Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo’


Like sleeper, from a hammock, rude removed from resting place,
I soon was seeking solace in a soothing shaded grace,
An old continued pastime that would comfort in my change
As I returned to my hometown from years upon the range.

Along the street I parked my car, that bright December day
And up the steps I slowly went, a snail, unsure the way
For memory did not connect the steps with aging feet;
What lay inside before my goal – a meeting room, a suite?

Ah, yes! There was a difference, and more I did not know;
Two workers now, a desk was changed, computer all aglow;
And still the place, besides the new, had feel of antique, old –
The walls were pillared and the floors had tales that could be told.

Before the books, just like the brooks, there was a bridge – a card.
So, up to worker’s desk I went, as if she were a guard.
I told her what I needed – just a key to reading’s door.
And she replied, “Have you, with us, e’er had a card before?”

   When I was lad, my summers were
       A time from town retreating,
   To parents’ farm ten miles away –
       Cows mooing and sheep bleating.

   I lived there almost like a monk,
       Away from friends I cherished;
   No next-door neighbor like in town –
       My social life near perished.        

   I found another set of friends;
       They came each time invited.
   I felt as honored as if I’d
       Been called to court and knighted.

   And so my summer days were filled –
       Companions and adventure.
   They came those days; they quickly left,
       Like teachers without tenure.

   With Nancy Drew, I looked by lake
       For clue of broken locket.*
   We searched an attic old as dust
       For songs played out of pocket.**

   The Hardy boys came some days
       Both Frank and Joe – detectives.
   Of course, we all were given help
       By their Dad’s wise directives.            

     Some summer days were twice the fun
       And more than twice – twice doubled
     For Flossie, Freddie, Bert, and Nan
       Were Bobbsey twins that bubbled.

     And then some days I left the farm
       (My parents didn’t know it).
     The time machine sat by my bed
       Into the past, I rode it.

     To Tuskegee and Carver’s lab,
       I flew, launched by the pages;
    And with Von Braun, I moved toward space
       And gazed at rocket’s gauges.       

     I looked, while perched on Bunker Hill
         And saw the redcoats coming
     As thick as ants to claim a mound,
         An army marched by drumming.

   I saw defeat at Waterloo,
         With Lindbergh crossed the ocean;
     With Alexander, conquered worlds,
         With leopard’s swiftest motion.

I’m back. You asked about a card. My old one’s thrown away.
I used it for so long and oft, was worn out like cliché.
I did; I had one here; I doubt it’s in your records though –
Unless you have the registers for fifty years ago.


* ND   The Clue of the Broken Locket, 1934

** ND   The Secret in the Old Attic, 1944


The photo is mine, of Carnegie Library in Ballinger, Texas.


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


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Under A Spreading Tree

Was there a shade at Gettysburg or Waterloo?
At Marathon, was there a spreading tree, a view
Where one could set his chair and watch the battlefield,
See flash of swords – while from the sun his own face shield? 

Beneath the safety of a branch, with drink in hand,
Was the advance of one against the other’s stand
Watched as an act within a play upon a stage,
Or read as if one’s eyes were on a distant page? 

Did one e’er watch and hear the mighty battle cry,
The call to charge across the field, and there to die
And be at ease as if the hounds were at the fox,
While men were shedding blood on grass and hollyhocks? 

Perhaps there is no one whose heart and blood’s so cold
That there could sit as if he’d bought a ticket sold.
It’s easier to be detached from agony
While safe at home and sitting ‘neath a spreading tree.


photo by Kevin Tuck at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nbZdcvA/Autumn+park


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



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