A SOLDIER’S SKIN

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Some things trees don’t grow over.
They grow around.
The bark-sealed wire.
Swift burst of wind.
A cracked-off limb.

Some things a man’s never over.
The grave’s slight mound.
Love’s sharp desire.
A soldier’s skin.
Tall mountain’s climb.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

O CANDLE, STIR

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This night is lit with candle’s flame
That draws and leads the weary souls
Who’ve lost their way, and others, same,
That yearn a hope beyond their woes.

Yet light I burn this eve is new,
Sweet bell that sings in constancy,
A heart that stays forever true,
As bouy listing ‘pon the sea

To mark and guide swift sail to port.
O candle, stir like flame in she!
Light heavens with a sharp report
And bear my lover’s course to me.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

GENERATION

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The trees lay barren by a lane
On peak that faces east to Maine,
The timber all around them young,
Their bark aged gray by time and sun.

They are the lone survivors now
Of saw and wind and winter’s growl.
Though they look frail to trees below,
Each holds a majesty bestowed.

They see friends stumble, bent by foe,
Yet stand by them there, row by row.
They wisdom gained few understand
Till tragedies destroy life’s plans.

They stand against decay of worm;
Yet, taller, for a squirrel make room.
Those younger trees stare up from field
And see them bear all heavens wield,

But each a dignity displays
That only comes with length of days.
On high their generation rests,
Example of its will through test.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

BELONG

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The pines had an effect that day
I journeyed down a lonely way.
The silence wrapped me as a shawl
Against the crispness of the fall.

A stream gave trickle, spring too far
To give it strength, it under par;
Yet it was clear with clarity
That helped me see more than most see.

A squirrel, red, jumping tree to tree,
Chattered rebuke to dogs and me
As if I didn’t quite belong
In forest, nor have what I longed.

But it was pines that pierced my eye,
And took away my every sigh;
They blazed with yellows and with golds
That comfort those who have grown old.

There, in deep loneliness of woods,
I stumbled on what I — lone— could.
I’d never grasped it if with one,
Nor seen its glory, blaze of sun.

Yes, I belonged— as one with tree,
With squirrel, with fall, with you, with me.
There came a comfort in it all
That made me stand a bit more tall.

Alone is not the same, you see,
As loneliness, if we’re as free
As fall, as winter, summer, spring,
The freedom that such silence brings

That makes man live as one with earth
And lends to him a greater worth.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

BARREN LANDS

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In barren lands beset by war
we mourn the children by the score,
the homeless wrapped within a rag,
those slaughtered, thrown into a crag.
Yet somehow we forgot our own,
torn down where they have thrived and grown,
the last of frontier known to man
wiped out by cutter, plot and plan.
Look high, for Muir is here and mourns
for generations yet unborn.
The mountains make, here, their last stand
against the greediness of man.
The dead haunt every place we hike,
where we have sailed and where we bike.
Give voice to tree. Give voice to earth.
Give voice to countryside of birth.
Give voice to slaughter, and to war
that rages still, to kill by score.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016

WINTER WRAP

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In life we find one tender heart to help us cope,
That hinge which hangs upon a thread, that strand of rope,
That winter wrap which gives each day a warmer hope,
The friend to weather storm and peace alike.

He loved her from a distance and admired the peak,
That summit at the end of life a man will seek,
Perhaps too brash, perhaps too strong, yet I think weak,
For men as he see promise in its height.

She feigned she did not notice, but her heart was torn
Between a sea of sorrow and the hint of morn,
But there beyond beginnings lay two souls so worn
They could not reach to rally, stripped of might.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2017

leap

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i stand on edge of earth
and lean to future,
both heels in past,
a faith more lost
than leap.

Eric M. Vogt
Copyright 2016