Follow by Email

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Song of the Open Road - By Walt Whitman --- Poem of an Open Highway - rewrite of Walt Whitman's - "Song of the Open Road" - by Bob Atkinson

poemwriter:  Walt Whitman

Song of the Open Road

Spoemwriter:  Walt Whitman

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,

The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,
They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,
None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!

You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,
From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room,
(Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;
Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

Here is the efflux of the soul,
The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,
These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?
Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.

The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,
None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,
Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,
No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

(I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,
We convince by our presence.)

Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!
They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,
Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habituès of many distant countries, habituès of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.

All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!
It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

Behold through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm’d,
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

So much thought in so few lines
think I'd like to update this treasure of a poem

Poem of an Open Highway
rewrite of Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road" - by Bob Atkinson

walking with my head held high
on paths uncompromising
not tethered or handicapped
fronted by wide open skies

on soft dirt trails going where I go
my arrival reverses plainly
departures for my flow
my living not ungainly

I feel good fortune naturally
feeds me endlessly
being finds my fruit of life
fallen to my hand from tree

I sob not for myself
delay not what I do
I need no institutions
to mix into my good brew

followed books of others
conversation not aligned
objecting to what another says
becomes no goal of mine

wander around in earnestness
creating not a value strong
left my golden tethers
to find purpose for my song

this world accepted for itself
stars properly arranged
I see them in the night sky
homes of life I'd see as strange

I feel that heavy rucksack
of hardships I have seen
of people wanting good lives
those living room big screens

bonds me to their travails
cannot cut those ties
have seen the disillusioned
scream for their pain and mine

on this road of victory
I see but not all seen
my vision substitutes for
an open ended scheme

my glasses filtered by experience
what have seen through darkened eyes
tells my brain to expect
more than has been applied

some who think this world
has for them not given up
as much as they should have found
giving's better than getting stuff

those who break hard rules
those with body incomplete
those who read not letters
find in life not fragmented pieces

in birth begins a journey
as life begins a quest
rush of motor to a clinic
brings adventure via test

beggar on a street corner
finds themself solution safe
because of tasting chemicals
they find purpose much erased

escape from reality
immersion within their peers
rules of order deformed for them
so they might persevere

finds not good place in their minds
finds nothing they could love
yet, belief in good fortune
tells them only of push and shove

sports auto makes a noise
which lingers for a time
what could have been if comfort
won not their goals of mind

that dandy with his hat of feather
those two who kiss so sweet
the man who brings green produce
to market once again from seed

the dead out on green lawns
with headstones denoting times
when they forced their intellect
on those who had the time

those arriving in our neighborhood
to bring possessions dear
some going back to country
city sounds ringing in their ears

we see each other not as we
go past with these strange dreams
many hopes of life begin to grow
upon my lonely tree

(to be continued)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

There is Another Sky - poemwriter - Emily Dickinson

There is Another Sky
poemwriter: Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

it, is (to be), useless words, preaching words

how does one know what "is" or what "isn't?"

nonsense words in poetry,

does this poem have universal appeal?

does this poem teach you anything?

did this poem require research to write?

Three strikes and you're out lovely Emily!

Many Other Skies
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

have astronomers found for us
to build upon imagination
a hurried endless thrust

toward ideas of common ground
with exo-life in a universe
life which remains pervasive
if heart's desire proves its worth

how many earths revolve around
how many suns so hot
how many civilizations thrive

how many times do we look up
and gaze at those pointed places
and wonder if our brothers
can see our sun's white waving

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Waste of Words - by Bob Atkinson

Waste of Words
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

she teaches English at a school
where we recognize the game
she really understands those rules
gathering dusty accolades

no meaning deep in letters arranged
trite and stupid, beyond deranged
who cares about some forest bark
and meadows green within a park

she sends poor students out to a world
with preparation denoting fools
where could have taught ideas profound
just teases us with irrelevant sounds

now, in open season for
those who profess our nation's core
we stand firm in ready resolve
to rearrange our teaching's cause

1. Bring forth a logic sensibly arranged
2. Purpose, number one in stage
3. Wade through the nonsense presented thus
4. Bring serious discussion toward the front

Poetic Warmth - by Bob Atkinson

senses trimmed as if delight
begins with day and ends at night
warm of winds blown from the south
we feel ideas with taste of mouth

trying, buying, giving, taking
wonderful sensations in the making
fierce of character devolved
toward goal of glory herein resolved

poetry finds place in hearts
sometimes upsetting apple carts
further study has displayed
good length of service broad accolades

here with an electronic pen
we write a story of women, men
who further define our cultured past
with words of purpose lasting

Saturday, April 25, 2015

When You Walk in the Room - poemwriter - Jackie De Shannon

WhenYou Walk in the Room
- poemwriter - Jackie De Shannon
I can see a new expression on my face
I can feel a strange sensation taking place
I can hear the guitars playing lovely tunes
Every time that you walk in the room

I close my eyes for a second and pretend
It's me you want
Meanwhile I try to act so nonchalant
I see a summer night with a magic moon
Every time that you walk in the room

Maybe it's a dream come true
Standing right alongside of you
Wish I could show you how much I care
But I only have the nerve to stare

I can feel that something pounding in my brain
Just anytime someone speaks your name

Trumpets sound and I hear thunder boom
Every time that you walk in the room
Every time that you walk in the room
my, oh my
what can be said about such emotionalism
when it's written in plain language
(still don't like the upper case letters)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Needles and Pins - poem of the month - June 2015

Needles and Pins

- poemwriters JackNitzsche and Sonny Bono

I saw her today
I saw her face
It was the face I loved
and I knew

I had to run away
and get down on my knees
and pray
That they'd go away

But still they begin
Needles and pins
Because of all my pride
The tears I gotta hide

Hey, I thought I was smart
I wanted her
Didn't think I'd do
but now I see

She's worse to him than me
Let her go ahead
take his love instead
And one day she will see

Just how to say please
And get down on her knees
that's how it begins
She'll feel those needles and pins
a-hurtin her, a-hurtin her

Why can't I stop
and tell myself
I'm wrong, I'm wrong, so wrong

Why can't I stand up
and tell myself I'm strong

Because I saw her today
I saw her face
It was the face I loved and I knew

I had to run away
and get down
on my knees and pray
That they'd go away

But still they begin
Needles and pins
Because of all my pride
The tears I gotta hide

Ah, needles and pins
Needles and pins
Needles and pins
for Jack and Sonny
to write such a poem
which is like a spike
hitting one's gut of emotional being
tells of their immense talent
I, for one, believe this
to be a superior poem to many
of the prize awarded tripely
garbage poems out there 

Pins and Needles
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson
prior to this opening
I feel so well aware
of distant pulsations
devoid of titled flair

I see in moving backwards
moving forward in the mix
revising preconditions
devoted to my list

of things to do in the morning
of attention to a bit
which tallies undulating motion
within or over a quick trip

on pins and needles I await
some feelings in cool darkness
beyond which cannot be described
tangible emotional progress

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talking to a Mirror - by Bob Atkinson

Talking to a Mirror
(c)2015 Bob Atkinson

talking to a mirror finds
no progress here described
simple reinforcement of
that deep ego named as pride

yet, when an opposite arrives
you find yourself immersed
in ideas beyond imagination
something new, wildly diverse

so if you don't agree with me
that's wonderful in approach
for I do not sit on my
behind when viewing scope

to find that wonderful person
so honest as to find
fault with one exposes weakness
in thoughts here in the mind

so to you who don't believe a thing
I say here in my blurb
I toast humbly to your arrogance
but, your approval I reserve

Monday, April 13, 2015

Early Morning Rain - poemwriter: Gordon Lightfoot

- poemwriter: Gordon Lightfoot

In the early mornin' rain
with a dollar in my hand
With an achin' in my heart
and my pockets full of sand

I'm a long way from home,
Lord I miss my loved ones so
In the early mornin' rain,
with no place to go
Out on runway number nine,
big seven-o-seven set to go
And I'm stuck here in the grass
with a pain that ever grows

Oh, the liquor tasted good
and the women all were fast
Well, now there she goes, my friend,
she'll be rollin' down at last
Hear the mighty engines roar,
see the silver wing on high
She's a wingin' westward bound,
far above the clouds she'll fly
Where the mornin' rain don't fall
and the sun always shines
She'll be flyin' over my home
in about three hours time

This old airport's got me down,
it's no earthly good to me
And I'm stuck here on the ground
as cold and drunk as I can be
You can't jump a jet plane
like you can a freight train
So, I best be on my way
in the early mornin' rain

You can't jump a jet plane
like you can a freight train
So, I best be on my way
in the early mornin' rain

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 s.e.x 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.

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