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Archive for June, 2017

SONY DSC

This paper before me is worth more than gold,
Than all of the stocks that are bought and are sold.
It is not a map where an X marks the treasure
Nor is it a ticket to life’s greatest pleasure.
It is not a sketch by Picasso, van Gogh,
Nor numbers that won the world’s richest Lotto.
I have that which gives me more than the world’s wealth:
My doctor just gave me a clean bill of health.

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photo by Marcelo Mokrejs at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/misbtmE/Money+series+4

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

 

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We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul would dare to sleep, –
It was midnight on the waters
And a storm was on the deep. 

‘Tis a fearful thing in winter
To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder, “Cut away the mast!” 

So we shuddered there in silence, –
For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,
And the breakers talked with Death. 

As thus we sat in darkness,
Each one busy in his prayers,
“We are lost!” the captain shouted
As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,
As she took his icy hand,
“Isn’t God upon the ocean
Just the same as on the land?” 

Then we kissed the little maiden,
And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear.

 

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Cherry tomato


You, I say:
One po-tay-toe. Two,
Po-tah-tah.

You, I say:
One to-may-toe. Two,
To-mah-tah.

Ordering,
You say steak; I say
Hamburger.

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photo by scolpix (Sophie) at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/dKKakg/Cherry+tomato+1

* 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 Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
That thou consum’st thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow, and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind
When every private widow well may keep,
By children’s eyes, her husband’s shape in mind.
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unus’d, the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murd’rous shame commits.

 

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oRxvtji

My body tells me that I am,
With ev’ry ache and pain.
It wants to tell me to be bound
To bed, by Time’s long chain. 

But all the signals are denied
By the essential me,
Which says it simply isn’t true
That I am seventy.

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photo by Prawny at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/oRxvtji/Happy+Birthday

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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22317760495_f014d0ef4d_o

smoky waterfall

I walked the narrow mountain trail
At first both up and down
Until I reached what seemed to be
The Smoky mountain’s crown.

And there, I paused upon the path
And looked out through the trees
To see the low slopes stretching out
In Autumn’s careless ease.

And then the hike was not as dear;
I ambled down the slope,
Pulled by the mountain’s own descent,
By gravity’s veiled rope.

I walked upon a rug of leaves
That, plastered by a rain,
Was Autumn’s decoupage of tints
Upon my traveled vein.

A tree had fallen ‘cross the way,
A trunk too big to climb.
On hands and knees I scuttled ‘neath,
Like snails slide through the slime.

I’d gone so far without a sign
I started to despair
Of ever finding what I sought –
The treasure that was rare.

More than a few times, turning back
Seemed what might be the best
And sacrifice what I had spent
In failing Smoky’s test.

I made a vow – a few more yards
Down and around the trail.
And there! – a place that matched my map!
I’d found my holy grail!

I clambered down the trail of rocks,
At times on hands and knees,
And at the bottom of the path –
The spot of pleasantries

That I had bought with energy –
A lonely waterfall,
A modest one that hid itself
Away from almost all.

I marveled at its majesty,
And mumbled to myself
As threads of silver water silk
Fell tumbling from a shelf.

Then, pictures taken in my mind
And in my camera, too,
I packed my gear and took my leave
For I had work to do.

That long descent, that downward glide
That ate away at time
Was now a mountain up above
That I would have to climb.

With weariness, I took my steps.
No longer did I stride.
And in the silence of the slope,
My age was amplified.

I warmed and shed my early coat,
Like trees had shed their leaves,
Like workers start their laboring
By rolling up their sleeves.

And toil I did, with trudging steps
That were both short and slow,
With frequent stops to catch my breath
For I had far to go.

I guessed two thousand steps would take
Me to the rest I sought.
I counted each so that my mind
With pain was not distraught.

I knew that predators would oft
Stalk, following the weak.
And if a bear was trolling me
I would surrender, meek.

I was the old man, and my sea
Rose o’er me as a slope
That I must conquer or be lost
Alone, and without hope.

I took two thousand steps and more;
Came to a mind-marked place.
Adrenalin seeped to my flesh,
And I, as snail, could race

The thousand steps it took to end
My private odyssey,
Where I could sit in weariness
While basking blissfully.

The precious jewel that I had found
Would never make me rich.
And present satisfaction would
Not stop a future itch.

But such things filed within the heart
When man’s done something fine,
Are treasured nuggets in one’s life
Like gold within a mine.

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The photos are mine: one is the trail I took with its obstacle.
The second is that secluded waterfall.

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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(For the inauguration of the statue of
Governor Andrew Bingham, October 7, 1875)
 

Behold the shape our eyes have known!
It lives once more in changeless stone;
So looked in mortal face and form
Our guide through peril’s deadly storm. 

But hushed the beating heart we knew,
That heart so tender, brave, and true,
Even as the rooted mountain rock,
Pure as the quarry’s whitest block! 

Not his beneath the blood-red star
To win the soldier’s envied scar;
Unarmed he battled for the right,
In Duty’s never-ending fight. 

Unconquered will, unslumbering eye,
Faith such as bids the martyr die,
The prophet’s glance, the master’s hand
To mould the work his foresight planned, 

These were his gifts; what Heaven had lent;
For justice, mercy, truth, he spent,
First to avenge the traitorous blow,
And first to lift the vanquished foe. 

Lo, thus he stood; in danger’s strait
The pilot of the Pilgrim State!
Too large his fame for her alone, –
A nation claims him as her own!

 

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nZjKOpI

First – you’re fired!
Second – worse than first.
Last – finished.

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photo by Michal and Christa Richert
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nZjKOpI/three+kinds+of+bricks

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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 Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the Northwest died away;
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay;
Bluish ‘mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay;
In the dimmest Northeast distance dawned Gibraltar grand and gray;
“Here and here did England help me; how can I help England?” – say,
Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray,
While Jove’s planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.

 

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mEHj99M

I saw you crawl before you e’er saw me;
You were a black spot on my green grass sea.
And I admit that cold ran down my spine
Like cooling sweat runs down a hurried line.
But you must say that you were startled, too.
For as I came across the morning dew,
You raised two legs to frighten me away
Like horses rear, and at the blue sky flay.
To you, Goliath did seem ominous,
And so you quickly raised your fearsome fuss.
Unlike those horses pawing at the air,
You paused because you had six legs to spare.
And now we face each other.  It’s a draw,
With me deliberating; you in awe.

You pose a problem for me, I confess.
You are no threat, but I can curse or bless.
The answer I suppose is in your eight
Black hairy scary legs that stand and wait.
I do not want you at my door some night
So that I’m startled with another fright.
But more than my male ego and my fear
Is the concern of females living here
O’er ev’ry creepy crawly spider thing,
O’er any critter that may bite or sting.
But I assure you that they’re yet to know
That you so near to them this morning go.
And that is my dilemma presently:
Should I blot out a problem that I see
That poses no real problem now for me
But merely has a dark capacity?

So why not this – a deal twixt spider, man,
That you crawl off as quick as eight legs can?

You moved! and now your two raised legs are down.
And on your eight-eyed forehead there’s no frown.
I’ll take that for your answer.  Off you go!
My lips are sealed.  I won’t let others know.

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photo is by Phil Edon at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mEHj99M/Tarantula

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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