A Collection of Poems


Alfred James Krieg

1887 - 1965

Native Son of Mallard, Iowa





 A Patriot who loved his country and a sentimentalist who loved people, Alfred J. Krieg, was revered by his family and friends for his humor and for his honesty, integrity and his desire to help others.


Biographical Sketch


            My grandfather, Alfred James Krieg was born on the 7th of February 1887 on his fathers farm outside Mallard, Palo Alto County, Iowa.  He was the grandson of German speaking Swiss immigrants who came to the United States in 1854.  They homesteaded their Iowa farm in 1868 according to county homestead records.  He was the son of John Casper Krieg and Cora Adelle Young.  He attended local schools and grew to manhood in the Mallard area.  He was united in marriage to Rhoda M. Hersom  on the 6th of March 1912 in Emmetsburg, Palo Alto County, Iowa. He was twenty five and she was seventeen years old.  To this union seven children were born, they were  Marie, Arden, Maureen, Alden, Marian, Marilyn, and Marlene.  It is to his second son Alden we  must be grateful for the preservation of this collection of poetry and stories.  Alfred and his young family lived on the family farm until the early 1930’s when Alfred gave up farming and became a carpenter. His brother Charlie took over the family farm and it remained in the Krieg family until Charlie’s death in the late 1960’s

            My grandparents marriage had always been stormy but when he gave up farming it caused a unforgivable rift between my grandparents.  My grandmother loved the land and farming and never forgave my grandfather for leaving the farm.  Grandpa worked around Iowa but work was scarce during the depression and he went to west coast and did defense work. Both of his sons and his two oldest daughters were living and working on the west coast at this time also. As his poems show he missed his family and Iowa greatly.  After the death of his wife in 1953 he moved permanently to Portland, Oregon where his son Alden and his daughters Marian, Marliyn (Lynn), and Marlene (Jo) also lived.  He died in Portland in 1965 and is buried there.  The family placed a stone on his wife’s grave in Emmetsburg with both Alfred and Rhoda’s names on it in memory of their parents.

            My own memories of my grandfather were of a large happy old fellow who always smoked cigars and told funny stories and always greeted little girls with a soft pinch on the cheek and the greeting “Howdy Dewdrop” or “Good Morning Glory”.  He would play endless jolly games of pinochle late into the night with my parents and older brother Ralph or my oldest sister Vernice.  He also enjoyed sitting around with all his grandchildren in the evenings and singing lovely old songs like “A Your Adorable” , “Moonlight Bay” or “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck” until all the younger children were sleepy and had to be put to bed.  Then the card games began.  I sang all these old songs to my children and they never fail to bring back fond memories of my childhood and my Grandpa Krieg


Nedra Krieg Bennett

December 2002 


   War on the Pacific


I was standing by the ocean

On the great Pacific shore,

And the waters were in motion

I could hear the billows roar,

O’er the waves  the seagulls  hovered

As the foam came splashing in.

And I wondered what they covered

In this war so harsh and grim.


As I gazed across the water

That the Ships so buoyant ride,

I could visualize the slaughter

That the waves were trying to hide.

Over there our boys are fighting

Our freedom to defend,

And the Jap’s they’ll keep on smiting

Till this war is at an end.


Then my heart is filled with sorrow

And I gently say a prayer,

For I know that on the morrow

Some of them will not be there.

For I know in Battles gory,

Some sailors true and brave,

Will go down to save Old Glory

To a dark and watery grave.

Now some mother’s heart is pining

For her boy will not come home,

And you’ll see a gold star shining

As she sits there all alone.

And some sweetheart is a yearning

For her love who went away,

Who promised on returning

That they’d name the happy day.


Then as the foam came splashing in

Upon this rugged shore,

I hoped and prayed that ne’er again

We’d have another war.



                                by Alfred J. Krieg

                    As he gazed upon the Pacific

                     Ocean during World War II



     All Out for Defense - 1942


 We are working on defense work

To help to win the war,

And we will surely do so

As we always have before.

Men of all denomination

Are working side by side,

To help retain the freedom

For which our fathers died.

Some of the men are veterans

Of world war number one,

And they work right on with us

Until the job is done.

Sometimes we get quite lonely

For we’re miles away from home,

But we must keep our dear flag flying

Above the White House dome.

At times our hearts are yearning

For those of whom  we’re fond,

But we are not as far from home

As the boys across the pond.

We all must work our hardest

With concrete, nails, and bolts,

For the boys across the water

Are taking harder jolts.

We all must keep on striving

To do our very best,

If we furnish the equipment

Our boys will do the rest.

Sometimes we have no sugar

At times but little meat,

But none of us should grumble

If our boys have lots to eat.

Then we must speed production,

Turn out more planes and tanks,

For we know when they are finished,

They’ll be manned by fighting Yanks.

So we must all cooperate

And do the best we can,

And also buy defense Bonds

To help our Uncle Sam.

Then we must keep on working

In cold, and wind, and dust,

And we’ll lick the Japs and Nazi

“We can,  we will,  we must.”


                                Alfred J. Krieg




     Dust Valley Blues 


Out in Tooele Valley

The land of wind and dust,

Where raindrops never hit you

And tools will never rust.

You wake up in the morning,

If you have been asleep,

And then step out upon the floor

In dust two inches deep.


You haven’t rested very much,

Your bed is hard as rocks,

You grab your pants and don them,

And then look for your socks.

You look around till you remark

I’ll find them socks or bust,

And them you finally spy them

Beneath a pile of dust.


You rush out to the toilet

A feeling not so fine,

And when you finally get there

You’ve got to stand in line.

And then speed to the mess hall

Afraid you’ll miss you ride,

And you are greeted with these words,

“Go round to other side.”


You stand in line about an hour

Till you are tired to death,

And then you go into the hall

With dust upon your breath.

And then sit at the table

And hunt your fork and spoon,

You’ll find it just beneath the dust

But not so very soon.


You sit there waiting for an hour

To get some food you hope.

And then you get disgusted

And go out on the lope.

You grad your lunch and hurry out

To try and catch your truck,

And you may spy it thru the dust

If you have lots of luck.


You  climb upon this rattling truck

‘Bout five feet from the ground,

You stand up all the way to work

There’s no room to sit down.

You ride for miles in morning air

Till you are chilled quite thru,

And then start in to building

Another igloo.


You lift the pan up  o’re  you

They’re heavier than lead

And now and then a pan comes down

And bangs you on the head.

You work beneath a blazing sun

In dust up to your knees,

And when you stop to eat your lunch

You wheeze and cough and sneeze.


You eat the stuff they call your lunch,

All covered  o’er  with dust,

T’was just the same the day before

When you so loudly cussed.

They feed so much saltpeter

In all your daily food,

That even if you do go home

You won’t be any good.


And when you go to get a drink

You then will show your wrath,

You say this water would be fine

If we had it for bath.

And when you take your daily bath

Beside the toilet sink,

You say this water would be fine

If we had it for drink.


When you come in from work at eve

All filled with vague disgust,

You’ll find your only Sunday clothes

Are covered  o’er  with dust.

You look upon your cot and spy

A notice of your rent,

Then find that thieves have cleaned you

They’ve only left the tent.


You take a bath and then proceed

Back to that old mess hall,

But you are mighty lucky
If you’re waited on at all.

You then lie down upon your cot

To try and take a nap,

But just as you start dozing off

You hear that old tent flap.


You finally do go back to sleep

So tired you could die,

But just as you start into dream

A train goes screaming by.

You then turn over on your cot

Your body wracked with pain,

And hear a loud approaching noise

Ye Gods, another train !!


Eventually all tired out

You fall asleep again,

And dream of home now miles away

Of crops and grass and rain,

And then you dream of pay day

You’ll have a little sport.

But you are disillusioned

For your checks are always short.


You wake up in the morning

All tired and stiff and sore.

And feel you do not give a darn

If you never work no more.

But then you go to work again,

Follow the same routine,

Just a longing for a place

To work where it is clean.


Good-bye Tooele Valley

I’m leaving here at noon,

And if I ever do return

It will be much too soon.

I’m going back to civilization

To wife and kids and home,

And there I’ll settle down for good

No more I care to roam.


                Composed by  A. J. Krieg

                                     Mallard, Iowa


            So Lonely


You’ve gone away and I’m alone,

No one to kiss, when I come home.

No pleasant smile to greet me know,

No hand to lay upon my brow.

No sweet words now from one so fair.

Nobody now who’d really care,

If I get wet from soaking rain.

If I was sick or in great pain.

Las night I lay upon my bed,

The pillow ‘neath my aching head.

You’re soft white arm was not in place.

Where oft I’ve lain my shaven face.

I miss your prayers when I retire.

In mornings when I build the fire.

I miss you evenings when I dine.

For your company my dear I pine.

As I sit here upon the chair,

There’s memories of you everywhere.                             (this poem was written in 1943 while working 

The box behind the kitchen range.                                    in Cepale’s Beach, Washington after my wife

The curtains that I will not change.                                  had paid me a visit and had left to go back

The towel that hangs upon the nail.                                 to Iowa)


Your teapot and the water pail.

The clothes a hanging on the rack.

You fixed for me ere you went back.

The books arranged so very swell.

The Bible to save me from “Hell.”

Now darling you can understand

They all were touched by your dear hand.

Since you have gone, my darling wife

There’s something missing from my life.

And in my heart there’ll be a pain

Till we’re together once again.


                Composed by Alfred J. Krieg




A Poem to You My Love


To-night I’m sad and lonely

As I sit here all alone

I have no dear ones near me

And I’m far away from home.


I dream of you in night time

I think of you by day

And my heart is always heavy

With you so far away.


I took you in your tender teens

Made you my bonnie bride

And now for more than thirty years

We’ve traveled side by side.


You loved me so intensely

I was your only love

And for a few short years

You were my turtle dove.


And then I spurned your dearest love

And trampled on your heart

From that time on for many years

We drifted far apart.


And then we sowed our wild oats

Reaped nothing but disgust

For we were both mistaken

We just satisfied their lust.


Thank God we both awakened

Before to late my dear

And confessed to one another

And made our conscience clear.


And now you love another

And my heart is filled with pain

But you’re still my children’s mother

And I’ll win you back again.


                Composed by Alfred J. Krieg



Untitled poem


Last night I sat on the bunkhouse step

Thinking my dear of you

The silvery moon was shinning down

And the stars were twinkling too


I thought of the happy days gone by

Sitting there all alone

I thought of dear old Iowa

My children, wife, and home


My mind went back to when we met

You were a tiny girl

You used to climb upon my lap

And put my hair in curl


You grew into a comely lass

And I never will forget

And thought the years have speeded past

I still remember yet


The happy smiles you gave to me

When I came to court you dear

Bring  back a pleasant memory

And I yearn to have you near


And then I took you for my wife

Those were such happy days

But then came trouble, quarrels and strife

We both went different ways


But now  your hair has turned to gray

I love you more than then

And darling I will never say

Things to break your heart again


And now though we are miles apart

I think of you always

And hope you think of me sweetheart

For we’ll have happier days


And though I’m very lonely honey

Alone out here in the West

I’m trying to earn the money

To build us a love nest.


                                Written at Wendover, Utah

                                1943 during World War II

                                by Alfred J. Krieg 



            Moonlight Blues


Last night I strolled along the beach

Watching the out-going tide

And wished you were within my reach

A walking by my side.


I tried to visualize you there

A walking on the sand

I saw your face so sweet and fair

We were walking hand in hand.


The silvery moon was shinning bright

The stars were twinkling too

It made my heart feel warm and light

Just to merely think of you.


It made me think of days my love

When you and I first met

Those are the days I’m thinking of

The days I can’t forget.


Now we are miles apart my dear

And both of us feel blue

But let us both keep up good cheer

For there’s nothing we can do.


Remember dear the darkest hour

Is just before the dawn

And  after every thunder shower

The sun shines on the lawn.


So let us not bewail and pout

And mourn both night and day

For when again the sun comes out

We’ll be happy blithe and gay.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg





She’s an angel in truth, a demon in fiction

A woman’s the greatest of all contradiction

She’s afraid of a cockroach,

she’ll scream at a mouse


But she’ll tackle a husband as big as a house

She’ll take him for better,

She’ll take him for worse

She’ll split his head open and then be his nurse


And when he is well and can get out of bed

She’ll pick up a teapot and throw at his head

She’s faithful, deceitful, keen-sighted and blind

She’s crafty, she’s simple, she’s cruel, she’s kind


She’ll lift a man up, she’ll cast a man down

She’ll make him her hero, her ruler, her clown

You fancy she’s this, but you’ll find that she’s that

For she’ll play like a kitten, and fight like a cat.


                                Composed by Alfred J. Krieg



                My Paradise


I wish to tell you, with all due pride

About the place where I reside,

“A beauty spot, out in the West.”

Where nature must have done her best,

To make this Glen a paradise,

That can’t be beat at any price.


The warm, bright sun, the gentle showers,

The scenery you could watch for hours,

The verdant slopes, the whispering pines,

The soft green Ferns, the clinging Vines,

The murmuring brooks, the woodland flowers,

The shady nooks, the sheltered bowers,

The houses nestling, among the hills,

The winding roads, its joys and thrills,

The evenings so serene and quiet

No clamoring noises in the night

The creeping daylight of the dawn

As quiet and gentle as a “Fawn”

The frisking lambs, the song of birds,

Are all too beautiful for words.

So now you see how I am blessed ?

In my little home, out in the West.


                Composed by Alfred J. Krieg



   Tree of Knowledge


How nice twould be if knowledge grew

On bushes as the berries do.

Then we could plant our spelling seed

And gather all the words we need.

If we wished to learn Chinese,

We’d just go out and shake the trees.

Our sum’s from off our slates we’d wipe,

And wait for figures to be ripe.

Language would drift around like leaves,

So everything would be correct if you please.

Reading and etc we would know,

Everything perfect from head to toe.

But until that day comes around,

Our lessons in our books will be found.


                                Alfred J. Krieg


 Grandmas Cookie Jar


There is  something in the Kitchen

And it stands upon a shelf

All the Kiddies have an itchin

Just to go and help themselves.


It is something quite attractive

For the kiddies near and far,

And the kids get really active

For it’s Grandma’s cookie jar.


There are things that I could mention

That are found about the place,

But there’s none gets more attention

As depicted by their Face.


She makes cookies by the dozens

And they’re always up to par,

And the kids and all their cousins

Head for Grandma’s cookie jar.


Sometimes they’re made with icing

And sometimes they are plain,

But they always are enticing

And they like them just the same.


But whether they are round or square

Or just a plain fig bar,

You’ll always find them gathered there

Round Grandma’s cookie jar.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg



            Trust in Jesus


When you’re feeling sand and lonely,

As with strangers you reside

There is one to turn to only

Then let Jesus be your guide.


When you fear for your behavior,

And you’re tempted to go bad

Put your faith in our dear Savior,

He will cheer you when you’re sad.


There are times when we are tempted

To stray from the righteous path,

For there’s none of us exempted

In this world of storm and wrath.


When the gentle whispering breezes

Waft your thoughts of far off home,

If you trust your heart with Jesus,

You will never feel alone.


As we gaze upon the ocean

At the trees and virgin sod,

It is like a soothing lotion

For it’s the handiwork of God.


His is love that never ceases

So when your heart is filled with grief,

Just put your trust in Jesus

And you’ll always find relief.


There are times we’re sick and weary

And feel so sad and blue,

But our Lord was  always cherry

And he suffered more than you.


Than tho we’re father, sister, brother

Tho we’re many miles apart,

Let us pray for one another

It will cheer our lonely heart.


And when this war is finished

And we trust our lives with “Him,”

If our faith has not diminished

We’ll be happy once again.


                Composed by Alfred J. Krieg

                Easter Sunday 1943 At Marshfield, Oregon, 2500 miles from home.


    Service With A Smile


When you’re hungry and you wish to eat

While you’re in Auburn town

Just patronize the Rainbow

For there’s no use looking round.

Just park your automobile

Don’t drive another mile

For the food it is delicious

And they serve you with a smile.


The meats are nice and juicy

And the vegetables are swell,

They give you dandy service

And you do not have to yell.

But if they’re very busy

And you must wait a while,

Please now don’t get angry

For they serve you with a smile.


The coffee it is excellent

The best that you could have,

And you don’t drink lots of water                    ( the manager  [of the Rainbow Café]  had this

Just to get a little “Jav.”                                      poetry put in the Auburn (Oregon) paper for an

The waitresses dress neatly,                              ad and he gave me ten meals for writing it.

Everything is right in style,                                This is  the one I sent to Aldie.)

But the best part of the service is,

They give it with a smile.


The dessert and the ice cream

Will give you a surprise,

They also have variety

In a nice line of pies,

So if you act a gentleman

And refrain from language vile,

You’ll always get good service

And they’ll give it with a smile.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg


  Herb’s International Flavor


When you’re in the town of Mallard

On highway seventeen.

And you’re feeling mighty “HUNGRY”

And your appetite is keen.


Then you better go a “RUSHIN”

To Evelyn’s Café,

Where they always “FI-JI” plenty

Before you go away.


The cooking is delicious

And the pastry is superb,

And it’s also quite nutritious,

For it’s prepared by HERB.

The coffee’s also excellent,

The best that you could have.

You don’t drink a lot of water

Just to get a little “JAV.”


The potatoes they are “IRISH”

And the steak is sometimes “SWISS.”

But they also serve you “FRENCH FRIES”

So you can’t complain of this.


And when they serve you “TURKEY”

There is never too much “GREECE,”

It’s served on best of “CHINA”

But not by “JAPANESE.”


So  when you are in Mallard

Don’t hasten to get away,

Until you’ve had your luncheon,



                                Composed by  A. J. Krieg



Mrs. Judkins is so gentle and kind

Mrs. Judkins makes me think of that mother of mine.

She runs errands with a glad heart

Seems more than willing to do her part.

It’s a credit to know her I am sure

She tries so hard your blues to cure

We will meet again I hope someday

In heaven above when we get our pay.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg



An Ode To Our Anniversary


Years have passed away, my wife,

Since I took you for my bride,

And tho’ we’ve passed thru storm and strife,

Our love has never died.


Oh, happy days we’ve spent, dear,                                  This poem was written for his wife Rhoda Hersom Krieg.

In our years of wedded bliss,                                             She was born 29 Nov 1895 in Searsboro, Poweshiek Co

And I only wish that you were here                                 Iowa and died 29 Jan 1952 in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

On your lips to plant a kiss.


Some people came between us, love,

In the dark and stormy past,

But God was watching from above

And our love they could not blast.


The gold has vanished from your hair

And silver takes its place,

But there’s no one else that can compare

With your dear, familiar face.


We’ve strolled beneath the moonlight

In pleasant reveries,

Now the smell of dew on earth at night

Brings back fond memories.


The days are dark and dreary

With you so far away,

But do not worry, dearie,

I’ll come back to you some day.


The nights are just a nightmare

Without you, turtle dove,

But if I know you really care

I’ll carry on my love.


More than thirty years have passed away

Since we promised to be true,

I hope that I will see the day

When I’ll always be with you.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg


            To Alden


I dedicate this message

To you, my second son,

For you deserve the prestige

That you’ve already won.

My lad, you’re standing at the foot                                  Alden Floyd Krieg was born 9 July 1924 in Mallard

Of the ladder of success,                                                    and died in 1997 in Arizona and is buried in Portland,

And now this war has come and put                                Oregon.

You to the acid test.


But you’ll make good my lad, I know,

For you’re not afraid to work.

And it doesn’t  matter where you go

 Your job you’ll never shirk.

So if you keep on striving

To make yourself a name,

You won’t be long arriving

To wealth and power and fame.


If you are drafted in the ranks

Before you graduate,

You’ll be a credit to the Yanks

And also your home State.

So no matter where you go, my lad,

Be upright, square, and true

And you’ll be a credit to you Dad,

And folks will honor you.


                                YOUR DAD  (Written to Alden while in college in 1943)





Tribute To My Daughter-In-Law


I’ve a daughter-in-law

The best you have seen

For short we will just call her Phyl.                                   This is Phyllis Marie Fisher Krieg, wife of Alden Krieg

She’s a good wife indeed                                                   She was born 8 Sept. 1926 in Curlew, Palo Alto County,

And bound to succeed                                                       Iowa and died 8 Mar. 1976 in Portland, Oregon.

For she tackles her work with a will.

She’s a dandy help-mate

With the best she does rate,

She is tidy and neat

And cooks good things to eat

A better mate he could not find.


She’s really a pal, this slip of a gal,

And sure gets a kick out of life.

She’s candid and frank

With the best she does rank

Makes her husband an excellent wife.

She likes to play tricks

On her husband she picks

They really do have lots of fun.

When something goes wrong

With a smile or a song,

She puts the blues on the run.


SO no don’t you see

I’m as glad as can be

He captured this girl of his choice.

For she’s friendly and true,

And I’ll never get through

Singing praises while I have a voice.


                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg



Ode to Alden Krieg, Jr.


I have a little grandson

Who’s bonny, blithe and gay.

He’s very very handsome

And gets cuter every day.                                                  Son of Alden Krieg.

He has eyes of azure blue

And also has red hair.

I know that he’ll be fair and true

And always on the square.

I’ll not be here to praise him

Or watch his rise to fame,

But I know that they will raise him

To be a credit to my name.


And now a message to his dad

As he grows to be a man ---

I’m very fond of this young lad

And will help him all I can.

There are little eyes upon you,

And they’re watching night and day.

There are little ears that quickly

Take in everything you say.

There are little hands all eager

To do everything you do.

And a little boy who’s dreaming

Of the day he’ll be like you.


There’s a wide-eyed little fellow

Who believes you’re always right,

And his eyes are always open

And he watches day and night.

You are setting an example

In each kindness that you do

For the little boy who’s waiting

To grow up to be like you.

And if this point  the did attain,

It would make me very proud,

And I’d be glad he bore my name

In any group or crowd.


By his Grandfather - Alfred J. Krieg

                February 29, 1960



            Tribute To Joel 


God brought him here one happy day,

He was our pride and joy,

Now he has taken him away

Our own, our precious boy.


We’re going to miss his pleasant smile,

His happy childhood ways,

God left him with us for awhile,

And those were happy days.



This sun still shines and still it rains,

Though the one we loved has gone,

But in our hearts he still remains

As time goes marching on.



We know where he has gone to stay,

He’ll never suffer pain,

And hope that on our judgment day

That we will meet again.



                                By Grandfather Krieg



(Irene ( his mother) gave this to the minister and he made his sermon around this poem.  The songs she had sung were “I’ll Be A Sunbeam For Jesus” and “Precious Jewels.”  Joel Ulrich Krieg died of polio at age 6 1/2. He was born 17 Jan 1944 and died 13 Oct. 1950. 


            A Tribute To Dorothy Aust 


There is a lady that I know

Who is pleasant true and kind

And folks like her,  Where err you go

You’ll very seldom find.

Though she has troubles of her own

She’s always spreading cheer

She is the darling of her home

Folks love her  far and near.

This lady has five lovely girls

A dandy husband too

She does their hair in fancy curls

And sends them off to school.

This lady lives upon a farm

Her husband she adores

She always goes out to the barn

And helps him with the chores

A happy family you will find

And they all cooperate.

For harmony is in their mind

And with the best they rate

You’ll always find her just the same

In cold or storm or frost

And if you want to know her name

Its Mrs. Dorothy Aust.



                                Composed by

                                Alfred J. Krieg