Posts Tagged ‘meter’

I saw a scary movie once
That made a mark on me,
A tattoo on my youthful brain
Till my maturity.

It was a life ago (almost).
Was it a black and white?
It seems there was a something – red;
If so, that can’t be right.

The who, the where, the what, and why
Are gone; not one remains.
And out of all the many scenes,
Just one my mind retains.

It was at night, upon the sea,
And all was dark and drear.
Then, suddenly, from blackened depths,
A monster’s head did rear.

It was a giant octopus
With red and evil eye
That glared upon the human race
To rip and terrify.

I can’t remember if I dreamed
That night, instead of sheep,
Of monsters with one hellish eye
Arising from the deep.

But though I grew up on a farm,
And far from any sea,
The creature somehow made its way
To come and visit me.

And on those nights when blackened waves
Rolled o’er my branded mind,
I knew the Eye had risen up
Above the murky brine.

I knew exactly when it rose
To glow a reddish hell
And look upon me as its mark
While I had none to tell.

It was those times upon the farm,
The windmill by the pond
Was running loose when it was late
And night, with black jaws, yawned.

And if the windmill turned all night
Because a wind would blow,
The cistern, filled, would water waste
In treasure overflow.

As oldest, task was often mine
To trek down in the dark
To where the windmill groaned and turned
And waters filled an arc.

The pond was blacker than a sea
Without a starry friend,
And still, as though death sat below
And saw its prey and grinned.

The windmill creaked in spins and turns –
Or else… it was the lake!
What sounds do monsters make at night
In stretching to awake?

But still my heart was fairly calm;
My palms were cool and dry,
For I was facing evil’s lair
And watching for the Eye.

The first when fear ran down my spine
Like one small drop of sweat
Was when I pulled upon the brake –
I think of that time yet.

The wheel, the wires, the rods, and wood
Made clunks and shrieks – the sound!
How could a lad then even know
A monster was around?

My job complete, I took a look,
A final one – two ways? –
Upon the surface of the sea
Still smooth in ev’ry phase.

And then I turned to-ward the house
And its far, friendly light,
My only harbor from the Eye
That now rose in the night.

That was the moment – always then! –
When I had my back turned,
The giant octopus rose up
And red the waters burned.

I ran like rivers in a flood;
Like Christ’s dear friends, I fled –
The pounding of my feet was matched
By my heart in its dread.

I never ever saw the Eye –
Just knew that it was there,
For if I ever dared to look,
I saw the waters bare.

It was twice wicked in that way –
It knew, and wouldn’t rise.
If I walked backward to the house,
The Eye would sense my eyes.

But still I knew, and still I know
The Red Eye oft appeared
Those moments when my back was turned,
When I most greatly feared.

There are some fears it’s best to face
Than turn our backs and flee.
Life’s monsters often see the brave,
And stay beneath the sea.


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


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………………..The Hurricane

In the softness of the morning
When the sun is barely dawning
And the vigor of the day is like a youth,
There is scarcely any stirring,
Neither whisper, nor a whirring,
Of a wind that searches weakness like a sleuth. 

But there’s news that should be heeded
That a hurricane is breeded
And it’s churning in the waters off the shore.
We are scoffers in the morning,
And we listen to no warning,
For the knocking is not knocking at the door. 

It’s the blazing of the brashness
And the blindness with its rashness
That keeps shutting out awareness of the storm.
And the bliss of keeping busy,
Like a buzzing bee, in tizzy,
Keeps the many from awareness of the harm. 

Now upon the far horizon
Is a line of clouds, a ribbon,
And their issue is a gentle blowing breeze.
It is strange, this wind that’s blowing,
Never speeding, never slowing,
Coming straight from widening ribbon that one sees. 

Now the warning bells are sounding,
Steady, pealing, e’er abounding,
But the many focus on their daily care.
They all hurry, hunting honey,
Loving sun and making money.
Certainly, they’re knowing, yet so unaware. 

Steadily, the band advances
Till it fills the sky, and chances
Of escaping all the damage fade away.
And the very act of sowing
Thoughtless seed while going, going,
Helps the hurricane to have its deadly day. 

Hives are busy in the morning,
And they want no word of warning,
For the sweetness of the honey blinds the eye;
Blinds the eye, does daily living,
To the sign that life is giving
Of the line across our days when we must die.


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


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…..The Wind Invisible

The wind I cannot see I know
By looking at a tree.
The gentle rocks or wilder waves
Say wind is there, to me.

By ear, the wind invisible
Is measured by a chime:
A tinkle here, tink tinkle there
Or calling all the time.

The words I write within my verse
I measure and I mete
By feet that gallop, feet that plod –
For poetry has a beat.

By ear, the wind of poetry’s heard
With other sound – the rhyme.
And like the wind invisible,
Makes stanzas chime, chime-chime.


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

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……..Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I hear heaped praise, like waves upon the shore,
And in its falling, hints to me of more –
Of gods who disagree, a distant thunder.
All I can do is read… and read – in wonder! 

It’s straight when carpenter has found his line,
Then varies naught from what’s both true and fine.
Longfellow, too, laid down the plumb and chalked it,
Then word by word and rhyme by rhyme, he walked it. 

So often did his heart leap to his throat!
So many memorable lines we know and quote!
For his poetic gift and gait, we’re grateful.
Why thus must others be so mean and hateful? 

A critic’s dab, but people’s love – deluge.
When all love Christmas, what think we of Scrooge?
The critics cannot write; they fire a mortar.
It’s pencil envy; theirs is so much shorter.


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


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…..Why Cats Have Attitudes

A well-known fact by folks with pets
A truth as troubling as it gets:
……Cats have an attitude.

Oft times, you put their supper down
And all they do is sniff and frown.
……They show no gratitude.

A dog will curl up by your side;
A cat will act as if you died.
……They need much latitude.

I think our cats all have the dream
They’ll grow to lions and be supreme:
……They have big cat-itudes.


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

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Mother, I cannot mind my wheel;
My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
Oh! if you felt the pain I feel!
But oh, who ever felt as I! 

No longer could I doubt him true,
All other men may use deceit;
He always said my eyes were blue,
And often swore my lips were sweet.


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A vision as of crowded city streets,
With human life in endless overflow;
Thunder of thoroughfares; trumpets that blow
To battle; clamor, in obscure retreats,
Of sailors landed from their anchored fleets;
Tolling of bells in turrets, and below
Voices of children, and bright flowers that throw
O’er garden-walls their intermingled sweets!
This vision comes to me when I unfold
The volume of the Poet paramount,
Whom all the Muses loved, not one alone; –
Into his hands they put the lyre of gold,
And, crowned with sacred laurel at their fount,
Placed him as Musagetes on their throne.


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The Rhyme Of The Stranded Mariner

Night follows day; day follows night
It’s stuck – no wave or motion,
As idle as the Coleridge ship
Upon the Coleridge ocean.

Green grass, green grass, every where
No water here to drink
Nor water here to float our boat –
At least we will not sink.


photo by Bill Davenport at


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




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…………The Phoenix

O blest unfabled Incense Tree,
That burns in glorious Araby,
With red scent chalicing the air,
Till earth-life grow Elysian there! 

Half-buried to her flaming breast
In this bright tree, she makes her nest,
Hundred-sunned Phoenix! when she must
Crumble at length to hoary dust! 

Her gorgeous deathbed! her rich pyre
Burnt up with aromatic fire!
Her urn, sight high from spoiler men!
Her birthplace when self-born again! 

The mountainless green wilds among,
Here ends she her unechoing song!
With amber tears and odorous sighs
Mourned by the desert where she dies!


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….Things, And Other Things

I sailed the seas once, years ago,
And fond my memories
Of how the wind whipped up the waves,
Of tropic isles and trees.

But I’ll not ride the troubled brine
To-ward another shore.
Some things are only in the past;
Closed is that distant door.

I ran the court long years ago;
My legs were young and lean.
I took great pleasure in the score,
And in the striving keen.

But I’ll not pass the ball again,
Or hear the hailing throng
That murmured only in my mind:
My step and spring’s not strong.

I set my cap and courted once;
A season long ago.
The fireplace coals have cooled to ash,
And melted is the snow.

And like the water turns the wheel
Then rushes to the sea,
Romance ran wildly in my youth
Into tranquility.

I pause some days and sit a while
Remembering what’s through.
I give a sigh.  As sun I rise –
There’s so much else to do.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

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