COURSE

63CD22E4-134D-4893-9917-047CCD4CCF64

The winter was upon the land before I knew,
That frost within the sparkle left by falling dew,
The yearning for a sip of tea, a cup of stew,
That led to snowflakes falling from a cloud.

There’s higher force which takes the earth upon its course,
Which leads it farther from our life and from the source
Of suns and leads us through the chill of universe,
And leaves a sheet of white to be our shroud.

The roads some humans take are better lanes than most,
And mine I’ve searched without a map, without a post,
Yes, mine has brought me joys, but joys must come with cost;
Yet though some men seem bending, they’re not bowed.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

Advertisements

THE DARKEST YEAR

A86038B2-D48E-49D8-845E-21F5B4027A05.jpegThe losses of this darkest year
Stay in the heart, as snows that melt,
Deep and dire, dim and dank and dear,
Like leaves through air, swift death-falls felt
To breadth of earth, like storm’s strange birth,
Sapping soul of life—worse—of worth,
Its lingering lace of love once dealt,
To be taken ‘way from world.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

STRUCK

3FB55642-E4A6-43C6-AAEF-05A200316EBE.jpeg

I overlook the dawn of world,
And hold in sway the rays of sun,
My re-creation just begun,
The decades—days, ages hurled
Deep within abyss below.

Love struck me! bright as angel’s touch;
And, unrestrained by fear of pain,
I threw myself to earth again,
Heaven having asked too much,
Death a potent, fateful foe.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

JEFFERSON’S FLAG

4FAFF206-FF28-49DD-92A4-D3C3C68CE8E8

It stands on Cap along a ridge
Forever’s length in steep ascent,
The halfway point that stands on bridge
To test a climber’s staunch intent.

It bends with forces of the winds
That buffet it with constant change
And threaten–tandem–to unpin
All hope from stones of steadfast range.

It’s symbol higher than the deed
Of perching flag as if on moon.
But moon it seems, and it has freed
Stark rock face from its dirge of doom.

The winds change, yet flag flies on still.
We must trust in democracy
To, with time and with force of will,
Align a bit more perfectly

With our freedoms fought and bled for.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

WE ARE MOUNTAINS

48C0032E-FAAC-45EB-B9D9-4AF705E23BB7.jpeg

I stand on edge of peak,
Where time, in truth, is lost;
Hearts quicken as we–weak–
Stare at air between us.

We are mountains, our roots
Where wings should be! My Love,
Lay forehead close and stoop
To whisper words above

The heavens; lean closer.
Let your scent seduce me.
Let desire draw near.
Time! Time uproots and frees

Mountains from their mantles.
Our faith is less than hope,
Hope less than love, candles
That burn yet cannot cope

With distance; still I stare
At peak I long to touch.
O Love, let us dare!
And let us live as such.

We are mountains,
Our roots where wings
Should be.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

VETERAN

B5DBEFB6-C0AB-4556-AF6D-3308D7317B47.jpeg

His death and deaths of millions more
Inspired men in U.S.A.
And Canada to mark Great War
With even greater holiday
To cover their souls’ sacred sin
With sacrifice of remembrance.
Here lies dearest Wilfred Owen
And others numb’ring millions more,
His poetry quite forgotten,
As his brethren, score upon score,
Each generation felled again
In much the same sad circumstance.
Here lies poet Wilfred Owen,
Died on patrol one poor week from
Armistice, date we pray for him
And other souls, wars nobly won
By rifle, bayonet and pen
And orators behind front line
Who eat their flesh and drink dark wine.

Eric M. Vogt
from PATHS AND POOLS TO PONDER
“A Soldier’s Song”
Copyright 2013

WE REMEMBER

AB30774F-C477-484E-848A-E0A9AE1CD950On the eleventh hour
of the eleventh day
of the eleventh month,
Nineteen-Eighteen, all
guns fell silent on
the Western Front and
Great War ended, yet
the wars did not end;
we still fill trenches
to bury our friends.
On this same day we
remember all who
gave lives, and all who
have served and loved ones
that cried.

Eric M. Vogt
From PATHS AND POOLS TO PONDER,
“A Soldier’s Song”
Copyright 2013

we

F53867BA-7643-49E5-B5FC-44724AFF93B7

i must admit, a certain part
of me, in shadow of my heart,
has missed your voice and tenderness.
i feel it’s as a wilderness
i navigate within the dark.

in silence of an autumn morn
i hear high herald of a horn,
a moose that longs in mist for mate,
the mourning song that saturates
thin thread of soul and nature, torn.

i lean on staff; it’s not for me
to tell one who her love should be.
i take the scene and sound within,
this place of peace in foggy din;
perhaps on this two can agree:

unless it’s held both day and night,
in shadow and in stream of light,
we cannot love one forest tree,
in absence or in presence
we.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

Glade of Green

2B8909AC-CB60-4CB5-A8B1-9AD3FAA5512B.jpeg

Each Mount has distant glade of green in stunted form,
Grown old from child’s age, yet not quite of the norm,
A piece of heart that’s splintered and a strip that’s torn,
The shard of long-forgotten winter’s day.

It’s place we hide ourselves, although the brush is bare,
To try to nurse a wound with balm of kiss and care,
And none can lie within it but the ones who dare
To climb and find this clearing, there to lay.

In life we have beginnings and we have our ends,
The twisting paths of lovers and the pass of friends,
But few shall come still close enough to help us mend,
To heal our hearts and in us always stay.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

REBELLION

0625F468-F788-4EC0-B404-44BED6C776AC

I took a walk on o’er the hill.
The autumn breeze raked trees with chill.
They stood against the winter’s will,
And my will barred it, too.

I did not want its ice or snow,
Not high on hill or far below;
Perhaps the fall could fell this foe
And colors win, more true.

But wind came from the farthest North,
And quelled rebellion, then sent forth
A snow that snatched the leaves’ self-worth;
They on the ground accrued.

We cannot hold to reds and golds,
Nor stop the winds that make us old;
Yet, as I watched what’s cold unfold,
I longed for spring I knew.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

QUIXOTE

FA5367AC-32E3-4140-AFC5-B77B68809D00

He stabs at foes deemed little more than shadows,
And saves a lass with no wish to be saved;
He dreams in blooms that lie across a meadow
Which sowers past have taken down and razed.

He knows a faith which stares beyond the faithless,
And sees a storm in skies with scarce a cloud.
He loves with love as lost as it is endless,
And speaks with truth few care to speak aloud.

He could be mad, if madness had such power,
And could be hope, if hope a simple song.
For men as he, life lived is fraught with danger—
To men as he, one right supplants all wrong.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

HOPE STILL

64977F09-598E-49D5-9F32-FD0272692893.jpeg

The leaves lay, fallen on God’s lawn,
Accounts in full are overdrawn,
For life must reap what life has sown,
Though color still remains.

It seems as if they breathe last breath,
Yet will not settle down to death,
Still reaching where they’ve laid and wept,
Enduring heartfelt pain.

I hope when I have reached their state
I don’t accept affront of fate,
That for my grave I am bit late,
To live where I have lain,

To keep on reaching for the sky,
To lean on elbow, peering high,
To not stop seeking how and why
Life leaves, yet cannot tame,

To hold to day as planets, stars,
To reach for light though darkness bars,
To fall to earth, bright, fighting wars,
To show that hope still reigns.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

all leaves are freeing

3B207554-2493-4102-ABFF-379349F9BCF6.jpeg

all leaves are freeing, rich, overgrown,
receding; bright colors dry and fade.
a frost has evened out the glade
as pitched youth and these are sown.

such is autumn, rising of the mist,
clear as coyness, crying from a depth
where, preset pillow, here i’ve slept,
dreaming, too soon slain by bliss.

it is autumn; coolness grips, shadow
that runs down blushed lovers lain within,
this struggle, lost, with soul and sin,
in streams upon pine’s pillow.

eric m. vogt
copyright 2017

Jack the Crackerjack Welshman Reaches His Summit

2909CA7E-C162-432A-879A-632B19BB87E6.jpeg

My Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Jack, has reached yet another milestone in his stumpy-legged life. In September he reached the summit of his last of the Presidential mountain range, MT Monroe.

Jack met another record-making corgi named Einstein on the way up. Einstein was just completing the last of his list of 48 4,000+ footers in New Hampshire. He gave Jack a new goal to work toward. Congratulations, Einstein!

93D24F04-E5CB-4725-8E6A-52ED9C3929BE.jpeg

FALLS SO CRISP

84B2F6F2-8099-4C85-B5CE-7C9A965D9BB8.jpeg

Life lies black and white,
Colorless, abandoned,
Weathered, taut and wanton,
Silent, savored sight,
Bland, forgotten question.

First scene comes to mind,
Fiery and emboldened,
Passion’s pitch and probe and
Touch once felt in kind:
Falls so crisp and golden,

Tripped and trodden, blind.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

NATURE IS POTENT

C7E34E55-2C3E-41CF-BC63-9353CBE9101B

Nature is potent in yellow and green,
With red and orange and all in-between,
With such beauty as men have never seen,
A sight reminiscent of gods and of gold.

We are briefest wand’rers on spinning top,
We run in a bolt with no time to stop,
Astride our steed, panting, then tossed to rot,
Bought but for a moment, in time to be sold.

Mountains should tell us all we need to know,
In winter they dream, in springtime they sow,
They tower immense, above, row by row,
Hide change in their pockets and truth in their folds,

Lay out Time in their portals for ants far below;
and would tell of Forever, if gods would allow.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

FALL’S LEAVES BURN BRIGHT

Fall’s leaves burn bright.
They light their way
Into the night,
Bursting as a morning sun,
Urging all to stand and run,
Singing song like life begun.

Winds of winter
Break and bite;

Still, leaves are true,
Indeed, they stay
As flame in hue
Till end, to pull all along
Until season’s ray is gone.
Leaves sing tune that must be sung,

Hold to height, heal us anew
Till they fall, life’s days accrued.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

“Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept and accept the end
Of a love or a season?”

Robert Frost
from “Reluctance”,
A BOY’S WILL

CROWN

 

Those friends most deep within us,
From whom we never part,
Are those who share our very trust,
And always hold our heart,
It’s those who share their merry soul
Through good times and the bad,
Whose half has sealed and made us whole,
Who lift us when we’re sad.
No matter what life brings our way,
A smile or a frown,
The ones we’ve loved and lost shall stay
Within us, worn as crown.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

REACH

FE66523E-3B42-44E3-BF7B-9DC0912D25C4.jpeg

I love the rise of morning’s mist,
The feel of face on fingertips,
A fall so full–so bright–the bliss
When sun first strokes the eye.

I love the ease of simple things,
The flush of seas that passion brings,
The great unknown of Everything
That beams from stars in sky.

I love the peace that comes with friend
That opens distant heart again,
And hold so close those things that men
Can’t barter for or buy.

We each hold unique Universe
Within our heart, as wealth of purse,
And Life, my friend, could be much worse,
So reach for peaks more high!

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

SILENCE

BB7769D8-E822-44E5-B442-05E01CAE60B6.jpeg

Silence lays,
Unforgiving,
Belongs to death,
Not to the living,
Like stars, cold light
As in Beginning.

Silence cuts,
Fine knife that slices
With blandness, rice
Devoid of spices,
A pretty girl
Whose look entices,

Then stares to earth,
Tearing down
A man’s self-worth,
Making him long
For love’s rebirth.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

OUR FUTURE’S FAINT

AD0F9BC6-90BF-4A6E-A1A7-ED6916754372.jpeg

Our future’s faint; the fog,
though lifting, mars our course,
as came the world to own remorse.
Beyond man’s mantra lies a bog.

Our future’s faint; the foe
is fearless, built in brine,
and draws me here. I wait for sign,
but will is waning, yet to know.

Our future’s faint; yet love
is worthy, for love’s sake,
to shine, no matter what our fate,
or haze that hangs, or all above.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

CROWN OF HEAVEN

8CDA719C-8C06-40D5-B99B-A338DE809AD1.jpeg

A little crown of heaven topped the mountain’s crest,
A cloud, a care, a cover, saying all was blessed.
It lost this strand of comfort as its hair was shorn,
To drift across the skies and lesser peaks adorn.
And something of the mountain’s strength was lost that day,
As Samson’s was by beauty as in rest he lay.
So sign was sent from heaven and was cast on stone:
Those strong retain more power when they stand alone.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

REMEMBER

D56A6869-3ADD-43CE-AA2E-9927443CC485

Remember those who gave their lives
On that September morn,
Remember loved ones who have cried,
With honor all adorn,
Remember when the Towers fell,
And those in uniform,
And to your children ever tell
Their story, and then warn,
Lest we should ever lose our guard,
Forget all that they gave,
And learn again the lesson hard
For memories unsaved.
Remember that our freedom makes
Our nation enemies,
Defend it for our childrens’ sakes,
For freedom is not free.

Eric M. Vogt
September 11, 2016

FRIENDS AND BROTHERS

F9EB501E-0D18-4830-9EA0-4726C4EC1B04.jpeg

The world was close to Total War,
And freedom lost for forty years
In East. It was a time of fears
Of missiles’ drop and dead in scores,
Approach of Orwell’s ’84.

We could have walked the college halls,
Yet, loving liberty and land,
We took our place, we raised our hand
Against the Gulags and the Wall
Which irked our ire, we faithful band

Of brothers. We loved each other.
Each was a boy; each was a man.
And only we can understand
That Age, those tales we try to cover,
Prepared to take the Final Stand

As only friends and brothers can.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

A GRASPING AT STARS

 

When I was a young teen, Star Trek and the Space Shuttle were the focus of every boy’s dreams. I wanted to be a scientist and astronaut. So did my closest pal Joe. We would read science fiction novels, make Estes model rockets, and shoot them to the moon.

We had sent up all sorts of brave astronauts, including insects, fish and frogs, but the bravest of these was the trio of field mice caught alive for a very scientific mission. The payload section was especially padded for safety and the countdown commenced.

Ten… We had scrupulously written our observations of all missions in a bound booklet for future use. All preparations, details of flight and after-flight effects upon astronauts were meticulously written down. We were like the Lewis and Clarks of a new age of space adventurers. Some of the Estes models were superior and adequate for “manned” flight. Others were just downright dangerous and could have taken down a small Cesna aircraft. We were bound and determined to take any risks necessary to launch our new age of star adventures.

Nine… The rocket itself had three of the largest chemical rocket charges ever built by teen. It would be deemed a dangerous explosive today. On school property even. Don’t attempt this yourself, kids. We were professionals. And they would call you a terrorist today and ship you off to reform school or Gitmo for teens or worse.

Eight… We never named an astronaut. It was a good policy. Not only was the work inherently dangerous, but it would have interfered with our impartiality as scientists. Don’t want to get too close to an astronaut. Might induce one to pack too much padding.

Seven… We were limited as to who could be chosen as an astronaut by the size of our rockets. Some had very small payload compartments. Only one subject at a time was usually allowed. A fish was the most challenging occupant we sent up, and the most rewarding information we documented was gleaned by the first fishonauts. The very first flight, the fishonaut was sealed with enough oxygen for the entire flight and any time required to chase down the parachute, which sometimes was close to a mile away. Yes, we had learned in chemistry class that the O in water’s scientific symbol stood for oxygen. A handy thing for a scientist to know before sending a fish up. They actually survive the flight quite well. One of the side effects we noted after flight was that a fish will swim upside down for about an hour. Apparently it loses all sense of time and space and gravity. Or it is swallowed by a wormhole and has PTSD.

Six… The ignition system was quite dangerous in and of itself. It consisted of a 12 volt battery, two strands of wiring attached to the switch, a key that, when removed from the switch, rendered it inoperable and safe (theoretically), and positive and negative end wires leading to two very small brass alligator clips. These clips would be attached to each end of an ignition wire shoved up the tail end of the chemical propellent engine. When the whole very unreliable electronic apparatus was assembled correctly and the key was inserted, a red light on the switch showed a good connection and all one had to do was push the red button to ignite the engine and send the destructive craft to its destiny in the sky with its unwilling passenger(s). When I went through U.S. Army basic training I soon realized that the manufacturers of Estes ignition systems must also supply a similar system for the Claymore land mine. Only the best for our troops.

Five… Yes, in 1969 as elementary students, both Joe and I were forced to endure Walter Cronkite’s memorable commentary on the first live moon landing mission of Neil Armstrong and crew. Although it would inspire the three-mouse flight much later in our lives, Joe and I harbored doubts that the moon landing was real as it occurred on the black and white T.V. in our classroom. After all, Captain James T. Kirk didn’t need The Eagle to land on the moon, just a transporter beam and a space suit. So Cronkite’s tale was suspect.

Four… Although we still in general felt that girls were just boys that hit harder, puberty had recently set in with me. Every time I visited Joe I wished I could look upon the scraggly tomboy who lived next door named Lynn. Lynn could milk her father’s cows, shoot a BB gun and hold her own in a wrestling match, but one day when I was at Joe’s in his pool, she came over in a white bikini and changed my view of her and all womankind forever. We usually had playful tussles and splashing as we teased the female race, but as she and I both went for the beach ball at the same time and tugged at one another as usual, a sudden realization came to me. She was different. Her anatomy was blossoming. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I did what any red-blooded American boy would do. I made fun of her. Yet the crush continued to interrupt my scientific reasoning. The day of the launch, we had invited her and a friend to come watch. She seemed very interested, but it filled my mind with sensual ponderings unnamed as I wondered if she would come to look at my rocket.

Three… All three brave mouseonauts were chosen for their inability to escape us no matter how hard they tried. Joe’s dad was a blue collar worker who smoked cigars. Joe had one of his empty cigar boxes with holes forked in its top for air flow. A side note: Always fork the holes in the top of the box BEFORE astronauts are placed inside.

Two… Lynn and her cute friend showed up at the last moment, almost jarring my thoughts to the point of setting off the rocket in Joe’s face. Fortunately for his face (which already had too many red freckles on it), Joe noticed my error and with a little bit of loud irritated discussion put his scientific colleague back on track.

One… The rocket itself was a scale model of the Nazi V-2 rocket that terrorized the English populace in World War II. Supreme irony that both the United States and Estes brought it to this country to terrorize man and mouse alike. Even with three large engines, it was a big, lumbering craft, quite unlike the payload rockets I had built in the past. The payload section was the entire plastic nose cone, more than large enough to house three mouseonauts. I assured Lynn that they were perfectly safe in the part of the V-2 that normally housed the warhead.

Zero… My thumb pressed down on the red button that no President had pressed in all the modern history of the United States. Yet, the safety of the Free World was at stake. The Rushkies couldn’t be allowed to send up three mice before our illustrious nation.

Liftoff… The V-2 rocket finally ignited, and slowly, methodically, the pig of a missile went up, up, up, to about two or three hundred feet, pitiful for an Estes rocket. The engines discharged, which should have blown both the nose cone with our faithful travelers in it and its extra large parachute out. But there was a malfunction. The three engines did not eject the nose cone, and the V-2 plunged to the earth, reminding one of its role in the Blitz many years before. Lynn and her friend let out a gasp of terror as it fell to earth. Major Tom to Ground Control: We have a misfire, Houston.

Crash… The three brave mouseonauts did not survive. But, according to our meticulous notes, they evidently did not know what hit them, nor what they hit. All three back bones were instantly broken on impact, their short, but brave careers ended forever. The space race would never be the same again.

We buried them at the edge of Joe’s field with full military honors rivaling Mr. Spock’s ceremony in the Star Trek movie, but without the photon torpedo and without the Genesis effect and subsequent incomprehensible resurrection. Lynn attended, teary-eyed, and a ban on use of mouseonauts was instituted from that moment forward. A cinder block memorial was the only marker to show the tomb of the three brave souls that shall remain forever in the hearts and minds of boys, mice and men.

 

Eric M. Vogt

Copyright 2014

HEARTBEAT

My War has ended, not the toll,
That bitter peace within the lull,
A night’s sharp dream inside my skull,
The heartbeat out of tune,

My view of world that’s still the same,
The wince at long-forgotten pain,
And knowledge of a Town, insane,
The monkey in the room,

A peace which really knows no peace,
The War which shall not slow or cease,
Till matter, flesh, is buried deep,
Swept clean with life’s own broom.

I think of comrades on the Moon,
That place few people know, the doom
Of rant and wrath and knives that groom,
Which whittle sharp the soul.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright

HEADWALL

The distant headwall holds own fears,
Fragments of bones, of hopes, of tears
Millenniums make sure.

Its history precedes our time,
The crease of wisdom in its line,
Age part of its allure.

One day I shall ascend its slate,
Which knows no ending and no date,
So strong it shall endure

The constant change of wind and rain,
Those snows of sorrow, pools of pain
That carve and have no cure.

But if I could make headwall’s ledge,
Perhaps, tettered on heaven’s edge,
My end might seem more pure.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

REVEALED

The red squirrel is trilling and stirring,
A crow cries a dark, distant call;
Dew’s touch, fine and cool and alluring,
Brings thought of a year’s early fall.

Shrill song of the cricket is dying,
A blanket shall come in its turn;
There’s no time for wishing or whying-
All’s revealed in edges of fern.

The time that awakens all senses
Shall soon slip to pillage of white;
It is seen in flight of the finches-
All’s revealed in chill of the night.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

BUTTERFLY

She is a butterfly,
Beauty simple,
Light, yet weighted,
Calm example,
Passion stated
In her playfulness.

She is a butterfly,
Bold but fearing,
Swift, elusive,
Silent, hearing
And evasive
In her waywardness.

She is a butterfly,
Poised on a pin,
Flowers tended,
Yet herself in
Soul upended,
Searching still for bliss.

She is a butterfly,
Life unraveled,
Mute and mired;
Far she’s traveled,
Worn and tired,
Fleeing, as from kiss.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

THE SHIP

The timbers of the ship grow tender,
Her masts lean bit, and to and fro.
The ownership has passed to lender;
Her spirit takes all thoughts we know.

She once made ports and took on treasure
That kings admired, guarded, craved,
But look this bland day shows no measure,
The many lives she cherished, saved.

She raced through storm to help a shipmate,
Cradled the dying, slipped to grave.
At one with seas, once sleek in shape,
She plowed through all with cheer and rave.

Today she bears lone creak and coldness
That shifts with moments, reels with wave;
Yet deep within remains the boldness
That beat off Frenchmen, showed the blade.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

ONE WITH MOUNT WASHINGTON

How many have died…so near, so far…
In tempest of frost, of snow, of rain,
Off a stone trail…alone and lost…for
Want of moisture, or injured, in pain,

Or choice that’s the Last-brief, fleeting time
To save? Long…so long…gods’ rocky grave…
One foot before last…lives in such clime
That changes all futures, crushes with waves

Of destruction! Destinies undone!

Youths and their elders lie and they sleep,
Forever one with Mount Washington,
Sea on a summit, strong and so deep;
War lost for some…for others it won.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

ON CREST OF MT WASHINGTON

through falls and winters, clinging tight to crest of earth
harassed from very early times, before men’s birth,
wracked free of every dream she’s had, her wholesome worth,
survival pressed within, down clear to toes.

it wasn’t one brief moment when she lost it all,
gave up the hope of living long, of growing tall,
yet beauty never left her dance, her close-knit shawl,
wove time with its tomorrows and its woes.

she could live half a century, or full or more,
her blood breathe like a shattered thing from every pore,
her story go untold as buried book of lore,
her destiny a lawn where Stranger mows.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

UNTIL THE MOUNTAINS’ MORNINGS CEASE

The chill of morning pricked my skin
And all the passions felt within.
My soles pressed firm to touch the earth,
Expending all my inner worth
To make me feel, for moment, one
With calm of nature, warmth of sun.

My stride was quickened, dew was drawn,
A king made out of lowly pawn
By boot felled swift on tapered trail
That freshened mind from tests and tales
I left behind to face what’s true,
In nature’s dawn made fresh anew.

It’s there I faced, lone and forlorn,
A part of me unknown yet torn.
And somewhere in the rise of sun,
Between a trot and open run,
I found earth’s passion to renew
And turned to heights as brave ones do.

In such reflections men find peace
Until the mountains’ mornings cease.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2014

AEONS

Aeons it took to carve a world we let carve us,
The scars that pit yet yield the trails which wind to heart,
Traversed by souls they long to bring to peace; we must
Go back to prehistoric times which made their mark,
Return to gather nothing but a shifting sky…

A place where men must rest and in the evenings lie.
Arise! leave all regrets, as stars that fade with dark.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

blooms scattered on the mountains

 

fine gauze wrapped ’round the mountain on that summer’s morn,
like mists of memories that rest until reborn,
as eyes hold what they cannot hold when heart is torn,
lone photograph which lingers in the mind.

they may have climbed to seal the bond they’d made for life,
first warmth of partnership they held as man and wife,
or bring back to their thoughts and prayers the loss of life,
great tragedies and hopes of humankind.

the roses, placed on monument with utmost care,
conclusion of a promise made or foolish dare,
enveloped heart within the mist; I paused to stare,
to ponder on the peak this precious find.

the storm took all these dreams one night by rain and wind,
regardless of rich destinies, of faith, of sin;
yet in the end a man must rise, new life begin,
continue on the path and hold to sign.

we’ll journey up this peak again another day,
reminding ourselves life at times bears souls away,
but cling we must to edge that Time shall never stay,
that spirit in the haze where we’re inclined,

blooms scattered on the mountains, bent and blind.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

AS DARK DESCENDS

Rebecca M. Vogt
Copyright 2013

As dark descends, the stars ascend
Above the shadows of the wood.
And so it is with evil, good,
With death and life, with foe and friend.

I bathe in coolness, bask in fire
On nights as these, so silent I
Can hear things never heard in my
Daytime deafness, a pure desire

Found yet again, defying end.
It is in night that stars arise,
Much like the love within your eyes.
Fear not the darkness; rise and mend.

Hear! Rapt coyote calls to sky,
His worship clear with piercing truth.
At night such prayers give ample proof
We too can rise when all hope dies.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

IF I RETURN TO SLUMBER

 

i just awoke, two hundred years beyond my time,
asleep beneath the trees, deaf, dumb, yes, even blind,
and rise to find a very different human-kind,
that’s lost its deepest, wisest sense of touch.

i cannot talk to people, who all walk alone,
their plans and dreams encompassed in a single phone,
a world whose cries for help are muffled by its tone,
insensitive to that more dear and much.

if i return to slumber, will all flesh be gone,
replaced by wire and diode, void of right or wrong,
encased in pure titanium, no heart, no song,
interred within man’s coffin and his crutch?

all human-kind have left the simple call of love,
have left their dreams of flying to the stars above,
and have not come to point where they have said: “Enough!”,
replaced their hearts for switches and for such.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

JACOB’S ANGEL

 

I’ve made so many more mistakes
Than I could ever count,
And on occasion I debate
My conscience and I mount
Each petty detail and each time
I made a choice gone bad,
Those fickle foibles and those crimes
That make a man so sad.
Forgiveness is the finest thing
A person can possess;
Yet, self-forgiveness with it brings
True reason to be blessed.
I grappel with that angel still,
Perhaps to my last breath,
To wring out blessing through my will
Or take it to my death.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

Brief Candle: Memorial Day Thought 2018

This weekend is a contemplation of sad losses to us as a nation and to us as individuals. My sharing today is the loss of a youth so long ago, my high school classmate, Stephen Tingley. I enlisted in the United States Army a year prior to his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. We lived in an age when Vietnam was fresh in the minds of Americans and soldiers were looked down upon, abused in public, and generally forgotten. Yet we served. We felt it was our duty. So when so many of our classmates went to college and very sheltered lives, we did not. This is his story. This is his brief candle:

ODE TO LANCE CORPORAL
(And 240 others who died, October 23, 1983, Beirut, Lebanon)

It’s funny how the dead peer through
Each blast of cold of all we knew
To make our memories more true
In curtained clarity.

He joined, as I did, hoisted gun,
We youths at best, our lives begun,
And thought it all might just be fun
In full sincerity.

Our uniforms were soiled as green,
And wills and wants were just as keen,
Our training made our muscles lean,
Yet one day leaner, he.

He died in first sound of a war
That has killed thousands by the score,
Yet his Two Hundred, lost of lore,
Lost to eternity.

I stood above his grave that year,
First saw his flag and then drew near;
Salute and sob he could not hear,
As silent as could be.

He sleeps within his barracks still,
And won’t awake, yet over hill
I see his colors, flying till
He stands eternally.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016stevetingley

FIRES THAT LAST

Fires that last start slowly.
I pause to toss in my twig,
You pause to toss yours.
And so burns the steady fire
Through years.

Loves which last start slowly.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

SOUL

i realize i’ve found that soul
which lies with mine as one,
adrift within the universe,
that lifts as ray of sun,

with power in the touch of hair,
a wind to tack my sails,
to lift to islands in the stream
of life, weaver of tales.

as trust is measured after storm,
so fate has brought us through
our myriad of defilades
and wars that made thus true.

that gentle agent of my life
has worn and damaged hands,
and swift-forgives a slip in tongue,
for patience understands.

this ever-faithful soul is Me,
we’re bound as tight as skin;
our step is measured by a song
both know by heart, akin.

the truest test of love to
last, unchanged by time or winds?
first love Thyself to love without;
stand strong! next tale begins!

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

A WETLAND DREAM

My mind has gone exploring in a wetland dream,
Between the peaks of glory and the clearest stream
Which snows have fed; their journey never ends, it seems,
Perhaps in truth our story, after all.

A spirit bowed is tended by a force unknown,
Each day of strength one simple line of person’s poem,
Created in a moment, to be left alone
Until the heart is stirred by restless call.

If God dwells not in temples, never seen by eye,
And scans from seamless perch far above in sky,
Yet deep within these senses where our treasures lie,
To guard the soul within our inner hall,

Then godliness, a structure built, but not by hand,
Nor architect and craftsman to exacting plan,
Each wetland dream retained within a woman, man,
O, why would we surround such with a wall?

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

THIS DAWN WHISPERS

 

This dawn whispers so faint,
Like harp’s light cords in a dream,
Fingered by a faceless spirit,
Rising up to heaven.

This dawn whispers so bold,
Like an owl, weary of the hunt,
That blinks one simple eye, to hold
Forever within his plaintive cry.

This dawn whispers with hope,
Like a mother’s gaze, staring at her
Babe, suckling, newly born,
All night’s pains displaced by joy.

This dawn whispers with many faiths,
Of wings, of paws, of hoof, of light,
Sung much less by the rise of sun
In beams of glory, than by mind’s own mists.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

MOUNTAINS OF THE MORNING

Each soul
Is a time-worn cavern
Upon a peak, distant,
In the sun.
It is fissured and cracked.
It has depth, discerning
What each life, worn, rich, re-torn,
Yet willing
Can yield, its treasure deep,
Held by hope
Reborn.

And those yields!
For in these depths, true,
Lay time’s untouched toils,
Places not dwelt in, pains
Pushed to darkened rooms
We seal;

Yet, in those same depths,
Away,
Lay
Less-touched treasures:
Diamonds, carved by ice,
Gold gifted, refined, scattered
In its streams——
And dreams! So many
Dreams.

Those mountains of the morning,
So stately,
Beauty’s beacons,
Are but one distant
Dream…

The longed adventure,
That dreamed adventure
Lies beneath us, to
Be revealed,
To be discerned
Within and deep,
Beneath and through-
It’s true-
To din of dust.

Rise with me!
Take pause and ponder,
And, to our end,
Come claim our
World.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

the rain is cold

it is night;
showers drum
their sure,
cool rhythm
upon my roof,
proof
heaven cries
as we
weep
tenderly,
saying what lays
close to soul,
charm that’s hidden
deep as heart.

the rain is cold,
less touched
than felt,
less prayed
than knelt,
love as fire,
bold desire,
our sun
that flares,
then melts,
refined
by time.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

THIS DAY IS YOURS

 

This day is yours, for all those days you marked
Of little life that sprouts too fast, it grown
And raised in love, guided, fondled, known
With bond just you can know, held like spark
From birth; this day is yours, and this your throne.

Eric M. Vogt

Copyright 2017

REBORN

The sun peers through this gentle morn
And finds me as a man reborn.
The wrens sing back and forth their song
With springtime gladness, winter gone.

In quiet moments, just like this,
I think of you and ponder bliss,
Each day a dawn to peaceful age,
My book well-torn and worn at page

Where we shake off our winters, love
As sure as sun that shines above.
But dark clouds reign, even at light,
And bring down rain, as dark clouds might.

Yet I hold on; perhaps, by chance,
They’ll pass and change our circumstance.
And even now gods goad to grave
Which all men bear; still, sun shall save

With springtime’s hope, with dawn’s new day,
And bring us close. For this I pray.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

MORN THAT’S MISSED

O, could you see what I see on brief morn that’s missed
By most, a pause that waits beyond our fingertips,
Whose brush, much like a lover’s slight and softest kiss,
Is time that slows the heart to feint of sleep?

I’ve yearned the life that longs for peace of yesterday,
A path ascending ages on a winding way
Which seems as trail of echoes, and I wish to stay
Upon its thrill, its death-defying peak.

I wish to know your firm desire beyond this line,
Your dream of densest universe beyond the rhyme,
That taste of heart and thought that could our souls define,
Those deepest woes that make you wish to weep.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018

CATHEDRALS THAT RISE HIGH

I feel a piece of heaven’s just beyond the dawn,
A world of silent measure, wished like tender song,
Where peaks and crags ignore the deepest, darkest wrong,
In mountains of our hopes and of our dreams.

Some gather things that glitter, some embrace the flesh,
While some believe a steeple makes a faith more blessed,
But day brings all to light, they revealed by test,
Whether a man is holy or is mean.

And I prefer cathedrals that rise high from men,
To rest my weary troubles at a creature’s den,
While gazing out in rapture where the gods have been,
Beside the fall of clearest mountain stream.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2018