Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor,
Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
So he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
An imp, for fuel, was shoveling bones,
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer
And the devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were a most motley crew –
Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew,

Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags,
Handsome young ladies, and withered old hags,
Yellow and black men, red, brown, and white,
All chained together – O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace –
The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
Wider and wider the country grew,
As faster and faster the engine flew.

Louder and louder the thunder crashed
And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the clothes were burned from each quivering frame.

And out of the distance there arose a yell,
“Ha ha,” said the devil, “we’re nearing hell!”
Then oh, how the passengers all shrieked with pain
And begged the devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced for glee,
And laughed and joked at their misery.
“My faithful friends, you have done the work
And the devil never can a payday shirk.

“You’ve bullied the weak, you’ve robbed the poor,
The starving brother you’ve turned from the door;
You’ve laid up gold where the canker rust,
And have given free vent to your beastly lust.

“You’ve justice scorned, and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down.
You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And  mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

“You have paid full fare, so I’ll carry you through,
For it’s only right you should have your due.
Why the laborer always expects his hire,
So I’ll land you safe in the lake of fire,

“Where you flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
And my imps torment you forevermore.”
Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high.

Then he prayed as he never had prayed till that hour
To be saved from his sin and the demon’s power;
And his prayers and his vows were not in vain,
For he never rode the hell-bound train.


*I must say that one does not become a Christian by
saying a “sinner’s prayer”.  Unfortunately, that is something
from the devil as well.


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(The seige of the Alamo ended 181 years ago
on March 6, 1836 when the Alamo fell and its
defenders were killed.)

This story of heroes all free men should know,
Of last stand of eagles protecting their nest –
Remember the men of the famed Alamo.

They stood in the way of an armed Mexico,
Like dunes on a beach slow a wave’s swollen crest.
This story of heroes all free men should know.

Surrounded, out-numbered, hope melting like snow,
They proved to the world that it’s freedom that’s best.
Remember the men of the famed Alamo.

An offer, by Travis, to stay or to go.
Those brave men stepped forward and Texas was blessed.
This story of heroes all free men should know.

Deguello, no quarter, was played by the foe
Yet nary a champion abandoned the quest.
Remember the men of the famed Alamo.

A Crockett, a Bowie, and others cut low
In glory and honor are their names now dressed
This story of heroes all free men should know.
Remember the men of the famed Alamo.


The photo is mine.


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

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Oil prices
Become high enough –
New drilling.

Texas shale.
Oil boom! Many hired –
Eagle Ford.

New oil flows;
New tanks are needed,
More men hired.

Supply up;
Price of oil goes down –
More men fired.

Likes low gas prices –
Saves money.

Supply down;
Demand is the same –
Prices rise.

High enough,
Drilling is worthwhile.
Men are hired.

When one thrives:
Consumer – oil field –
Other, hurt.


The picture is mine of a business that started up when the Eagle Ford shale
boom hit.  It built oil tanks, some of which are still to be delivered.


* 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 Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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It was the first day and the sun arose
Like all the other days preceding this –
This one that some would think on at the close
As they looked back with rue to reminisce. 

The morn, if seasonal, was cool or cold.
There was no sudden blaze, no fiery heat.
At dawn, there was no final bell that tolled,
Yet curtain closed on any safe retreat. 

It was a day like all the days before,
The first day of the siege of Alamo.
None knew they only had a dozen more
None sees a blizzard in one flake of snow. 

There is a normal day that is the last
Without a signal that its fading kind
Exists no longer save the written past –
Upon the parchment of the fragile mind.


On Feb.23, 1836, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his men
arrived in San Antonio and the siege began at the Alamo.


The photo is mine.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.




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…..The Deaths Of Bonnie And Clyde

The rabbits had nowhere to run or hide.
Their notoriety had grown in weight.
Brief were the lives of young, wild Bonnie and Clyde. 

For three short years, they roamed the countryside.
They robbed and killed and moved from state to state.
The rabbits had nowhere to run or hide. 

Their youth and love made their spree magnified.
Their crimes caused fear, but they did fascinate.
Brief were the lives of young, wild Bonnie and Clyde. 

Each time they killed, the search intensified
Their case was now on ev’ry lawman’s plate.
The rabbits had nowhere to run or hide. 

A trap was set out in the countryside
Their habit brought the hares to-ward the bait.
Brief were the lives of young, wild Bonnie and Clyde. 

The bullets buzzed and stung like bees – they died.
They had to know that this would be their fate.
The rabbits had nowhere to run or hide.
Brief were the lives of young, wild Bonnie and Clyde.


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


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Fellow poet Dennis O’Brien (an Australian)
read one of my poems and left a related one
in the comments:

I’m glad I’m not driving through Texas
In a silver and shiny new Lexus,
For I know if I tried
I’d drive on the wrong side,
So that ocean between us protects us.


My poem is here:

Here’s a link to another one of O’Brien’s poems:


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………………………The County Line

In Texas in the sixties, there were many counties dry.
Morality was voted in; morality was high,
And alcohol was still a scourge kin to bubonic plague.
So folks dammed up their counties like the Dutch dammed up the
Thus, alcohol was quite a haul for those who thought it fine –
The nearest place was store built just outside the county line.

The whispered word in school, in hallways, was a worried cry,
As wet behind the ears would see a weekend coming, dry.
The partiers would plot and plan like generals in war:
Who’d get the weekend’s ammo from the nearest liquor store?
Can cousin go, or College Joe, or old man Valentine?
Who’ll make the trip on Saturday out to the county line?

And oft, at desperation’s depth, a single name arose:
Joe Barry’d buy the booze because Joe Barry always goes
Since he’s an alcoholic, called the town’s official drunk,
And hauling booze for minors helped to pay for his own junk.
With bit of bread and bit of dread and bit of hope as shrine,
Someone’d be sent to ask Joe Barry ‘bout the county line.

Joe Barry always answered “yes”; that had no one concerned.
It was the lessons life had taught, that many youth had learned,
That old Joe Barry was a friend, but in the end, who knew
If Joe would get an order, and he’d really follow through.
For though Joe Barry had a tongue, he’d drowned his only mind,
And he could not be trusted on a trip to county line.

The sheriff once chased Joe Barry as he left the liquor store.
Joe tried to run but wound up serving seven months or more.
More often, though, he had DT’s and simply couldn’t go,
Or drank too much on Friday night and next day didn’t slow.
He’d take a ten, forget just when, or who, or beer, or wine,
And he’d return, not wet, but dry, from trip to county line.

Despite all that, and even more, sometimes it had to be
Joe Barry’s turn to make the run to end sobriety.
Because it seemed that life laid siege with five long days of school,
And all the thoughts of breaking free made some mouths water,
With fingers crossed and hearts embossed with hope of weekend
They’d pay Joe Barry for a trip out to the county line.

Now old Joe Barry’s dead and gone; his liver didn’t last.
Who knows how many trips he made before his time had passed?
And many were the girls who lost their virtue to the booze;
Some accidents still haunt the sheriff – teen deaths that made the
And all the youth are aging now; truth? – many in decline;
Some hastened on a downward path by trips to county line.

Morality has slipped away like all the years slip by,
With younger youth now looking for the booze or other high.
Joe Barry Juniors now comply, who follow father’s feet;
Themselves forced by the fetters of their once just weekend treat.
The only way they vary is Joe Barry’s miles were nine –
The liquor store is closer now than at the county line.


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

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The clouds are scarce across the sky.
The blue is light, sun-washed, and dry,
Bleached like the faded jeans of youth,
And wrung and robbed of all its truth,
But seasons change.

The grass is green, but not the green
Of spring, or life, or fresh, or clean.
Tis green of age like wrinkled skin,
When August earth has hair that’s thin.
But seasons change.

The birds of beauty hide in heat,
But ones that circle aren’t discreet,
In search of death upon the land
Where hot air shimmers on the sand;
But seasons change.

Tomorrow is like yesterday,
As indistinct as bales of hay
That dot the drying, dying fields,
When stacking days have fewer yields.
But seasons change.

We wish for rain to make us well;
But though it’s hot, it is not Hell.
And that’s the thought that keeps us sane,
That soon or late, these days will wane.
Here, seasons change.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

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Absolute knowledge I have none,
But my niece’s washerwoman’s son
Heard a policeman on his beat
Say to a laborer in the street
That he had a letter last week
Written in the finest Greek,
From a Chinese coolie in Timbuctoo,
Who said that the citizens in Cuba knew
Of a young man in a Texas town,
Who got it straight from a circus clown,
That a man in the Klondike heard the news
From a gang of South American Jews,
Who heard of a society female rake,
Whose mother-in-law will undertake
To prove that her husband’s sister knows,
As stated in a printed piece,
That she has son, who has a friend
Who knows when the war is going to end!

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