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Monday, March 30, 2015

Let Me Live - poemwriter: Ron Brown


Let Me Live
-poemwriter: Ron Brown

I could have been born a child
of married love at its best.
But I was a child conceived
by mistake, not rape or incest.

It is not my fault but yours,
That you cannot control
The sex urge that drives
Your heart and soul.

I am now a living being,
In my mother's womb.
Because I am not wanted
My life on earth is doomed.

Let me live my life;
Give me a chance to be born.
Just don't let me be
From my mother's womb, torn.

It's against the law to kill
Or disturb an eagles eggs.
So why am I any different just
Because I have arms and legs.

My heart beats upon conception;
God will soon put my parts in place,
And when you look at the sonogram,
You will be able to see my face.

Please give me a chance to live,
And just by chance there may be,
A childless couple that is hurting,
And really wants to have a baby.

Just think where you would be
If you had been unwanted.
What if your mother had aborted you,
And your life just beginning, ended?

Whether you believe that
There is a God or not.
Don't take that life you have caused,
And put it in the trash to rot.
Commentary:

Personally have a problem with capitalization
and punctuation in poetry.
Feel they're distracting from the thoughts
and absorbtion of the subject matter. 
Feel they are archaic remnants of the past,
where education wasn't universal.
Feel they'll be dropped from poetry,
then even prose after a time.
Good riddance to distractions
from thought processes.

As for your Poem, well..... you seem to be a master.  Have thought out your subject well and presented a well written, purposeful poem.  Nicely done.


Other Peoples' Screams - by Bob Atkinson

Other Peoples' Screams
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

don't believe in miracles
there on the great divide
trust, confidence and unity
are missing from my mind

if we wander over thoughtlessness
we'll never find that pass
which goes between steep mountainsides
and allows our souls to last

sweet dreams of indecision
wavering in my mind's back door
helps me understand derision
of some open calloused cause

don't believe in strangling
some sweet thoughts here arranged
but I do find here in my circumstance
my selfishness uncaged

so I'll take these untried feelings
and dump them in the moat
which surrounds my heart's derision
of conquered dreams of hope

and in time I'll feel the feeling
of those way back memories
which gave me understanding
of the other peoples' screams

Monday, March 23, 2015

Poem of the Month - May 2015 - Puff the Magic Dragon - poemwriters: Peter Yarrow, Leonard Lipton



- poemwriters: Peter Yarrow, Leonard Lipton
Puff, the Magic Dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked
in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee


Little Jackie Paper
loved that rascal Puff
and brought him strings and sealing wax
and other fancy stuff,
oh!


Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked

in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee


Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked

in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee


together they would travel on a boat
with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail
noble kings and princes would bow
whene'er they came
pirate ships would lower their flags

when Puff roared out his name,
oh!


Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee


a dragon lives forever but not so little boys
painted wings and giant rings make way
for other toys
one gray night it happened,
Jackie Paper came no more
and Puff that mighty dragon,
he ceased his fearless roar


his head was bent in sorrow,
green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave
so Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh!


Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked in the autumn mist
Leein a land called Honalee Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
and frolicked in the autumn mist
in a land called Honalee 
Commentary:
how deeply words can channel meaning
how far down in our hearts do
our memories of childhood confirm
wants, fears, desires
Peter and Leonard capture our beginnings
for us to review as adults
this is the power of poetry,
"the Emotional Content of Literature"


Drama of Ages
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson


softness drives a past review
that retrospective run
through one's life of years past
over, under, beyond


a shielded look of where we went
in our early days
how we, as children formed adult minds
by marching in parade


do we now give hope to all
we've dreamed in past night's dreams
or do we come to a resolution
that reality has become our theme

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Quality of Education - by Bob Atkinson

(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

hanging tough in our parade
we try our best to say we've saved
best for last, all for one
duty dunked let's move on

while in this fix of mental dumbness
we miss obligation to form and function
that simple quest for creating strength
teaching children to become their best

best in mind, best in spirit
best in goals, best in caring
best in helping another succeed
best in giving up sickness of power, greed

by caring for those who succumb
to dearth of spirit, wildness numb
that primal urge of pre-evolution
a nature of formless restitution

'tis here in open arms displayed
we earn position in life's parade
evil ejected from our minds
presents good spirits for all time

education needs reformation
not a place for confrontation
presentation only in form, function
molding adults with care and loving

not by teaching simple things
but by organization of inner feelings
let children learn and teach their friends
open scope with emerging trends

 "... formation of a virtuous character ..."
 that goal which we ignore
need be our inspiration
need be our first main chore

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Homeward Bound -poemwriter: Paul Simon


Homeward Bound
-poemwriter: Paul Simon


I'm sittin' in a railroad station
Got a ticket for my destination

On a tour of one night stands
my suitcase and guitar in hand

And every stop is neatly planned
for a poet and one-man band


Homeward bound

I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
silently for me


Every day's an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines

And each town looks the same to me
the movies and the factories

And every stranger's face I see
reminds me that I long to be


Homeward bound

I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
silently for me


Tonight I'll sing my songs again
I'll play the game and pretend

But all my words come back to me
in shades of mediocrity

Like emptiness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me


Homeward bound

I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me
Silently for me
Commentary:
tell me again, Paul
what I was thinking the first time
I left home on an adventure,
what turned out to be a lifetime move
creating memories of home
as a place of the heart
memories never to be forgotten


here in a smooth way Paul reflects
on how his desire to perform
turned into
a journey away from home.
being homesick
Paul finds his performance
lacking in the ability
to console him as a loved one would


his performances became bland
when compared to
his memories of home
thanks Paul
for documenting all our feelings


Home in a Dark Box
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson
overarching adventure
grabbed me by an ear
dragging me 'cross a new world
from home to staggered fears


not fears of dissolution
as a being here on earth
merely reduced my shadow to
some small patch of footprint's dirt


made me one of many
who set out to survive
absorbing trust of community
an idea for which we strive


found myself not with good skills
in some situations prearranged
following footsteps of men adept
got lost in life's shell game


endowed with luck of fortune
needed to persevere
or, if you will, continue life
for another year


worked well for me, though always
saw success beyond my grasp
did as well as could have done
based on skills learned in years past

through a time of detachment
fighting hard to make the grade
found survival's cost excessive
in grabbing onto victory's parade

settled then with open arms
a miracle made of stages
thought things could substitute
for my need to propagate creation

traded sense of order
for that time of sad reflection
until my open ended dreams
came back to full fruition

sense of duty well defined
create something that might last
no matter if found useful
do as others did in years past

and now, to that real question
does life penetrate this facade?
or will my time of luxury
end in my grave's dark box?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Poem of the Month - April 2015 - Transfusion - poemwriter: Jimmy Drake


Transfusion


ZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM
tooling down the hightway doing 79
I'm a twin pipe papa and I'm feelin fine
hey man dig that was that a red stop sign
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
I'm just a solid mess of contusions
never, never, never gonna speed again
slip the blood to me, Bud
I jump in my rod about a quarter to nine
I gotta make a date with that chick of mine
I cross the center line man you gotta make time-
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
oh, man, I got the cotton pickin convolutions
never, never, never gonna speed again
shoot the juice to me, Bruce
my foot's on the throttle and it's made of lead
but I'm a fast ridding daddy with a real cool head
I'ma gonna pass a truck on the hill ahead-
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
my red corpsuckles (sic) are in mass confusion
never, never, never gonna speed again
pass the crimson to me, Jimson
I took a little drink and I'm feelin right
I can fly right over everything everything in sight
there's a slow poking cat I'm gonna pass him on the right
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
I'm a real gone paleface and that's no illusion
I'ma never never never gonna speed again
pass the claret to me, Barrett
a rollin down the mountain on a rainy day
oh, when you see me coming better start to pray
I'm a cuttin' up the road and I'm the boss all the way
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
oh, doc, pardon me for this crazy intrusion
I'm never, never, never gonna speed again
pump the fluid in me, Louie
I'm burning up the highway early this morn
I'm passing everybody oh nothing but corn
man outa my way I don't drive with my horn
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]

transfusion, transfusion
oh, nurse I'm gonna make a new resolution
I'm never, never, never gonna speed again
put a gallon in me, Alan
oh, barnyard drivers are found in two classes
line crowding hogs and speeding jackasses
so rememmber to slow down today
hey, daddy-o
a make that type O, huh
Atta-boy
[Scrreeech-BANG, tinkle]
Commentary:
a poem with two purposes
1.  To make us laugh.
2.  To make us slow down.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Poetry's Force - by Bob Atkinson


Poetry's Force
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

there lies in this world
a force for what's begun
that delineated string of
milkwhite right and wrong

a constitutional environment
in a reckless sort of way
don't need so much progress
let the mundane have its way

in poetry this tripeliness
has forced our genre' to
lie dormant in respectfulness
as a stinky sort of brew

with azure skies conquering
a metaphor or two
with similes stringing in a line
confusing me and you

let poetry have a day
where construction begins again
grabbing tightly hearts of gold
and sweetness of word plan

Monday, February 23, 2015

Poem of the Month, March 2015 - Don't Worry Baby poemwriters: Brian Wilson, Roger Christian


Don't Worry Baby
poemwriters: Brian Wilson, Roger Christian


well its been building up inside of me
for oh I don't know how long
I don't know why
but I keep thinking
something's bound to go wrong

but she looks in my eyes
and makes me realize
and she says "Don't worry baby"
don't worry baby


don't worry baby
everything will turn out alright
don't worry baby
don't worry baby
don't worry baby

I guess I should've kept my mouth shut
when I started to brag about my car
but I can't back down now because
I pushed the other guys too far

she makes me come alive
and makes me wanna drive
when she says "Don't worry baby"
don't worry baby


don't worry baby
everything will turn out alright
don't worry baby
don't worry baby
don't worry baby

she told me "Baby, when you race today
just take along my love with you
and if you knew how much I loved you
baby nothing could go wrong with you"

oh what she does to me
when she makes love to me
and she says "Don't worry baby"
don't worry baby


don't worry baby
everything will turn out alright
don't worry baby
don't worry baby
don't worry baby

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Charade - by Bob Atkinson

Charade
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

tell me truly do you believe
in what you present and what you dream
that unruly jumble of words you spoke
in devious method toward mind's ghost

you drone on and on without deep breath
your words lie petty, no harsh duress
until those foul and filthy lines
which take from children their innocence

you, as a refugee from seminary
use techniques of mind control
to filter any willingness
to object or reject this droll prose

don't keep me in that world of yours
you may possess credentials vast, unfurled
presented by those not in the know
not privy to word's purposed flow

take your lack of honest truth
withdraw, don't subject this to youth
don't set them on a path not straight
don't from your religious bag their future take

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Spicy Vocabulary - by Bob Atkinson



Spicy Vocabulary
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

having drawn my feelings toward
an open ended dull bladed sword
seen here in a memory
some words I've yet to include

in my own bag of tricks
that bundle of words I pick
to take with and interact
my vocabulary "ruck sack"

most times simple phrases work
not needed some intricate gobbledegook
no purpose in these weirded works
no lesson learned from learned books

where then do these terms apply?
when rare concoctions get verified
when do I insert an unused phrase
where does one utilize their "back of brain"

depends upon whom you wish to impress
make minds toasted, baked or festered
addled, muddled, stupefied
or
simply standing, frozen, with question: "why?"


why choose to inflate your ego thus
via roads of spaghetti fraught with mush
do you simply tell the tale
or garnish with those words impaled

as a culture eons brought
some deeply dreamed of lovely thought
a world where some have lived to get
to where you stand on this carpet

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The dandelions in the moment and then -poemwriter: CJ Evans - Critique



*****************************************

The dandelions in the moment and then
-poemwriter: CJ Evans
It is. And needles don’t fall;
cones don’t fall. The soil keeps
holding the grass seed and the dune
sand beneath is still torn by thirsty,
wooden hands. By bedrock
is where will be my tenoned pine.
And the grass seeds don’t split,
their shoots don’t spill. The clouds
remain, widely. That locked closet
inside will never have its tumblers
turned. Honestly, all I had
was the only lie—that I could be
the one who evades. Sparrows
don’t fall, no owl falls. Left behind
are her thin hands, a box full
of ribbons, a bolt, a knife.
Photographs with anybody’s faces.
Hungry letters, angry letters about
a time and people and love that is
not. No image holds its meaning
within itself. Not one dandelion fell.
Please. Something did happen here.
********************************

The dandelions in the moment and then

- poemwriter: CJ Evans
It is. And needles don’t fall; ...............it#1......................is#1
cones don’t fall. The soil keeps .........................................the#1
holding the grass seed and the dune ........the#2 & the#3
sand beneath is still torn by thirsty, .......................is#2
wooden hands. By bedrock ................................................................
is where will be my tenoned pine. ....................is#3......verb "to be"
And the grass seeds don’t split, .................the#4
their shoots don’t spill. The clouds ................the#5
remain, widely. That locked closet ...........................
inside will never have its tumblers .....................it#2
turned. Honestly, all I had ..................
was the only lie—that I could be ................the#6
the one who evades. Sparrows ............the#7
don’t fall, no owl falls. Left behind
are her thin hands, a box full ........verb "to be" #2
of ribbons, a bolt, a knife.
Photographs with anybody’s faces. ..........................
Hungry letters, angry letters about ..........................
a time and people and love that is .....................is#4
not. No image holds its meaning ..................it#3
within itself. Not one dandelion fell. ........it#4
Please. Something did happen here. .................
Commentary:
"the" sounds like "duh"
and reads like "huh?"
something may have happened here
but it wasn't a poem
a disjointed jumble of nothingness
oh please, rewrite it before we get sick
*****************************************
*****************************************

Monday, February 2, 2015

Freedom - by Alfred Lord Tennyson




Freedom 
- by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet:
Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.

There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind,
But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.

Then stept she down thro' town and field
To mingle with the human race,
And part by part to men reveal'd
The fullness of her face -

Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-alter gazing down,
Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown:

Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years
Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;

That her fair form may stand and shine
Make bright our days and light our dreams,
Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes!

Freedom
- by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Revised and Updated by Bob Atkinson
    of old sat Freedom on mankind's heights
    thunder breaking loudly at her feet
    above shone white starry lights
    as she heard wild torrents meet

    in her place she did rejoice
    self gathered in her prophet-mind
    fragments of her mighty voice
    came rolling on winds of time

    stepped down upon towns, fields
    to mingle with one human race
    and part by part to men reveal
    sweet fullness of her grace

    grave mother of majestic works
    from her island altar gazing down
    who, God-like, grasps triple forks
    Queenlike, she wears a crown

    her open eyes desire truth
    wisdom of a thousand years
    in them born perpetual youth
    kept dry by light from tears

    her fair form may stand with might
    make bright our days, our dreams
    turning to scorn with lips divine
    falsehood of dogmatic extremes

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Poetry Contest - Path to Salon of Poetry



Poetry Contest 
- Path to Salon of Poetry

 
Submit your bio plus url of your online poetry collection to enter this year's monthly contest for inclusion in January 2016's Salon of Poets.
Each monthly winner will receive a Prize Certificate and Ribbon denoting your successful filling of requirements for in the major Poetry Contest:

 "Society of Independent Artists Internet Poetry Collection of the Year 2016."
Previously published works acceptable, as long as an entire collection is available to the public free of charge on the internet.
No entry fee at all, but not every submission will qualify, ('tis at the discretion of the judges).

Send the following to:

 Bob Atkinson

1.  Your bio (no 3rd party submissions allowed)
2.  Your web address for your Poetry Works (url)
3.  Release to allow publication of selected works on:

Poetry Critic Blog
4.  Join the meetup group:

Arizona Society of Independent Artists

Good luck, good writing,



Friday, January 30, 2015

A Tribute to Rod McKuen



Le Moribond - English Translation

- Poemwriter: Jacques Brel



Goodbye Emilio I like you very much
Goodbye Emilio I like you very much you know
We have sung about the same wine
We have sung of the same women
We have sung about the same miseries

Goodbye Emile I am going to die
It is hard to die in the springtime you know
But I leave the flowers and peace in my soul
And because I know you are as good as white bread
I know that you will take care of my wife

I want them to laugh, I want them to dance
I want them to have fun like crazy people
I want them to laugh I want them to dance
To amuse themselves like crazy when they put me in the hole

Goodbye priest I like you very much
Goodbye priest I like you very well you know
We did not always agree about views and we were not on the same path
But we were searching for the same port
Goodbye priest I am going to die
It is hard to die in the spring you know
I leave the flowers and the beauty, peace in my soul
And knowing that you are her confidant
I know that you will take care of my wife

Goodbye Antoine I did not like you very much
Goodbye Antoine I do not like you very much you know
And it’s killing me to die today knowing that you are still so alive
And yet still as solid as boredom
Goodbye Antoine I’m going to die
It’s hard to die in the spring you know
I leave the flowers and the beautiful peace in my soul
And because I know that you were her lover
I know that you will take care of my wife


Goodbye my wife I love you very much
Goodbye my wife I love you very much you know
I must take the train for the good God
I’m taking the train that leaves before yours

But we all must take the trains that we can
Goodbye my wife I’m going to die
It is hard to die in the springtime you know
But I’m leaving flowers and my eyes are shut, my wife
And because I realize that they were shut often
I know that you will take care of my soul

*************************************

Seasons in the Sun

- Rod McKuen/Jacques Brel
Goodbye, Emile, my trusted friend, we've known each other since we were nine or ten.
Together we climbed hills and trees, learned of love and A B Cs, skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.

Adieu, Emile, it's hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that the Spring is in the air
Pretty girls are ev'rywhere. wish for me and I'll be there.

We had joy. We had fun. We had seasons in the sun, but the wine and the song like the seasons are all gone

Adieu, Papa, please pray for me. I was the black sheep of the family.
You tried to teach me right from wrong. Too much wine and too much song, wonder how I got along.
Adieu, Papa, it's hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that the Spring is in the air
Little children ev'rywhere. Think of me, I'll be there.

We had joy. We had fun. We had seasons in the sun, but the the song and the rime were just seasons out of time.

Adieu, Francoise, my faithfull wife, without you I'd have had a lonely life.
You cheated lots of times but then, I forgave you in the end, though your lover was my friend.
Adieu, Francoise, it's hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that the spring is in the air
With your lovers ev'rywhere; just be careful, I'll be there.

we had joy we had fun. We had seasons in the sun, but the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach.

Adieu, Emile. Adieu, Papa. Goodby, Francoise.

All our lives, we had fun. We had seasons in the sun, the wine and the song like the seasons are all gone
All our lives, we had fun. We had seasons in the sun, but the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach.

******************************************************************

Commentary:

Yes, there are those in life who flavor what we normally ignore. These people leave behind their feelings when they die, and are remembered for a long, long time.

Goodbye to All
(a goodbye poem to Rod McKuen)

(c)2015 Bob Atkinson
goodbye to all who now remain
I've done a race which gave me pain
also, with some pure delight
it gave me gladness to die tonight

goodbye to those who could not come
will meet you someday on the run
from things you did there in the past
yes, you forever grabbed my ash

goodbye those who took the wine
and kissed all goodness there aside
bringing into focus all your vibes
of correctness in your stride
you kicked the can aside

goodbye to lovers of the past
gave to you my foolish pouts
didn't mean I locked you out
my role was that of circus clown 

goodbye to relatives of which was many
didn't ever ask a penny
you didn't give me much of time
didn't mix your lives with mine

goodbye to dreams of future grace
wasn't in my mournful race
I tried to do things that would last
but fell face flat there on the track

goodbye to those I never knew
perhaps they'll read my death review
yes, treat me kind in words of praise
though never read good words on page

goodbye to you who read my lips
they're not moving in love's quips
they never said much anyway
so you'll not notice I'm deranged

Saturday, January 24, 2015

How to Get Your Poem Trashed by Bob Atkinson

-->
How to Get Your 
Poem Trashed

At the risk of a bruised ego, e-mail your poem to: bob_saltzer@yahoo.com

You may, or may not get it analyzed.
Either way, there is no cost to you, or the public. 
  Be ready for some critical advice. Advice you may or may not feel is valid. Either way....your works are worked upon. Your energies elevated.....your taste berated.......try it and we'll do it to it.
Remember:  In Poetry "the" sounds like "duh?"

and reads like "huh?"
Bob Atkinson

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Black Zodiac - by Charles Wright - Critique

Black Zodiac

 Charles Wright


Darkened by time, the masters, like our memories, mix
And mismatch,
and settle about our lawn furniture, like air
Without a meaning, like air in its clear nothingness.
What can we say to either of them?
How can they be so dark and so clear at the same time?
They ruffle our hair,
they ruffle the leaves of the August trees.
Then stop, abruptly as wind.
The flies come back, and the heat—
what can we say to them?
Nothing is endless but the sky.
The flies come back, and the afternoon
Teeters a bit on its green edges,
then settles like dead weight
Next to our memories, and the pale hems of the masters’ gowns.
________
Those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of him.
Perhaps. And perhaps not—
dust and ashes though we are,
Some will go wordlessly, some
Will listen their way in with their mouths
Where pain puts them, an inch-and-a-half above the floor.
And some will revile him out of love
and deep disdain.
The gates of mercy, like an eclipse, darken our undersides.
Rows of gravestones stay our steps,
August humidity
Bright as auras around our bodies.
And some will utter the words,
speaking in fear and tongues,
Hating their garments splotched by the flesh.
These are the lucky ones, the shelved ones, the twice-erased.
________
Dante and John Chrysostom
Might find this afternoon a sidereal roadmap,
A pilgrim’s way ...
You might too
Under the prejaundiced outline of the quarter moon,
Clouds sculling downsky like a narrative for whatever comes,
What hasn’t happened to happen yet
Still lurking behind the stars,
31 August 1995 ...
The afterlife of insects, space graffiti, white holeswaters above the earth:
Why do the great stories always exist in the past?
________
The unexamined life’s no different from
the examined life—
Unanswerable questions, small talk,
Unprovable theorems, long-abandoned arguments—
You’ve got to write it all down.
Landscape or waterscape, light-length on evergreen, dark sidebar
Of evening,
you’ve got to write it down.
Memory’s handkerchief, death’s dream and automobile,
God’s sleep,
you’ve still got to write it down,
Moon half-empty, moon half-full,
Night starless and egoless, night blood-black and prayer-black,
Spider at work between the hedges,
Last bird call,
toad in a damp place, tree frog in a dry ...
________
We go to our graves with secondary affections,
Second-hand satisfaction, half-souled,
star charts demagnetized.
We go in our best suits. The birds are flying. Clouds pass.
Sure we’re cold and untouchable,
but we harbor no ill will.
No tooth tuned to resentment’s fork,
we’re out of here, and sweet meat.
Calligraphers of the disembodied, God’s word-wards,
What letters will we illuminate?
Above us, the atmosphere,
The nothing that’s nowhere, signs on, and waits for our beck and call.
Above us, the great constellations sidle and wince,
The letters undarken and come forth,
Your X and my X.
The letters undarken and they come forth.
________
Eluders of memory, nocturnal sleep of the greenhouse,
Spirit of slides and silences,
Invisible Hand,
Witness and walk on.
Lords of the discontinuous, lords of the little gestures,
Succor my shift and save me ...
All afternoon the rain has rained down in the mind,
And in the gardens and dwarf orchard.
All afternoon
The lexicon of late summer has turned its pages
Under the rain,
abstracting the necessary word.
Autumn’s upon us.
The rain fills our narrow beds.
Description’s an element, like air or water.
That’s the word.


Black Zodiac


Darkened by time, the masters, like our memories, mix..............the#1
And mismatch, ....................................................................................?
and settle about our lawn furniture, like air .......................................so?
Without a meaning, like air in its clear nothingness. .......................it#1
What can we say to either of them? .......................................................
How can they be so dark and so clear at the same time? ......verb "to be#1"
They ruffle our hair, ..............................................................................
they ruffle the leaves of the August trees. ......................................the#2
Then stop, abruptly as wind. ..................................................................
The flies come back, and the heat— .................................the#3 & the#4
what can we say to them?........................................................................
Nothing is endless but the sky. ..........................verb "to be#2"
The flies come back, and the afternoon ....................................the#5
Teeters a bit on its green edges, ...........................it#2
then settles like dead weight ....................................................................
Next to our memories, and the pale hems of the masters’ gowns. the#6 & the#7
________
Those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of him. ..................................
Perhaps. And perhaps not— .................................................................................
dust and ashes though we are, ..............................verb "to be#3..........................
Some will go wordlessly, some ...........................................................................
Will listen their way in with their mouths ...........................................................
Where pain puts them, an inch-and-a-half above the floor......................the#8
And some will revile him out of love ..............................................................
and deep disdain. .............................................................................................
The gates of mercy, like an eclipse, darken our undersides...............the#9
Rows of gravestones stay our steps, .....................................................................
August humidity ...................................................................................................
Bright as auras around our bodies. .......................................................................
And some will utter the words, .......................................................the#10
speaking in fear and tongues, ...............................................................................
Hating their garments splotched by the flesh. ...........................the#11
These are the lucky ones, the shelved ones, the twice-erased. verb "to be#4"
....................the#12 & the#13 & the#14
________
Dante and John Chrysostom
Might find this afternoon a sidereal roadmap, .....................................................
A pilgrim’s way ... .......................................................define pilgrim
You might too ................................................................................................
Under the prejaundiced outline of the quarter moon, ....the#15 ..the#16
Clouds sculling downsky like a narrative for whatever comes, ....................
What hasn’t happened to happen yet ............................................................
Still lurking behind the stars, .........................................the#17
31 August 1995 ...
The afterlife of insects, space graffiti, white holeswaters above the earth:
..............the#18 ...the#19
Why do the great stories always exist in the past? the#20 ...the#21
________
The unexamined life’s no different from .........the#22 verb "to be#5
the examined life— ..........................................the#23
Unanswerable questions, small talk, ........................................................
Unprovable theorems, long-abandoned arguments— ..............................
You’ve got to write it all down. ....................it#2
Landscape or waterscape, light-length on evergreen, dark sidebar
Of evening, .................................................
you’ve got to write it down. ..........................it#3
Memory’s handkerchief, death’s dream and automobile, ...................
God’s sleep, .................................................
you’ve still got to write it down, ......................it#4
Moon half-empty, moon half-full, .......................................................
Night starless and egoless, night blood-black and prayer-black, ........
Spider at work between the hedges, ...........................the#24
Last bird call, ......................................................................................
toad in a damp place, tree frog in a dry .................................................
________
We go to our graves with secondary affections, ....................................
Second-hand satisfaction, half-souled, ..................................................
star charts demagnetized. ................demagnetized .... Huh? Explain
We go in our best suits. The birds are flying. Clouds pass. ....the#25
Sure we’re cold and untouchable, ........................................................
but we harbor no ill will. ......................................................................
No tooth tuned to resentment’s fork, ....................................................
we’re out of here, and sweet meat. .......................................................
Calligraphers of the disembodied, God’s word-wards, .........the#26
What letters will we illuminate? ..........................................................
Above us, the atmosphere, .................................................the#27
The nothing that’s nowhere, signs on, and waits for our beck and call.
the#28 ..........beck and call - trite
Above us, the great constellations sidle and wince, ......the#29
The letters undarken and come forth, ..............................the#30
Your X and my X. .....................................................................
The letters undarken and they come forth.............the#31
________
Eluders of memory, nocturnal sleep of the greenhouse, ......the#32
Spirit of slides and silences, ...........................................................
Invisible Hand, ..........................out of nowhere comes this idea
Witness and walk on.
Lords of the discontinuous, lords of the little gestures, .....the#33
Succor my shift and save me ... ...................................................
All afternoon the rain has rained down in the mind, ..the#34 & 35
And in the gardens and dwarf orchard. ...........................the#36
All afternoon
The lexicon of late summer has turned its pages .........the#37 it#5
Under the rain, ..........................................................the#38
abstracting the necessary word. .............................the#39
Autumn’s upon us. .........................verb "to be#6
The rain fills our narrow beds. ...........the#40
Description’s an element, like air or water. ....................
That’s the word. ........................................the#41

Commentary:
"the" sounds like Duh? 
and reads like Huh?
the word "the" in poetry denotes laziness
sometimes you gotta use it, (grudgingly)
but 41 times LAZY?
ugh

verb "to be" ...is, are, was, were
shouldn't ever be used in poetry

dumb statements, hanging in the air unsubstantiated?
a BIG NO NO

you get my drift

gotta flow
gotta interest the reader
gotta be in conversational language
(Wordsworth)
gotta contain memorable phrases,
even if you gotta invent new words
(Atkinson)

Bob Atkinson
January, 2015