The Federal and the Doric

The Federal and the Doric
Combined a stern austere;
They frowned upon the quad;
They spread a healthy fear.

Corinthian and Victorian
Looked at the ground downcast;
No one liked their whimsies;
Their fancies would not last.



Mars, the stars a redness adds,
Far from war, he’s bled the lads,
Still his kill, the distance naught,
For them, who him, his glance has caught.


Old Home Place, Final Day

We took the home place down today,
A little thought, a little pray;
For what, back in the day, was wrought,
Homemade or grown, then what we bought,

And in the shadows, at the last,
Presently, I saw the past:
My folks as me, who made me thus
Sadness, laughter, work and fuss.

We took the home place down today,
But what they built still walked away,
Not shuttered, roofed or even floored;
I’m just a building for the Lord.


Turning, Burning, Churning

In a dream, I turned from sin,
Resolving not to fail again,
And in my dream I saw the myth
In all its real and churning pith.

Above the dream there spun a wheel
And burned an engine wrought of steel;
Though right, it wrenched from wrong and ill,
And sight and stench were awful, still.





Alexander King Ream, formerly known under the penname 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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6 Responses

    • C.B. Anderson


      I know that song. I’m a big fan of Bluegrass music, especially Bluegrass Gospel. I’m pretty sure that Bill Monroe covered that song at least once.

      • DPB

        The song is called Working On a Building, recorded by Monroe in 1954, but the original version was by the Carter Family who recorded it in 1934. I first heard it from a group called
        Old & In the Way.

  1. David Watt

    “Turning, Burning, Churning” appeals to me because it links a dream, which is intangible, to the solidity of steel. This makes for a satisfying contrast.


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