Archive for the ‘My Poems’ Category


At Galveston, the Brooklyn saw a ship,
A merchantman? Sent to investigate –
The Hatteras, lest Union blockade’s grip
Be loosened like the shattered ship of state.

The Hatteras gave chase; the sun
Was setting both the sea and sky afire
Until it sank beneath the brine to shun
The same world it had beamed upon as squire.

Into the night, from safety of the day,
The phantom flitted like a butterfly,
Till Union sister ships were far away.
Then stopped, said, “I’m a bee; prepare to die!”

The ship was Alabama from the South.
The Hatteras sank quickly like the sun.
She took the bait till hook was in her mouth,
Then ‘Bama reeled her in and she was done.


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.


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pregnant silhouette

Herr Hitler led the Nazis
To kill six million Jews.
Ukraine was starved by Stalin;
The Times left out that news. 

And Mao? Forty million.
And Leopold just ten.
And Tojo’s tiny numbers
Of five are really thin. 

Gas chambers and the Gulag,
The farms raped of their yields,
Were killing rooms for devils
Like Pol Pot’s killing fields. 

More than did all the monsters
Kill in their bloody quests
Have we in America
Killed while still in their nests. 

Our count? Now sixty million.
And what’s our killing room?
We kill them in their nurs’ry:
We kill them in the womb.


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.



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From where I sit, the wind is getting shrill.
But that is strange, because I look outside
And see the cedars sitting somewhat still,
Their quiet demeanor almost dignified.

Ah! there it is again, a whistle, howl.
My glance is quick; perhaps the cedars move,
But not so much to justify the growl.
The sight I see does not the noise prove.

I put the two together, keep my eyes
Upon the cedar tops thrust up like spears.
A gust then flattens them, to my surprise,
While from the chimney, wind howls for my ears.

Our senses and good sources, hand in hand,
Or ear and eye, join so we understand.

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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The fragile little child, to me,
Some bubble liquid brought,
And looked to me with big brown eyes
So I knew that I ought

Take out the ring all wet with soap
And put it to my face,
And blow my warm breath out upon
That round and sopping space.

And that I did, and bubbles streamed
Like spheres of glist’ning glass
Escaping from their own round world
To new round world more vast.

Her eyes grew round; her smile was wide;
She watched the bubbles fly
Like dandelions upon the wind.
And she helped make them die.

She reached and poked each that she could
And looked around for more.
But Charon had transported them
O’er to the distant shore.

And in that moment when she learned
There were none left to show,
She sank and loosed a little sigh,
A disappointed “ohh”.

I hate to burst your bubble, girl,
But bubbles do not last.
They’re blown into this waiting world
From which they pass so fast.

It is a lesson that you’ll learn
My little bubbly girl:
That soap or glass or human flesh
Has one quick brittle whirl.


photo by coolhewitt23 at


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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Fight today –
What a spat!
Fought like a dog
Tied to a cat. 

Memory’s short.
This morning’s fight –
You said what?
Forgotten by night.


photo by Michal Zacharzewski at


 © Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.


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When moderns say that rhythm’s passed,
And rhyming verse is trite,
What would the great Longfellow say
About that arrow’s flight?

Such talk is like an acid rain
That falls on Dickinson,
And kills her bees and Kilmer’s trees;
Coats Kipling’s dawning sun.

That dart is thrown at Shakespeare, too
And all the masters past
By men who pose as poets when
It’s prose their work is classed.

And so I’ll stand as close I can
To Byron, Coleridge, Keats
I’ll hold their hats or open doors
Or drive them through the streets.

And I’ll not care when prose lines up
In stanzas in pretense,
Or critics cough or prosers scorn
And publishers fold tents.

I cannot ever bothered be
When men my verse oppose.
They praise the naked emperor,
And criticize my clothes.


photo by Jay Simmons at


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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The isle of birds – named Alcatraz:
It perches in the bay.
The birds perch there, a prison, too,
Until men went away.

The nest is there; they’ve flown the coop;
The cells decay, are bare.
But ghosts live where men came and died –
,,,A broken spirits lair.

Hilled San Francisco sits across
A tantalizing stretch
Of water cold and current strong
To tempt the captive wretch.

When free men had their festive fetes,
Their parties New Year’s Eve,
The music and the twitters winged
For celled to hear, receive.

Feared Al Capone, sick, maddened there;
Yes, many went insane.
Machine Gun Kelly said it best –
There’s nothing worth this pain.

There, Creepy Karpis crept on toes,
,,,And one bird studied birds.
He grew “Life” famous – Robert Stroud –
But died without his words.

The isle, the Rock called Alcatraz,
Was hard for hardened men.
The worst knew when they came to roost,
They’d be there till the end.

It was a cage upon the sea
From which men never flew.
All were bird men of Alcatraz
Until they paid their due.


The pictures are mine.  One is a view of Alcatraz from San Francisco.
The pink is a bed of flowers.  The other is a view of San Francisco
from Alcatraz.

*Alcatraz means birds; hence, the Isle of Birds.


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.


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I’m caught in traffic – five o’clock,
And everything is slowed.
The cheetahs now are turtles and
The snails are nailed to the road.

I’m stuck behind the steering wheel
And traffic’s like a clock –
It moves by sound: tick tick tick tick
So slow to go just a block.

I’m sure there’re those who fume and curse
To burn gas sitting still,
And long for home, an easy chair,
And view, like mine, on a hill.

But there’s a way to rise above
This glacier moving slow,
And some are very good at it –
It’s what we all need to know.

It is a way to win the wait
In each and ev’ry que –
Just find a something that you love –
A ship to sail you on through.

Just study people; say a prayer
Play games with all the signs.
There are a million things – and me?
I sailed – I wrote all these lines.


photo by Michal Zacharzewski at


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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The hunters all dressed in their camo
Had jeeps, special food, and much ammo.
In pj’s I’m feeding
An 8-point that’s eating
My corn, and I’m not even Rambo.


*The photo is mine, taken in my front yard.


© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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One’s silence in his pain prevents a friend
From helping with a word or tender hand,
Producing with its hush a broken mend,
A shimmering mirage on desert sand.

Was reason for the reticence his pride?
Are self-sufficiency and bearing up
What cause a ship and sailors to abide,
Or is it when they share the common cup?

Perhaps ‘twas shame that dammed the quiv’ring lip,
That stopped the flow that others might perceive
As weakness, as a man who’s lost his grip.
The aid was lost; chagrin began to thieve.

A brave front o’er a private misery
May fill one’s purpose, but he pays a fee.


photo by Mirna Sentic at


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

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