Tahoe Plane

On the above photo by M. Kirson

Far above the lake I soared,
Above the dock, above the shore,
Above the rock, above the pine,
Mid snowy cloud and engine whine.

Below, the cafe – orange duck –
Amid the forest, doe and buck,
Composed in raw solemnity,
Mt Rose and Squaw and Heavenly.

I never left the alpine lake,
Deft the mind me there to take,
Cleft of thought, wherein me dwelling,
Craft unwrought, therein propelling.


Helm and Sea


Photo by Hayden Hall

I took the helm, I took to sea,
To seek a realm where I could be,
My ship was wrought mahogany,
And wind was caught unbought and free.

I glanced behind upon the shore,
At places I’d behold no more,
I traced a former path in time,
I raced a storm, I sought a clime

A clime of balm and fine of sand,
Primeval palm and sea and strand,
Green and sunny, gentle mount,
Seen by none and fresh of fount.

When bend of Earth I reached at length,
Thin grew limb, and mind and strength,
Yet when I sought the God above,
Then strong grew thought and fraught with love.

Tout le monde I heard them chant, [Tout le monde: “All the world” in French]
Aei endeavor. Never can’t. [Aei: “Always” in Greek]
Done my race, I made my place,
And fired a kettle, in my shant.

Wheeling stars above the isle,
Sparkling on the ocean skin,
Orion’s Dog and Gemini,
Churning sea and turning sky.

Fire and shant and bed and sea,
Cheer my grant, my gladsome key,
Brine horizon: hear my mirth,
Line and bend of Ocean Earth.

Sun and shant and meat and brew,
None and Can’t defeat and strew,
Moon and beach and bread and wine,
Gloom impeach, and dread outshine.



Nimbus edged with haze and sheen,
Ends a day, and tinged with green,
Sage, and mild, and nice, a cloud,
Ice of rage and wild enshroud.




Neal Dachstadter was born in Georgia not too far from his family’s Hereford and Angus farm.  He lived in Albany,  Texas and Reno, Nevada before deploying as a Chaplain to Hawijah with the Oregon, Idaho and Montana National Guard in 2005.   Neal is currently the “House Dad, Philosopher & Caretaker” of the Louisiana State Chapter of DKE in Baton Rouge.

Featured Image: “Sunrise off Grand Manan” by William Bradford

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3 Responses

  1. Pamela

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Helm and Sea.” It brought me back to the times I spent on Barnegat Bay on my mother’s boat. You captured the spirit and feel of life at sea.


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