Category Archives: poetry

Snow Fence

snow fence with mountains in background

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Fence

Along the endless roadways, like many in the west,
you would see them stretched for miles, doing their wintry best
to keep the blowing snow off main highways and road –
a hundred feet back and four-foot high, in red, they were the code.

You’d see them before the snows came, snaking, winding, low or high
not thinking much about them, as the grasses tried to hide
them, growing up high between their slats, blocking the reddened dye
as you whizzed by on the highway; taking them in stride.

You came to expect their presence, as many were up year round
and stretched for endless miles nearly going from town to town.
for they also stopped the tumbleweed from flying across the road
and changing the course of a speeding car; making sure it slowed.

But the wintry winds are fast to come that bring the heaps of snow
and like a bird on silent wing, they can surprise you unaware.
But the picket fence, standing tall, waves defiance at its foe
as it performs its sentinel duty, always standing; always there.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Mayday! in September

(a Sattler photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayday! in September

The morning was beautiful… nary a cloud in the sky.
The whole of Manhattan was a gift to the eye.
The smell of the air was fresh to the nose
A good day to live, like a good day goes
that makes you excited about life.
Early morning shoppers were swamping Times Square
while tourists in the ‘park’ were paying their fare
for a boat ride that would take them in the river, somewhere,
and the buzzing of excitement was rife.

In Boston, Flight 11 was late in taking off
and flight attendant Betty…. was fighting with her cough,
as she rushed to get the passengers safely buckled in
for the long trip to Los Angeles where many were seeing kin
and were far too excited…..to want to settle down.
Flight 175…. was leaving Boston right on time
headed for Los Angeles and now in rapid climb
and Lee thought what he’d tell his Dad when landing on a ‘dime’
later in Los Angeles, his other favorite town.

New York’s World Trade towers – on this morning – glistened bright
and like two shining swords, they reflected what was right
in a world that, now seemed, tentative…. faltering at its core
as terrorists threats were rising….and difficult to ignore
as they captivated headlines all the time.
And on this day, as usual, hundreds came to work…. near late
scurrying with their lattes, their bagels and their fate
on elevators that took them high…. where dream jobs did await
and where the views on high…. were sublime.

(a Scott Demel photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were probably in the bathroom, or cafeteria or work space
or already at their computer…. when it slammed the north face
and shuddered the world…. of the dead and the living
and threatened all souls….especially those, forgiving –
who now seemed revengeful in their need.
When chaos enters and subdues the light
and evil commands everything in sight
you question where to turn…. to find what’s right
in your search for what to heed.

While watching those clinging in the burning North Tower,
175 slams the south face…. of the nearby South Tower
and with the dimension of terror…. now doubled by degree
a war zone scene emerges…. that no one could foresee
earlier that morning on the eleventh of September.
At 9:58 the South Tower collapsed….in view for the world to see
at 10:28 the North Tower collapsed, adding heaps of hot debris.
as the enemy rejoiced around the world in victory…. by decree
in cold, raised gun defiance…. we all watched on tv.

If there’s a lesson we all must learn, it must be that our life
can be snuffed out at a second’s notice…. in this world of strife,
because it’s obvious,  we can’t agree or share what we believe
as if we come from different worlds…. in what we all perceive
creating this world that threatens all our lives.
So as we try to raise our children in a world that’s safe to all;
teach them all the good things and how to stand up tall
yet have respect for all beliefs and help each when they fall
maybe there’s a real chance their ‘real’ world…. survives.

copyright 2012  t.  j.  gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, poetry, World Trade Center

Night Moment

Night Moment

There’s a dream we all have that comes in the night,
when our legs are so heavy, though we know they are light,
and we can’t get away in the slow motion mode
and seconds are hours and we’re ‘bout to explode,
when we wake up and dare look around.
The room is all dark; everything’s in its place.
You’re sure you’re awake as you search out your face.
But something seems wrong; something’s wrong with the space;
too groggy, the body lays down.

When the sun, in the morning, sifts in through the blind,
and you don’t want to rise…. but then change your mind,
and she’s asking you why you sat up in the night
and, at that same moment, nothing’s coming to light
and you wonder just what’s on her mind.
You head to the bathroom… as you slowly awake;
The stomach is growling, but it isn’t an ache
You remember the meal… you had late last night
while finishing the game before starting to write;
the mind-dream now gone by design.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under dream, poetry

‘Character’ Set

I marvel at how something, seemingly, insignificant can, when scrutinized, become ‘visible’ and realized as a necessary part of an equation…in this instance, an ordinary scene outside in the yard.

The repeated scene unknowingly always had a certain set of props, which at first, weren’t realized.

 

 

 

‘Character’ Set

 

When I sit down to write, whether morning or night,
there are birds there to sing me a song.
The dog’s at my feet; the cat’s found her seat
and together we seem to belong
to the moment we’re in, with a feeling of kin,
as we look towards each other… now and then……
before the birds fly away, the dog goes astray
and the cat goes a-chasing….again.

It’s a comfort we know, we understand it…. and so
being close ‘round each other’s, okay.
Thus you might see the cat, by the dog, laying flat
‘neath the fountain where the birds splash away.
That’s how it goes; what’ll happen, who knows
it’s a mystery that I always get,
whenever I write, whether morning or night,
outside with this ‘character’ set.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under animals, Blogging, crafts, Family, Friends, Love, poetry

A Trooper’s Letter

(National Park Service)

A Trooper’s Letter

It is in troubled heart, I write
to you, my love, upon this night.
So many things I’d like to say
before the coming light of day.

And as I lay here ‘neath this tree
my only thoughts are thoughts of thee.
So many things we could have done;
so many tales we could have spun.

I’ve begged my mind to dream you here
so I could hold you close and dear
perchance that I could say goodbye
be it, in battle, I should die.

Before the sun begins to rise,
we want to catch them by surprise
so get good rest, boys, Custer said.
That’s why I’m writing you… in bed.

The Indian camp was found, last day;
its size so great we can’t delay
to get position along the crest
where the river’s bottom…. we see the best.

It’s at this ford, the Sioux will cross;
We must defend it…. at all cost
But if we fail we’ll head up high
and join what others happen by.

So now, my darling,… I must rest
for tomorrow be the final test
And I will follow…. at the General’s side
It’s been an honor….forgive my pride.

My eyes now close…..the  fallen pen
has found its place; won’t write again.
I fall to dream; your eyes are bright….
we walk in hand toward morning’s light.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under crafts, Custer, poetry

Custer Hill

Eric von Schmidt’s  “Here Fell Custer”

Custer Hill

At the foot of the hill, north of the stream
where the grass had been trampled down,
he halted his horse…stunned by the scene,
at the foot of the hill, north of the stream.
“Give me my field glasses…I hear a scream.”
he yelled at his scout….in frantic frown
at the foot of the hill, north of the stream
where the grass had been trampled down.

On top, on down where they covered the hill,
and laid in the grass, pale white,
except for the grasses, all was still,
on top, on down where they covered the hill.
In the dark of his glasses was a test of his will
and he shivered with terror at the thought of their plight
on top, on down where they covered the hill,
and laid in the grass, pale white.

Off to the east to the side of the ravine,
Where it was first, that he saw the horse –
a claybank… hurt and bleeding, his rider unseen,
off to the east to the side of the ravine.
The state of the bodies, all stripped… was obscene;
And he stared at them, shaking, with a heart of remorse
off to the east to the side of the ravine,
where it was first, that he saw the horse.

As they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry
charging into history up that hill
Crazy Horse was yelling “It’s a good day to die!”
As they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry.
That Custer stood his ground… is a fact one can’t deny.
When you study it…you can almost hear the cries….still…
as they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry
charging into history up that hill.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under Custer, Custer Hill, poetry

Broken Fence

The march of time takes no prisoners.  Its course is direct, unswerving.  It waits for no one and no one can deter its path and goal.  All things must adjust to its course.

(stock header photo)

 

 

Broken Fence

Back from the road at the foot of the hill,
up from the gully stream that trickles still,
between road and grass that has grown so dense,
all you see now is the broken down fence.

For years it has guarded the hills and beyond
where cattle and horses have grazed near the pond
that formed in the draw providing them drink
though all that’s been guarded…. is now on the brink

of being exposed and run over by them
critters and people and the prairie’s blue stem
grasses that persisted and have flourished so tall
covering the fence where it continues to fall.

The keeper of the fence has probably grown old
and, if that be the case, it’s a story foretold
‘cause neglect of what’s old is a pronouncement of doom
Thus this fence, against nature, is a story of gloom.

So the forces of nature like wind and the drought
will continue their damage with all of their clout.
The posts will stand tall where they can, in defense,
but in time, it is nature that will make the most sense.

She lies on her side, her wire strewn wide.
It waves in the wind; there’s nothing to hide.
The fence had a life and for a very long spell;
now down on the ground, it’s a story to tell.

t. j. gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

The Lamb’s Little Mary

The Lamb’s Little Mary

Mary had a lamb of white,
stubborn thing that liked to fight
and often went against all rule
and often did so, when at school
and then ran home to hide.

Mary was who got in trouble, though,
defending her lamb, white as snow,
cause she couldn’t stop him from following her
and she told her teacher that was the truth, for sure,
as she sat in the chair and cried.

“Well, Miss Mary, I’m sorry to say,”
the teacher said in a gentle way,
“you’ll have to be punished and sent back home
if you come to school and you’re not alone
cause the rules must be obeyed.

So go to the blackboard and write this down…..
‘I will not let my lamb be anywhere around,’
and write it twenty times, so you will know
no lambs can be at school, even lambs as white as snow;
even asking school permission will not be okayed.”

So little Miss Mary, who loved her school,
who didn’t mean to break the silly little rule,
trudged back home with defiance in her eye
kicking every stone in her path, up high
until getting home to her lamb and play.

She tried to explain to him how it must be
and he looked up in her eyes, excitedly
and she was sure that he definitely understood each word
but she repeated herself just to make sure he heard,
then they ran around the yard….again happy and gay.

Mary now teaches at that very same school
where her lamb followed her and broke the rule
and where Mary spent hours writing on the boards
and became a great writer, winning many awards
making her school, very proud.

And now in the third seat, fourth row from the back
is a little girl named, Alexi, who has a goat named, Zack.
And she meets twice a week with Mary after school
discussing stuff about goats and some silly school rule
and Mary remembers her lamb….. and they both….. laugh out loud.

T. J. Gargano

Leave a comment

Filed under lamb, poetry

Tepee On The Hill

In 1948, my father was transferred from Iowa to Pierre, South Dakota to manage the Gambles Store and in that day, even though Native Americans, still called Indians back then, were largely on reservations, there were three large white tepees on the east edge of town, not far from the Mighty Mo’ (Missouri River).

One windy, hot summer day, I was at the store and I got to go with my Dad and his helper to the edge of town and up to one of the tepees.  We delivered a ‘freezer’ to the old Indian and his wife, living in one of the tepees.  The Indian gave my Dad 5 geese, which he took home and put in our storm shelter in the backyard.  I can still smell the mess I had to clean up on occasion…..haha  Memories….that’s what lives are made of.

I present this poem as ‘my record’ more than anything.  Feel free to read it.

Tepee On the Hill

On the side of a hill at the edge of town
a stone’s throw away….. from ‘Mighty Mo,’
the tepees sat in grass all around
on the side of a hill at the edge of town.
I remember the dogs running up and down
the hill,  ‘round the tepees….white as snow,
on the side of a hill at the edge of town,
a stone’s throw away….. from ‘Mighty Mo.’

Back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store
in Pierre, South Dakota, back then,
I remember all the places, I use to explore
back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store.
I’d stay with him and do things like sweeping up the floor
and help out with deliveries….. like all the other men…
back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store
in Pierre, South Dakota…… back then.

Between the tepees, where sat the old black car,
and where the wind was blowing a scary high pitched tone,
the grass was laying down, as were the dogs, not far,
between the tepees, where sat the old black car.
Then the tepee opened up and an old Indian with cigar
waved at Dad and suddenly I felt alone
between the tepees, where sat the old black car,
and where the wind was blowing a scary high pitched tone.

The freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad,
we hooked up in his tent
and I still can see him dancing and, in a way, it’s sort of sad,
the freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad.
Cause it makes me miss my dad even though I’m really glad
to have had that moment – with the Indian, now shared ; now spent
the freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad,
we hooked up in his tent.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

9 Comments

Filed under poetry

Around The Bend

Jane Thorne at http://janeannethorne.wordpress.com/  in a recent post,  queried bloggers about their favorite one-liners from the internet and she said….”Mine is  ‘It’s not the end of the road if you go round the bend’ “

That was the inspiration for this poem…Around the Bend.

Deadwood, South Dakota

Around the Bend

When first we see it, up ahead,
it’s fear, at first, we must transcend
not knowing exactly what to dread,
when first we see it up ahead.
We wonder if we’ve been misled
Does it continue around the bend?
When first we see it, up ahead,
it’s fear, at first, we must transcend.

We choose from life’s roads, all spread out,
then follow to….. its final end.
The path our life will be about
we choose from life’s roads, all spread out.
And from grassy trail our road will sprout;
and greet the fear…. around each bend.
We choose from life’s roads, all spread out,
then follow to…..its final end.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging, poetry, road