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Posts Tagged ‘bard on the hill’

george h w bush

No matter if one’s good or bad,
Or simply incompetent,
It takes the same amount of earth
To bury a president. 

But when one’s loved for who he was
E’en more than what he did,
It takes a flood of heart-felt words
Before the body’s hid. 

And so for him whose life is o’er,
They buried him for days –
With earth quick-sprinkled at his grave
But waves of words of praise.

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

 

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We trust and fear, we question and believe,
From life’s dark threads a trembling faith to weave,
Frail as the web that misty night has spun,
Whose dew-gemmed awnings glitter in the sun.
While the calm centuries spell their lessons out,
Each truth we conquer spreads the realm of doubt;
When Sinai’s summit was Jehovah’s throne,
The chosen Prophet knew his voice alone;
When Pilate’s hall that awful question heard,
The Heavenly Captive answered not a word.

Eternal Truth! beyond our hopes and fears
Sweep the vast orbits of thy myriad spheres!
From age to age, while History carves sublime
On her waste rock the flaming curves of time,
How the wild swayings of our planet show
That worlds unseen surround the world we know.

 

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47511510481_788a076ac0_o

The roadsides
Are flower flooded.
Beauty reigns.

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The photo is mine, taken on I-10 west of San Antonio in the Hill Country of Texas.

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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, 2019.

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Earth rais’d up her head,
From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled:
Stony dread!
And her locks cover’d with grey despair.
Prison’d on watry shore
Starry Jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar
Weeping o’er
I hear the Father of the ancient men
Selfish father of men
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear
Can delight
Chain’d in night
The virgins of youth and morning bear.
Does spring hide its joy
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower?
Sow by night?
Or the plowman in darkness plow?
Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around
Selfish! vain!
Eternal bane!
That free Love with bondage bound.

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oYaxpjc

Fat truck, slow truck on the road,
Carrying somebody’s load.
Somehow, some way, I’m behind,
And way around I cannot find.
Will you, turtle, make a way
Hare may pass and speed away?

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photo by Cactus1 at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/oYaxpjc/Big+Trailer

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

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Brown lived at such a lofty farm
That everyone for miles could see
His lantern when he did his chores
In winter after half-past three.

And many must have seen him make
His wild descent from there one night,
‘Cross lots, ‘cross walls, ‘cross everything,
Describing rings of lantern light.

Between the house and barn the gale
Got him by something he had on
And blew him out on the icy crust
That cased the world, and he was gone!

Walls were all buried, trees were few:
He saw no stay unless he stove
A hole in somewhere with his heel.
But though repeatedly he strove

And stamped and said things to himself,
And sometimes something seemed to yield,
He gained no foothold, but pursued
His journey down from field to field.

Sometimes he came with arms outspread
Like wings, revolving in the scene
Upon his longer axis, and
With no small dignity of mien.

Faster or slower as he chanced,
Sitting or standing as he chose,
According as he feared to risk
His neck, or thought to spare his clothes,

He never let the lantern drop.
And some exclaimed who saw afar
The figures he described with it,
“I wonder what those signals are

Brown makes at such an hour of night!
He’s celebrating something strange.
I wonder if he’s sold his farm,
Or been made Master of the Grange.”

He reeled, he lurched, he bobbed, he checked;
He fell and made the lantern rattle
(But saved the light from going out.)
So half-way down he fought the battle

Incredulous of his own bad luck.
And then becoming reconciled
To everything, he gave it up
And came down like a coasting child.

“Well—I—be—” that was all he said,
As standing in the river road,
He looked back up the slippery slope
(Two miles it was) to his abode.

Sometimes as an authority
On motor-cars, I’m asked if I
Should say our stock was petered out,
And this is my sincere reply:

Yankees are what they always were.
Don’t think Brown ever gave up hope
Of getting home again because
He couldn’t climb that slippery slope;

Or even thought of standing there
Until the January thaw
Should take the polish off the crust.
He bowed with grace to natural law,

And then went round it on his feet,
After the manner of our stock;
Not much concerned for those to whom,
At that particular time o’clock,

It must have looked as if the course
He steered was really straight away
From that which he was headed for—
Not much concerned for them, I say:

No more so than became a man—
And politician at odd seasons.
I’ve kept Brown standing in the cold
While I invested him with reasons;

But now he snapped his eyes three times;
Then shook his lantern, saying, “Ile’s
‘Bout out!” and took the long way home
By road, a matter of several miles.

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32780650738_ea8ecdbfc8_o

Twilight clouds
Brushed by Sun setting,
His canvas.

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The photo is mine.

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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/
——————–

© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

 

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O, I hae come from far away,
From a warm land far away,
A southern land across the sea,
With sailor-lads about the mast,
Merry and canny, and kind to me.

And I hae been to yon town
To try my luck in yon town;
Nort, and Mysie, Elspie too.
Right braw we were to pass the gate,
Wi’ gowden clasps on girdles blue.

Mysie smiled wi’ miminy mouth,
Innocent mouth, miminy mouth;
Elspie wore a scarlet gown,
Nort’s grey eyes were unco’ gleg.
My Castile comb was like a crown.

We walk’d abreast all up the street,
Into the market up the street;
Our hair with marigolds was wound,
Our bodices with love-knots laced,
Our merchandise with tansy bound.

Nort had chickens, I had cocks,
Gamesome cocks, loud-crowing cocks;
Mysie ducks, and Elspie drakes,—
For a wee groat or a pound;
We lost nae time wi’ gives and takes.

—Lost nae time, for well we knew,
In our sleeves full well we knew,
When the gloaming came that night,
Duck nor drake, nor hen nor cock
Would be found by candle-light.

And when our chaffering all was done,
All was paid for, sold and done,
We drew a glove on ilka hand,
We sweetly curtsied, each to each,
And deftly danced a saraband.

The market-lassies look’d and laugh’d,
Left their gear, and look’d and laugh’d;
They made as they would join the game,
But soon their mithers, wild and wud,
With whack and screech they stopp’d the same.

Sae loud the tongues o’ randies grew,
The flytin’ and the skirlin’ grew,
At all the windows in the place,
Wi’ spoons or knives, wi’ needle or awl,
Was thrust out every hand and face.

And down each stair they throng’d anon,
Gentle, semple, throng’d anon:
Souter and tailor, frowsy Nan,
The ancient widow young again,
Simpering behind her fan.

Without a choice, against their will,
Doited, dazed, against their will,
The market lassie and her mither,
The farmer and his husbandman,
Hand in hand dance a’ thegither.

Slow at first, but faster soon,
Still increasing, wild and fast,
Hoods and mantles, hats and hose,
Blindly doff’d and cast away,
Left them naked, heads and toes.

They would have torn us limb from limb,
Dainty limb from dainty limb;
But never one of them could win
Across the line that I had drawn
With bleeding thumb a-widdershin.

But there was Jeff the provost’s son,
Jeff the provost’s only son;
There was Father Auld himsel’,
The Lombard frae the hostelry,
And the lawyer Peter Fell.

All goodly men we singled out,
Waled them well, and singled out,
And drew them by the left hand in;
Mysie the priest, and Elspie won
The Lombard, Nort the lawyer carle,
I mysel’ the provost’s son.

Then, with cantrip kisses seven,
Three times round with kisses seven,
Warp’d and woven there spun we
Arms and legs and flaming hair,
Like a whirlwind on the sea.

Like a wind that sucks the sea,
Over and in and on the sea,
Good sooth it was a mad delight;
And every man of all the four
Shut his eyes and laugh’d outright.

Laugh’d as long as they had breath,
Laugh’d while they had sense or breath;
And close about us coil’d a mist
Of gnats and midges, wasps and flies,
Like the whirlwind shaft it rist.

Drawn up I was right off my feet,
Into the mist and off my feet;
And, dancing on each chimney-top,
I saw a thousand darling imps
Keeping time with skip and hop.

And on the provost’s brave ridge-tile,
On the provost’s grand ridge-tile,
The Blackamoor first to master me
I saw, I saw that winsome smile,
The mouth that did my heart beguile,
And spoke the great Word over me,
In the land beyond the sea.

I call’d his name, I call’d aloud,
Alas! I call’d on him aloud;
And then he fill’d his hand with stour,
And threw it towards me in the air;
My mouse flew out, I lost my pow’r!

My lusty strength, my power were gone;
Power was gone, and all was gone.
He will not let me love him more!
Of bell and whip and horse’s tail
He cares not if I find a store.

But I am proud if he is fierce!
I am as proud as he is fierce;
I’ll turn about and backward go,
If I meet again that Blackamoor,
And he’ll help us then, for he shall know
I seek another paramour.

And we’ll gang once more to yon town,
Wi’ better luck to yon town;
We’ll walk in silk and cramoisie,
And I shall wed the provost’s son
My lady of the town I’ll be!

For I was born a crown’d king’s child,
Born and nursed a king’s child,
King o’ a land ayont the sea,
Where the Blackamoor kiss’d me first,
And taught me art and glamourie.

Each one in her wame shall hide
Her hairy mouse, her wary mouse,
Fed on madwort and agramie,—
Wear amber beads between her breasts,
And blind-worm’s skin about her knee.

The Lombard shall be Elspie’s man,
Elspie’s gowden husband-man;
Nort shall take the lawyer’s hand;
The priest shall swear another vow:
We’ll dance again the saraband!

 

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mMCEE8c

The world is as restless as the sea;
I stand, while it is swayed.
The winds and the clouds go whistling by –
A briskly marched parade.

Wind fondles the leaves in ev’ry tree;
It rustles grass like hair;
It touches me and I am not moved;
I’ve not gone anywhere.

The chimes too, are tickled by the wind
And move to get away.  
But wind works them like the ivories
That men sit down to play.

The wind moves by, caressing the grass,
And makes green churning waves
That ripple across the lea as the wind
Says goodbye to its slaves.  

It is a most restless world today;
Men’s feet cannot be still.
And the leaves and grass and swaying limbs
All dance the same quadrille.

The smallest of creatures, e’en the ants
Who run a settled route –
A searching for food and home again –
Know what they’re all about.

But men on an artery don’t know;
They haul their lives behind.
They cross in their moves from east to west
To find what fate’s designed.

Feet restless and minds quite restless, too
Leave city, job, and mate
For something that has more zest and spice,
More tasty on life’s plate.

If there’s a solution, most reject
As though a bitter taste.
And temporary won’t satisfy
So all becomes a waste.

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photo by Adrian van Leen at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mMCEE8c/sepia+palm+tree+silhouette

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

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These are my murmur-laden shells that keep
A fresh voice tho’ the years be very gray.
The wave that washed their lips and tuned their lay
Is gone, gone with the faded ocean sweep,
The royal tide, gray ebb and sunken neap
And purple midday,—gone! To this hot clay
Must sing my shells, where yet the primal day,
Its roar and rhythm and splendour will not sleep.
What hand shall join them to their proper sea
If all be gone? Shall they forever feel
Glories undone and world that cannot be?—
‘Twere mercy to stamp out this agèd wrong,
Dash them to earth and crunch them with the heel
And make a dust of their seraphic song.

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Links to analysis:
http://greatpoetryexplained.blogspot.com/2016/02/on-some-shells-found-inland-by-trumbull.html

https://keytopoetry.com/trumbull-stickney/analyses/on-some-shells-found-inland/

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