LEXINGTON GREEN: April 19, 1775

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Forms arise from the depths in dark,
Some boys, yet others hardened men
That drill together once again
In April’s pungent smoke, as stark
As shadow-play ‘pon Lexington.

The drums of empire fade with dawn
As orders crisp ring in the air.
Two silent foes stand, eyes of glare
And lines of battle quickly drawn
Upon the green of village where

Militiamen still stand as one.
Men do not move one single hair
As if prepared to take this dare
Of wills, as wars are lost or won,
Within red wave of morning fair.

Still air is ripped as shots ring out
To bloody men who fall to ground
And start a war that soon will found
A country whose men run in rout.
King’s regulars give same shrill sound
They soon will hear on road to Doubt.

Eric M. Vogt
from NORTH COUNTRY CALLS
Copyright 2014

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CHILDREN’S PLAY

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There is no sound like children’s play
to take many a pain away.
It tends to draw me back in time
to simpler lives and simpler times.

It makes me yearn for youth long gone.
It beckons me to play along.
It makes me yearn for future times
in playgrounds full of grass and pines,

where mankind once again will be
children of God
eternally.

Eric M. Vogt
from PATHS AND POOLS TO PONDER
Copyright 2013

ONE

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I cannot see a single tree
Not born of seed,
The merest ant that shall recant
Instinct it heeds.
Creation’s hand I understand
From stars in sky,
Their courses true; the signs accrue
Of One on High.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

DESIRE

 

foul fate has found me cast in want,
and destiny has missed my soul;
my sin is such i won’t recant,
no matter prize or lofty goal.
and now it’s we must bear its toll.

you see my love in eyes and way
your heart is mended in my touch,
yet lacking touch, we damned by day
that dawns for love, but not for us;
but men are larks, and sing we must.

if there were future and a fire
which flamed beyond this moment shared,
yes, form to phantom named Desire,
then we should be its perfect pair,
united, as we are, by stare.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

LAST STAB

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O Winter, how your last stab stings!
It pierces through to lowest things
Which wrap me, bruising with a blow,
And sucks my strength as undertow
That carries all our hopes to sea.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2014

I SHALL MISS YOU

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I shall miss you as a moonlit
Morrow, lost to first light of day,
Like joyous laugh we sometimes get
And wish to hold, if it would stay.

I shall miss you, as maiden love,
As wise the innocence of youth,
Wasted, yet at time just enough
To shine with fearless, faithful proof.

I shall miss you, sweet one, my belle,
As with the certainty of death,
And if the truth were Time’s to tell,
Until my final woeful breath.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

DISTORTED

At times we lose our way with ease
In seek of loves to fully please,
Awake one morning in a mist
That has distorted all on list
We fast forgot on way to bliss.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2014F37C1B27-7CE7-41AF-83A8-9D32277CD83C.jpeg

FIRST INDEPENDENCE DAY (for Randy)

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First Independence Day since you passed,
I sling on pack and climb the sky,
Much like we each did, you and I,
That solemn day when troopers massed,
When we were bright, more youth to buy,
Though now no more with such we blessed.

Our helmets, wet, beamed in far light
Of countless flares; our barrels gleamed,
So black the night, each blast so bright.
Our faces shimmered in between
The flash of flares in dark, pale white.

But now I pace a distant path,
As you pace yours in heaven’s heart;
And as I ponder with the math
Of years—so many—spent apart,
Most served in joy, but some in wrath,
I climb and climb and climb and start

Those silent sorrows of the soul…
Yet now I come to meadow strewn
From end to end (though not my goal)
With wildflowers. It seems Home.
I sit for hours on this knoll,
And need no other trail to roam.

I think of you in Garden grand,
With peace of sweet blooms God gave you;
This peace I ponder, made for man,
Yet soldiers more–so bright, so new–
No more in pain, no more demands
But One: to live a life that’s true.

Eric M. Vogt, Copyright 2017

(July 4, 2017)

WHEN STONES WEIGH

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When stones weigh dark upon my breast,
And winter wears its grayest hue,
I pause to ponder all that’s true,
Those simple things with which I’m blessed,
And all haze lifts, and every cloud,
My path stands distant, time erased;
It’s then I reach, pick up my pace
And hold high heart to trumpets loud.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

APRIL’S BLESSING

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My feet were light upon the path
That led away from winter’s wrath.
The deer were moving and the moose;
Blue skies, for moment, held to truce.

The snows were melting in the sun
To feed the crystal brooks that run
When Spring ascends and Winter’s done.
Yes, April’s blessing had begun.

My thoughts turned toward a summer’s dream,
Seduced by soothing flow of stream.
Adventure lurked around the bend
The day I rose to live again.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

HOLD

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let us hold fast to a hope,
shave with skill the things that weigh,
hold to ledge despite its slope,
share our strength through what we say,
lift another, bear her burden,
even if for moment, might
within courage; close the curtain
on dissention, holding tight
to our purpose and our treasure,
to our poise through pain and strife.
it is then all men shall measure
where our hope lays in this life.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

NATURE’S KNOWING

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The niche of nature’s knowing
Is an ever-fading mist,
Here shifting, there it growing
In the Land of All That’s Missed,
Dreams in haze of childhoods,
Deep adventures in the snow,
Buried ‘neath the frames of houses,
Like our graves, laid row ‘pon row.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

THIS TRAIL I’VE TROD

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We all must choose to tread own trail
upon which we were meant to stride,
where inner peace meets needs denied,
both apt companions to our tale.

We each bear loss along life’s way,
caught up with lives in truth unlived,
burdens of all we’ve ever grieved
which seek new path to pains allay.

True key I’ve found to start each day,
to simply note this trail I’ve trod,
acknowledge failings with a nod,
hike higher paths that all debts pay,

the grandest gift retained of God
next peak that takes my breath away.

Eric M. Vogt
from LIFE LIES IN LAYERS
Copyright 2013

ROADS WINTER BEARS

There are roads only winter bears,
Which wreck their weary traveler
And bury him beneath their cares,
A victim of its waste; Winter
Wears at best. Yet it’s but one ray
That breaks and melts its strong intent.
And in the end it’s death that pays
For rage and road and discontent.
Spring, yes Spring! Yearned for warmth must come!
It lays in each man, deep to bone,
A hope which wills, a stream which runs
Within, when dark and most alone.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

LAST GASP

The last gasp of the Winter’s breath
Came as grand battle does, by stealth.
It caught men in its grasp and choked
With sheets of white, which then provoked

A rally cry from Spring, in force,
That wore at Winter’s last recourse.
So she turned armies, faded, lost,
And left, defeat as such worth cost

To show men courage they must hold
In war, in loss, in death, in cold.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

CRUSHINGS

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There are some crushings men must bear alone,
The ones of deeper, mortal kind,
Yes, of the heart, swift loss of war and home,
A lack of love, the press of mind,
Those basic struggles that eat every bone,
Failure to one of like soul find,
Our common yearnings for lone ray of sun.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

SPRING THAW

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A thaw—-a Spring thaw has cloaked this, our world,
Yes, all the crystal carvings heave and go;
They trickle down to springs so far below,
Retaining clearest purity, pooled, furled,

Like banners leading armies which have left.
There! A lone strand of gems still cling to hill,
In shadows where sun’s fled, like spirit’s will
Which keeps its ghost from dwelling in its cleft.

My spirit seems retained here, waiting, too.
But no! rays find me, melt me, bring me home.
Though these are crags and mountains I have roamed,
Each life must sink, then raise to skies anew.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

Jacob’s Wedding Song

I have been journeying so far
To find my father’s family.
Then at the fountain I found thee.
And to your home I now enter.

Across the table, we partake
Of meal, your father’s, finally
To come to purpose taking me
To you, for mother’s and God’s sake.

Long I have stared within your eyes,
And ponder beauty meant to be;
The One who rules Eternity
Has led me here, to Love’s own house.

And I will work hard seven years,
Still seven more before I’m through
To prove my love, in end as new
As felt this day through joyous tears.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

FRUIT

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Is the fruit upon the tree
Exactly what you want to be?
Does it gossip? Or inspire?
Stick when times are their most dire?
Or does it say, yet does not do?
Lifts not one finger to renew?
Beware the scribe and Pharisee,
Who scourge the innocent, but be
Courageous to defend the guest
And true as gold when under test.
Look for the best and loathe to curse
A single one; his spirit nurse.
It’s then your hope, refined and strong,
Shall stay when everything goes wrong.
That’s Faith which bears sweet fruit, you see,
Of kind that’s true upon the tree.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

SACRED CLOAK

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A sacred cloak enwrapped the pine
The day I dreamt that you were mine.
An angel’s song was in the air,
And down from heaven spiraled stair
That took sweet cherubs to their height.
I soared in spirit to their light,
Yet in it searched and found that I
Do not deserve to dwell in sky;
And so my life was thrown to earth,
My wish for warmth in want of worth.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

A Matter of Life and Death

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MT Adams NFS Warning Sign, Airline Trail

It was the second week in September a few years ago. I spoke to a workmate who is an avid hiker and told him I wanted to climb MT Adams in the Presidential mountain range of New Hampshire, USA. My friend told me up and down how the Airline Trail was the quickest and most true way to the top, which it is. I looked at the topographic map and my guidebook and said to myself  “I can do this on a day hike. No worries.”

I don’t usually hike with other people. Do not do as I do. It’s not safe. However, to explain my unsafe, warped reasoning: it’s not that I do not like people—well, most people—it’s because I don’t want to either be unceremoniously rushed up a mountain by a quicker climber, or to be held back from my lofty goal by a slower climber. Even if they could haul a tent or run for help in case of an emergency.

But I do bring the next best thing: my Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Jack the Crackerjack Welshman. Jack is my ever-patient friend, climbing partner and personal trainer. He has short yet muscular legs and climbs in front of me like a little mountain goat for a ways. Then Jack perches himself on a rock above me and stares down, as if taunting me to reach him. When I do, he once again gets out in front of me and the life-coaching continues. If I am too slow he may even give me a bark or two until I shape up and join him.

Needless to say, my personal trainer has gotten me into fairly good shape for an old guy and has seen a lot of adventures with his owner. We have singly climbed MT Washington, MT Madison, MT Monroe, MT Eisenhower, MT Jefferson, MT Pierce and MT Jackson together. He is getting older now, along with his owner, but I am sure he will continue to be my personal trainer on the trails far into the future.

My helpful human trail advisor and work friend was half my age, however. Soon after, I got on the Airline Trail and it took me much longer than first assumed. It is a rather steep and root and boulder-pitted trail that eventually rises over scenic King’s Ravine. At one point on my journey I was looking several hundred feet down from a thin trail that hugs an almost vertical drop! I was quite exhausted when a topless, packless young man ran (yes, Ran by me, obviously with MT Washington in his sights). I gasped, being a ripe age of 55 years old, and I felt that this scene mimicked the old tale of the race between the infamous Hare and Turtle. But the Hare did not stop to take a nap in my tale.

It was a beautiful day and the Turtle stopped to enjoy the views and take numerous pics. Then the Turtle pressed on, even though he was not on his planned schedule, keen on his goal of the summit, a place that rather reminds me of walking on the moon. Not that I have ever had the pleasure of doing so. But I did see Neil Armstrong take his steps for all mankind in 1969 on a black and white T.V. set in my elementary school classroom. And believe me, it looks just like the moon on the summit.

When I reached the peak I apprehensively realized that the sun had already started to descend. Yet, because it was a wonderful, nearly cloudless day on the Presidentials, I rested a while in satisfaction with my corgi Jack and took more pics. Then a nice couple in their twenties came up with their small dog. He and Jack had fun jumping from boulder to boulder and playing King of the Hill, uh, Mountain. In the meantime, I was losing the sun. We parted, they in search of their camp site and I in search of Madison Springs AMC hut.

I had decided that I did not want to go back down the Airline and end up at the bottom of King’s Ravine in the coming dusk, so I chose a longer but much more gradual trail, the Valley Way off neighboring MT Madison. The step by step walk down the boulders was slow and tedious, the rocks still damp from a rain storm the day before. I finally got down to the hut and started down the Valley Way. I soon realized that the sun was not only going down, it was on the wrong side of MT Adams. It was going to be quite tenuous to make it down to the parking area before I totally lost daylight.

I stopped to check my pack and, although I had an emergency kit for a over-nighter, I had forgotten to transfer my flashlight from my large pack to my day pack! But I, in my Hemingway-like bravado, said to myself “I can barrel down and do this.” Yet, not only was the sun on the other side of the mountain, I was also below tree line. Dusk caught me so quickly beneath the trees that I unknowingly went down a false trail on a long-abandoned path. When I started to step over downed trees I realized my mistake and decided I just had enough daylight to strike across the brush and find the true trail.

I intersected with the Valley Way just as darkness enshrouded Jack and I. I estimated we were only about halfway to the car. I laid down my poncho on a table rock in the middle of the trail, pulled out my emergency blanket, put Jack on my stomach, and laid my head on my lumpy pack—a sort of human/corgi sandwich for wild animals to feast on.

Fortunately, it was just above freezing that night. Although you can still get hypothermia in the 40’s, I was dry, well below treeline and sheltered from the wind. A week later it would have been below freezing and snowing where I made my makeshift camp. I didn’t freeze that night, but I didn’t sleep well, either.

On a side note, Jack apparently slept very well and comfortably on my paunch, because in the middle of the night some creature sniffed the emergency blanket and he didn’t stir. The creature decided we weren’t tender enough and went on its way. Of course, while I was laying on a very uncomfortable flat boulder, Jack felt like he slept on a plush king sized bed that night.

As soon as dawn began to break the next morning we started off again and made it back to the car safely.

Lessons Learned:

1. I am getting older. I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound anymore.

2. I have designated a flashlight to both my day pack and my overnight pack, even for just a day hike. I was being cheap and you really can’t put a price on preparedness.

3. I don’t fully trust the advice of maps, guidebooks and other hikers. They do not know me personally or the unique personal and environmental conditions I will face. And topographic maps are general outlines of distances and grades. They show little detail when you are climbing on the moon. Though I always keep updated on the Mount Washington Weather Observatory’s prediction for the day, I assume it could change on a dime and go downhill quickly.

4. I am always prepared, as I was, to stay the night, even if I am just on a day hike. I could have broken a leg on the trail at one of many points. I only saw 3 people going up and none at all going down that late in the season. I have to be ready for the worst. Remember, rescuers may not come up the trail after dark, depending on conditions, even if you call for them or hit your GPS transponder (and there is little cell service below treeline anyway).

5. Heed the advice on the sign posted above. If weather conditions suddenly change for the worse, don’t be a Hemingway. Go back down. Going below tree line could save your life.

Fortunately, I had just read the book NOT WITHOUT PERIL by Nicholas Howe. It speaks of the many people who have lost their lives on this range. You can’t read that book without gaining a healthy fear of climbing up there. I reread it this winter just to remind me and I will keep rereading it periodically until I can’t hike anymore. So, fortunately that day I had an emergency kit, albeit lacking a flashlight (a grave error).

Also, recently I read a great book that just came out about a veteran climber who lost her life on MT Adams a few years ago called WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME by Ty Gagne. Read it. A sobering account which shows that just one mistake can be a fatal one up there. The weather changes on a dime. And GPS equipment is not always 100% effective to show rescuers where you are. In fact, hers was activated too late. She was already in advanced stages of hypothermia above treeline on Adams. GPS showed her, at different times, in 5 separate points impossibly far from one another. That evening rescuers could not ascend above treeline without great danger to themselves. In fact, they were adversely affected by the conditions even below treeline. There were 125+ MPH wind gusts that night and early morning! The next day several search teams had to comb Adams and Madison at great risk to themselves to find her body. Once again, READ IT if you are a hiker. A good account to keep one alert and honed with a proper respect for the often sudden and fatal conditions on these mountains.

I never travel as light as she did. Ever. I always have an emergency pack with enough food, water, layers of clothing, and equipment to stay the night and perform first aid. You should too. A few extra pounds could save your life or the life of a fellow hiker one day.

I hope this account helps you to avoid the same pitfalls of decision-making that I and others have experienced up there, and will help you to make better decisions than we. And remember to climb with a friend. Do as I say, not as I do!

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018, 2019

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View from MT Adams on that beautiful day.

THE WALK

There lays a stone within my chest,
A throb, a feel that’s sensed at best,
It real, yet not, a hint in breast
That Winter won’t go by.

A weight has come upon my soul,
The drag which keeps me from my goal,
Reminder of a past, a toll,
And deep within it lies.

We cannot wish away the time
Which passes, nor forget a crime
We’ve felt inflicted, line by line,
Nor mute their tragic cries;

Still, age should not be held as pain,
So I have left all where it’s lain,
And I shall walk against its grain
Till I have touched the sky.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

SLIVER

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I’ve lived my life as best I could
In solitude within this wood;
At times on sliver I have stood,
Yet still stay in the fight.

I try my best to understand
Those weaknesses which plague a man,
Mistakes I’ve made, admit when can,
And carry each insight.

I’ve climbed on mountains, grasped at dreams
Through waterfalls and soulful streams,
And found the world’s not as it seems,
A war of wrong and right.

But I have found that fickle fate
Alone knows end and sees its date,
So meantime for it men must wait,
And sliver’s faith hold tight.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

My Cherished Brother

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I wish I could live like the look in his eye,
Anticipation, alerted, perked with poise,
Ears keen and listening, pondering each noise,
His nose t’ward all trouble without asking why.

I wish I could hold a love like he emits,
To live for adventure, keep true to the path,
To cry complete, leaving all stress, care and wrath,
Be purest partner to share joy of life with.

Yes, he is a brave leader, follower, pal,
My cherished brother and my comrade-in-arms,
Sure sentinel who sees I don’t bear any harm,
Who makes me surrender with wag of his tail.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2012

DARKNESS

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There lies a darkness of the kind
That slays the deepest, clearest minds.
These bear a weight like winter bears,
And fray at core from unseen cares,

They tested, plagued by lifelong loads,
To traverse ever-distant roads.
Their like are names we know, the best,
The Lincolns, Churchills and the rest,

The Teddy Roosevelts, the Poes,
The Lewises, in fits and throes
Of bleakness, more than merely mood,
Who travel by Frost’s snowy wood.

Yet, they rise. And we count as brave
These ones who stand and give and save.
They multiply in tragic times
We share; to these, I pray, be kind,

The ones in struggle with the mind.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

A CERTAIN COLDNESS BEARS THE TREE

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A certain coldness,
A certain coldness
Bears the tree
In silent pain
Where snow has lain,
That I can see.

A certain coldness,
A certain coldness
Weighs on me
When twain we lay,
In winter’s way,
Uncertainly.

Eric M. Vogt
MOUNTAIN’S MORNING SONG
Copyright 2014

Judge

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If you must judge full my life,
shave me close as edge of knife,
peel away my ev’ry strife
and try me dusk ’til dawn;
if you must stare, int’rest spent,
caring not why I am bent,
I will wish glare hand you lent
and friend within your frown.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2014

MIRRORS LIGHT

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Mirrors light the way to years,
Terrors, torments, tones and fears,
Loves and lives and times and tears,
Line by line by line.

Yours was face I loved and left,
Faint of heart and lone, bereft,
Torn to length and width and breadth,
Left to mull and pine.

 

Eric M. Vogt, Copyright 2019

ANCESTORS

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Our ancestors came to this land
Of danger, breaking mortal band
To raise a dream, to take a stand,
With freedom as its goal.

They cleared the soil and planted seed,
And drew their strength from ev’ry need,
And those who stayed to take the lead
In time sift through each toll

With Faith that took them from an isle,
That felled the tree, placed stones on pile,
That laid their lanes straight, mile ‘pon mile,
That worked the iron from coal,

That threw off mighty Empire’s yoke,
That survived winters, stoke by stoke,
That carved a country, stroke by stroke,
Lays latent in our soul.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2019

SONG OF ELIJAH

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Queen Jezebel has searched for soul,
And here I hide,
So deep within this cave of woe
On mountainside.
She rose and slayed good Naboth
For lot of land,
And now I, too, have feared such wrath
From her own hand,
Yet I will herald God’s swift end
Upon her line,
For still live seven thousand friends
Of all divine.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

WALL

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There is a wall I’ve built by hand,
It stone by stone,
A symbol of the struggles man
Must mark alone.
But if a soul as you would go
Upon its mound,
For wall is low, it laid by woe
Just off the ground,
I think you’ll find my heart is kind,
And it as true
As gentle poem where lovers roam
Paths touched by few.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

MIRROR

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The ice showed sign of shattered days
That held my heart, of Spring’s delays,
Of fragile nature of our ways,
Cracked mirror to the soul.

Life laid a shroud on lipid skies
And staid my mind to Winter’s lies,
A pattern of our own demise
That melts us deep and whole.

One puzzle’s piece broke from the stream
Which mimicked mantra from my dream;
I knew that purpose plies, unseen,
No gospel to its goal.

The sun would not return above,
Its strong intent just not enough
For me to coax a little love
From waters Winter stole.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

CAST TO DESTINY

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I ponder mountains left to scale,
And all adventures they entail,
That cast to destiny which hails
Me onward to my dreams,

The glow of aspens and of pines,
The cliffs and canyons and the lines
Of every hill I’ve yet to climb,
The crystal falls and streams.

I think upon a life with you,
To share our hopes and such a view,
These wondrous waters to renew
Our strength, and souls redeem.

We wish our lips could match our eyes
Which, wanting more, just say goodbyes,
To use brief time before we die
On Love that could have been.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

THE DEATH OF CRAZY HORSE

I sip the ray on windowsill
And hold my heart,
A time to sift the soul until
It pulls apart.
I cannot trace this yearning, for
It leaps in bounds,
And as a vessel it is poured
Upon the ground.
Once came the summer, moons ago,
In times more sane,
When youth saw herds of buffalo
That roamed the plains.
The People are not many now,
And we are sick,
For promises have run afoul,
A flameless wick.
Our nation has been wrenched from us
For gold and soil;
My heart is broken, turns to dust
In its despoil.
A soldier has pierced through me, yet
I long ago
Began my ride where Freedom led,
And now I go.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

SONG OF CAPTAIN JACK

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i stand, last great chief of modoc
clan,
a mere mist upon the mountains:
hear!
i fight, though i respect law of
white
and truth alike; i tried in vain,
proof
seen in your disdain, your Christian
sins,
your love for land, in your demands…
enough!
we shall flee and fight
and die this night;
it is only right.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

ICE

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A sudden change in winds forms ice
To chill my bones,
It trap to weary souls entice
Where sun once shone.

I feel a numbing as the mind
Starts to unhinge.
Whole world begins to bend in kind,
As with Revenge;

Yet I can’t bear to lose my soul
In winter’s dew,
So hold to Hope, my simple goal
To heart renew.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

THE WIND SWEEPS

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The wind sweeps with its armies,
Bending tallest tree,
Bringing branches to their knees
With winter’s glory;
It thunders like Eternity
Of holy story.

But wars don’t last eternally,
Nor lovers’ forays,
For night brings full passions as these,
To fade fast with day.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

DREAM

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Last night the Lord came in a dream
And told me things aren’t as they seem.
He clothed you in an ivory gown
And headress such as Esther owned,

To gird your hips with golden cord
That only royals could afford.
He led you down long path to me,
Your beauty bared for all to see.

I raised my voice to swift-object,
For I had labored, circumspect,
Upon desires held for thee,
Knowing some slaves and some are free,

And we were neither, yet were both.
But He ignored me and betrothed
Your life to mine and mine to yours.
The angels sang approving chorus.

I then awoke and knew it true,
Beneath our lives, each choice we rue,
Lays single line outlasting sun:
A love as ours can’t be undone.

A love as ours can’t be undone.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

HORIZON’S BENT

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She sits beyond horizon’s bent,
And seems as if she’s heaven-sent,
A taste of times that came and went,
Of castles in the sky.

In youth we wondered where she’d lead
With every novel we would read
Of love, adventures that would heed
Our calls, where treasures lie.

To all who dream shall come a time
When they must ponder, they must climb,
At last compose that perfect rhyme
In search for hows and whys.

But with each year she seems more far,
Our members ache with many scars,
The door to heaven, left ajar,
Still there beyond the rise.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

LIFE IS

Life is having everything,
and holding nothing.
It is finding love,
and losing the heart.
It is reaching for the dawn
and struggling in the dark,
it is learning to live
and living to learn.
We are here but a moment.
We are here forever.
I do not see you;
I stare within your depths.
I cannot love you.
I shall love you always.

Eric M. Vogt, Copyright 2014

APPOMATTOX

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They thought they saw a single ray
Descend from heaven on that day.
Their clothes were tattered, feet were bare,
A ghostly hollowness to stare

Brought on by hunger; they were gray.
And, broken through, they fled away,
But in an order fitting force
That four years now had stayed the course

In valiant struggle with those kin
Who stripped each raw, to now begin
The End. Yet they still fought, though lost.
What price to pay! The deepest cost!

And now, near village, all hopes gone,
Surrounded, hounded, foe too strong,
A gentle general met with rough,
And made the peace, in war enough

To each admire other’s fight,
And heal a nation, if they might.
Though tired from loss, much to be gained,
Their fight for freedom still remained.

And so it is with women, men,
Who struggle for love till the End.
We must be stripped of all and torn
To, with a final fade, forlorn,

Surrender, having given best,
Perhaps–in time–find happiness.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

Another Poem, very close to my heart, published in 2008

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Taj Mahal Review, Volume 7, Number 1, June 2008.

OMENS

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Omens rule the skies this day.
It seems the enemy’s at bay,
Yet sinister his way and flight.
There’s hope in thinnest ray of light,

But darkness looms and evils wait.
Men won’t succumb to foes or fate.
So, day has dawned! And I must wake,
A sentinel for heaven’s sake,

The world still waiting at my feet
For gods to play, while men will weep,
And heroes tall still rule the earth.
But floods shall come to trim their girth,

The only hope within an ark,
And waning thoughts of our lost park
Where mankind rose and where he fell.
Now darkness comes and tolls the bell.

Omens rule the skies this day.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

TWO DOGS AT PLAY

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There’s something of two dogs at play
Within the snow, a better Way,
A lighter soul, a brighter day
For men to learn, a Hope.

There is a reason God made friends
First as these, man still ’round the bend,
To pair their souls, true to the end,
To share the strength to cope.

I do not know just how I’d live
Without the solace that they give,
A part of me as much as rib;
Through them for God I grope.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

Dear Denial

C23A4BF2-9C3E-4AB1-87CF-65DED63F3651.jpegDear Denial,

Haven’t talked in a while.
The kids are gone,
Our fav’rite song
Forgotten, out of style.
Misplaced my smile.
I cannot dial
My out-of-service phone.
It’s dead as stone,
Left me alone,
As loves did, single file.
Dearest Denial,
So felial,
My mirror glanced at face
In loss of grace,
The past, a taste
Of dreams and youth’s desires
Burnt low by fires.
We stand on wires
Perched high above it all,
Awaiting fall,
In mind quite tall.
Dearest, dearest Denial,
Please shove me clear
To hold life dear
In run of my last mile;
We sorrow least
For youth well-lost
In grandest state and style.

Eric M. Vogt, Copyright 2014

FIRST STORY TOLD

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Silence shares its peace this morn;
The sun in sky has been reborn.
Two wrens dance to ancient song,
Inviting me to sing along.

This must have been just as the way
Creation went upon Sixth Day;
Yet something, Adam felt, was wrong,
Yes, in his soul–not whole–he longed

For need he could not voice or share.
All living things moved as a pair;
Yet he had none with which to sing,
His heart but half, as withered wing.

He drifted off to dreams in sleep
Midst bleating of the herds of sheep.
And when he woke, beside him lay
A love he held till dying day.

For even when man dreams alone,
There lays within a whispered moan;
Yet one fair eve he shall retire,
And wake to find a world entire

Wrapped in woman he shall hold
As one within, first story told.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

THE WANDERER

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This lull comes to me much too late
To be of aid in coolest clime,
To raise my soul, like spouse her mate,
To deal a deadly blow to Time.

Man’s but a wishful wanderer,
A fleeting shadow borne by dust,
A glow in air, mist of ember,
A shifting whisper wracked by rust.

And so I wander once again,
By starry heavens through the night,
In comfort of a passing friend,
As faint forms fade through lack of light.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

LOVE LIVES IN REFRAINS

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I have forgotten feral foes
That clawed me, rivals to their toes,
A wrapped reminder in their blows
That love lives in refrains.

A man too much within his mood
Comes to be marked as one to brood,
At times a saint, yet most times rude,
In pace with all his pains.

I more desire to shed the scars
Of dour defeats, of waste and wars,
The grayness of the prison bars,
Those tigers we can’t tame.

I live my life with no regrets,
No matter what my choice begets,
To grasp the beauty as sun sets,
To love what’s sad the same.

It takes a will like woman’s hand
To conquer grief in any man,
To aid the crippled one to stand,
Though he’s been mauled and maimed.

I love each person I have met
As I have loved the last sunset,
And, as such, I shall deign to fret
‘Pon treasures not retained.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

AURA

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An aura seemed to rule the world,
It white on gray,
As if a bead of passion’s pearl
Was hid away
Beneath a sea of dark regrets,
In folds to lay;
And I, as sad as sadness gets,
Hid in such waves.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017