Spoke the Mansion

All around be the space of a halcyon day,
Some salon where discussion meets wine and croquet;
There are salads of crab, on the sun-mottled court
For my gracious old neighbor, the stone-crafted fort.



I Heard the Geese

I heard the geese go flying by,
In succession, crying high,
Amid the early Autumn frais,
At Summer’s end before the day.

O turning year of liminal;
O burning clear ephemeral.

frais: French for “cool”


Stranger within the Gates

Who would I house in my basement,
If things came to push and to shove,
With food and a bed, never mind rent,
Just who would I welcome in love?

By nature I follow the Dutch,
Corrie and Betsey and such,
I’ve read “Schindler’s List” several times,
And heard across leagues, across climes,

That attitudes travel, and blow;
And should an extreme crisis grow,
How can I not share my place?
A light in the gloam, and a space.



Of Sweat and of Sleep

last day, Virginia wine harvest

Oil and water that spring from within
Surpass an anointing upon my dry skin.

Natural somnolence, working till done
Is better than drinking from 9 until 1.

Humbleness, thriftiness: things that are free
And beat a short shrift by what’s costly to me.



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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5 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    The wild geese were always a ritual with my mother; She understood the wild, and the turning of the earth. Thanks so much for reminding me of it with your lovely poem.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Almost, but not quite. Though “Natural somnolence, working till done/Is better than drinking from 9 until 1.” is an extremely funny couplet. These poems, for the most part, lack a consistent metrical structure and are rhetorically incondite.

  3. Monty

    Trust CB to come up with the one word which – in its purest adjectival form – could not be bettered by any other word to describe the above pieces . . . “incondite”.

  4. Edward "Ted" Hayes

    Mr. Ream,
    Here is a comment by a rank amateur. “Spoke the Mansion” is wonderful, lackng neither in meter nor rhyme. But the second one my understanding fails: You heard the geese go flying by – and this, “before the day” has begun? Do geese fly by, honking, at night? “Liminal” I take it refers to the border between summer and fall – or is it between night and day? Couldn’t be the latter – this takes place “before the day.” And this: “liminal” is not really a rhyme with “ephemeral,” alhough sound-alike is fair enough; but why is any of the action described – the sound of geese overhead, or border of day/night or summer/fall, ephemeral? Help me, I am no critic.


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