The photo is mine.



© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.






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Now, George the third rules not alone,
For George the vandal shares the throne,
True flesh of flesh and bone of bone.

God save us from the fangs of both;
Or, one a vandal, one a goth,
May roast or boil us into froth.

Like danes, of old, their fleet they man
And rove from Beersheba to Dan,
To burn, and beard us – where they can.

They say, at George the fourth’s command
This vagrant host were sent, to land
And leave in every house – a brand.

An idiot only would require
Such war – the worst they could desire –
The felon’s war – the war of fire.

The warfare, now, th’ invaders make
Must surely keep us all awake,
Or life is lost for freedom’s sake.

They said to Cockburn, “honest Cock!
To make a noise and give a shock
Push off, and burn their navy dock:

“Their capitol shall be emblazed!
How will the buckskins stand amazed,
And curse the day its walls were raised!”

Six thousand heroes disembark –
Each left at night his floating ark
And Washington was made their mark.

That few would fight them – few or none –
Was by their leaders clearly shown –
And “down,” they said, “with Madam!

How close they crept along the shore!
As closely as if Rodgers saw her –
A frigate to a seventy-four.

A veteran host, by veterans led,
With Ross and Cockburn at their head –
They came – they saw – they burnt – and fled.

But not unpunish’d they retired;
They something paid, for all they fired,
In soldiers kill’d, and chiefs expired.

Five hundred veterans bit the dust,
Who came, inflamed with lucre’s lust –
And so they waste – and so they must.

They left our congress naked walls –
Farewell to towers and capitols!
To lofty roofs and splendid halls!

To courtly domes and glittering things,
To folly, that too near us clings,
To courtiers who – tis well – had wings.

Farewell to all but glorious war,
Which yet shall guard Potomac’s shore,
And honor lost, and fame restore.

To conquer armies in the field
Was, once, the surest method held
To make a hostile country yield.

The mode is this, now acted on;
In conflagrating Washington,
They held our independence gone!

Supposing George’s house at Kew
Were burnt, (as we intend to do,)
Would that be burning England too?

Supposing, near the silver Thames
We laid in ashes their saint James,
Or Blenheim palace wrapt in flames;

Made Hampton Court to fire a prey,
And meanly, then, to sneak away,
And never ask them what’s to pay?

Would that be conquering London town?
Would that subvert the English throne,
Or bring the royal system down?

With all their glare of guards or guns,
How would they look like simpletons,
And not at all the lion’s sons!

Supposing, then, we take our turn
And make it public law, to burn,
Would not old English honor spurn

At such a mean insidious plan
Which only suits some savage clan –
And surely not – the English man!

A doctrine has prevail’d too long,
A king, they hold, can do no wrong
Merely a pitch-fork, wthout prong:

But de’il may trust such doctrines, more, –
One king, that wrong’d us, long before,
Has wrongs, by hundreds, yet in store.

He wrong’d us forty years ago;
He wrongs us yet, we surely know;
He’ll wrong us till he gets a blow.

That, with a vengeance, will repay
The mischiefs we lament this day,
This burning, damn’d, infernal play;

Will send one city to the sky,
Its buildings low and buildings high,
And buildings – built the lord knows why;

Will give him an eternal check
That breaks his heart or breaks his neck,
And plants our standard on QUEBEC.

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