The Cremation of Sam McGee

Robert W. Service (b.1874, d.1958)

 

There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that […]

The Human Seasons

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty spring, when fancy clear Takes in all beauty with an easy span; He has his Summer, when luxuriously Spring’s honied cud of youthful thoughts he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming high […]

Bess of Hardwick: Four Times a Lady

Four times the nuptial bed she warm’d, And every time so well perform’d, That when death spoil’d each husband’s billing, He left the widow every shilling. Fond was the dame, but not dejected; Five stately mansions she erected With more than royal pomp, to vary The prison of her captive When Hardwicke’s towers shall bow […]

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Home Top of Pg. Archives […]

Motel

Motel, Motel Do Tell

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The Warmth of a Country Christmas

Tucked into all corners of the large stately farm house Loquacious aunts, uncles of letters, adventure and public house, Grandmother wrapped in wool, grandfather’s pipe Gas fired ceramic tiled fireplaces, a Christmas delight Glowing red ember warming through the night

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Indian Summer

We opened the doors on the old Dodge van parked under the big oak tree the old farm house etched with memory ropes hanging down and an old plank swing She kicked her bare feet playfully in the dirt and then soared to the sky Looking out over Illinois corn fields full in growth, […]

Bleak City

Exhaust blackened dirty snow Bleak City cold winter sting Cars in ditches Tire chains and rock salt Doughnut shop at four am Factory whistle blows at five Hot coffee on the dashboard Eyes on the road Front wheel drive Cadillac I’ll make it on time

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The Damp Dark Plight of Rainy Day Books

Awakened to mild rumbles of thunder and pounding rain washed down by a steady drizzle and more downpour coating asphalt with mirrored reflections of oily alluvial runoff easing back into a soothing pattern of velvety rain drops drizzling down the foliage encased wrought iron balcony rails

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Pussy Willow Wielded a Real Broad Sword

The Interrogation of Joan of Arc by Cardinal Winchester

Pussy Willow wielded a real broad sword Honed with diamonds and emery board They say she cut her own umbilical chord The day she strapped it on to serve her Lord

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Prairie Steel and Golden Lace

Western prairie quiet broken by forged steel Sage Grouse dance, feathers of resplendent golden lace oblivious to Manifest Destiny’s race Juniper trees observe from high peaks Wisps of threadbare clouds converging on progress

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Flotsam and Jetsam

Pirate plunder, sailboat trash, cruise ship waste oil cargo leaks, party boat beer cans, trawler diesel hurricane timber, tsunami tin, maelstrom hulls 1452, 1633, 1785, 1823, 1900, 1956, 1989, 2005 skulls, bones, kneecaps, shoulder blade, hip bones doubloons, pieces of eight, gold, pearls, emeralds daggers, dirks, walking planks, broadswords, canon balls sloshing, swooshing, swaying, […]

Reading Glasses

Once you get your first pair You’ll find them everywhere Up and down the stairs Even a pair in your chair

A pair in the kitchen For cutting up chicken One made of hard plastic to take a licking

A fine gold pair for putting on airs a silver pair too, looks good on […]

The Last Surfer in California

By the time I got to California the blondes had gone home The Beach Boys were sporting dreadlocks and singing reggae songs The life guard at the tower didn’t have a tan Said if you’re looking for Mama Cass she’s asleep over there in the van

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A Jar of Baseball Dreams

Every home should have one to be opened in spring A jar that sits on the table full of baseball dreams

Inside will be found there pennants and things The smell of fresh cut grass and pinstriped rings A pair of old tickets to the game never played, Do you remember how cold it […]

A Summer Memory

Here, where these low lush meadows lie, We wandered in the summer weather, When earth and air and arching sky, Blazed grandly, goldenly together.

And oft, in that same summertime, We sought and roamed these self-same meadows, When evening brought the curfew chime, And peopled field and fold with shadows.

I mind me of […]

Shipmates

I once met a chap, hailed from Harvard said where’d ye attend school, this here is starboard On his diploma was a bit more yellow Than that on the belly of his scholarly fellows His hat was a good half inch taller Than his lapels which were narrowly smaller So I yanked him up […]

The Red-Headed Macaw

I swapped a parakeet for a red-headed Macaw That drank my rum and called me paw I’d rock in my chair, she’d swing on her perch When the preacher came around she’d pretend it was church

On Saturday mornings when we drove into town She’d ride on the back of my blue-tick hound Howling […]

The Character of a Happy Life

How happy is he born and taught. That serveth not another’s will; Whose armour is his honest thought, And simple truth his utmost skill

Whose passions not his masters are; Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance […]

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.

— Adam Smith