What task be done, you thought was not?
What asked and sought, forgot, was wrought?
What strain was set against a blow?
As gain unfettered, bettered, lo,

The frost was last before the sun;
What once was lost recast as won.


The Moment

“And I knew just as surely, and just as clearly, that life is not a work of art, and that the moment could not last.” -Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

The moment that could never last,
It fomented, to sever fast,
Crafted thus, as ever hast
Been. Dormant though; it did not die,
Somnolent, sweeping, low to fly,

And as a dream that touches morn,
Again to gleam, and much reborn.



All the People

Where do all the people go?
Here and there, they ebb and flow,
What do all the people say?
As they hurry on their way,

What do all the people think?
As they eat and as they drink,
Likely much the same as me;
Striking such resemblance be.

Photo by Clayton Samuel Trette





Neal Dachstadter is a poet living in Tennessee.  His work has been printed in Decanto Poetry Magazine (UK), Western Viewpoints and Poetic Images: the Great American West (Woodinville, Washington), Society of Classical Poets Journal 2015 (Mt Hope, New York), Rocky Point Times (Puerto Peñasco, Mexico) and The Lyric (Jericho, Vermont).  A member of the Demosthenian Literary Society at the University of Georgia, he deployed to Hawija, then wrote on Lookout Mountain, continuing with Delta Kappa Epsilon International.  Berkeley, Ann Arbor, and Athens encouraged him as a writer.  In 2015 he wrote in Arizona at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument five miles north of Mexico.

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7 Responses

  1. Dona Fox

    I enjoyed these poems so much I couldn’t stop reading them. Thank you.

    • Neal

      Thanks much, Christine – difficult not to be so with images such as these.

  2. Neal

    the first memory of good form I recall was the quick sound of the heel of my mother’s shoe clicking on the wood floor…”We’re going to the Cotillion.” I was 4 and didn’t know what a cotillion even was, or that waiters also wore tuxedos, like my father.

    I was “impressed,” meaning that I was imprinted (italics) with an outline of good form.


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