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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Enemy of War - by Bob Atkinson

Enemy of War
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

gentleness contents my soul
for I cannot hate
those who oppose my dreams
those who close my gate

I feel frustration blowing winds
which destroy what man has built
with such avarice as taught
by he who gathers sins

claiming divine right bestows
an imposition of good action
not mean nor callous can he be
in attitude or reaction

if not gentle in approach
these deeds of which I speak
can only free the devil's heart
with nastiness and greed

to those who see him not
as something to respect
just someone who cannot use
his humanity with good senses

I say with time we will progress
to something of proud nature
building dreams for each of us
as life, itself, professes greatness

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artistic Inspiration - Part I - by Bob Atkinson

Artistic Inspiration - Part I
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

can see from the beginning
this idea's complex in formulation
regulation completes description
definition fixed, closed, no aberrations

not ever in a world created
by imperfect minds of men
do we see reality's force
correcting errors in our plan

'tis artistic enterprise
which molds our character
differentiation drives us toward
becoming more than what appears

we wish to leave posterity
new vistas of approach
which surrender to distant feelings
our worries and our hopes

within this makeup necessity
for beauty does arise
in impersonation of the deity
as we wish to form delight

delightful order created for
those smiles which undulate
around our tiny planet
turning corners of our pages

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Critic - Art & Poetry - by Bob Atkinson

The Critic - Art and Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
'tis always easier to criticize
than is to do it yourself
although in truth the latter
contains far more fun and mirth

my point lies somewhere in between
good and bad of poetry
adjustment for the mainstream
how we absorb idealistic dreams

to see this in a different light
with crystal covers on the lens
we can, with open eyes
love writers with sharp pens

those who look beyond the fluff
and understand good meaning
divest themselves of constraints
and pursue a different dreaming

they see a world with tearfulness
not holding on to chains
which produce establishments
that grate and agitate

my desire in this arena
carries to all a simple message
don't let the future be determined
by past usage and direction

what you see is fabricated
a reality far from real
poo pooing things that matter
holds their only zeal

me, I've grown accustomed
to my meaning zipping by
heads of those who look
only at the surface side

doesn't mean I'm disheartened
to try is not hard at all
when you feel compunction
to rearrange it all

The Muse - by Bob Atkinson

The Muse
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

we forever brood, consider, cogitate
on our tails we contemplate
while when alone we deliberate
on feelings deep we mediate

reflecting, revolving, rolling
we ruminate and speculate
thinking seriously when we weigh
all situations during our day

some only chew over questions
while they mull their decisions
in puzzling over solutions
turned around in their heads

me, I consider this a test
of outside forces doing their best
to confuse my lack of intellect
in the morning while I wake

for during sincere effort to
take it all in during brooding
I cannot form a plan of direction
when my head's not back in action

maybe I should move to sink
and get cold water not to drink
just splash it liberally on my face
then dry the skin with towel of lace

only then will I wake up
and see the world across my cup
of coffee which opens up my mind
as if sipping each and every line

to muse again from time to time

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Admiral's Ghost - poemwriter: Alfred Noyes / Many a Sailor - by Bob Atkinson

The Admiral's Ghost
poemwriter: Alfred Noyes

I tell you a tale to-night
which a seaman told to me
with eyes that gleamed in the lanthorn light
and a voice as low as the sea

you could almost hear the stars
twinkling up in the sky
and the old wind woke and moaned in the spars
and the same old waves went by

singing the same old song
as ages and ages ago
while he froze my blood in that deep-sea night
with the things he seemed to know

a bare foot pattered on deck
ropes creaked; then-all grew still
and he pointed his finger straight in my face
and growled, as a sea-dog will

'do 'ee know who Nelson was
that pore little shriveled form
with the patch on his eye and the pinned-up sleeve
and a soul like a North Sea storm

'ask of the Devonshire men
they know, and they'll tell you true
he wasn't the pore little chawed-up chap
that Hardy thought he knew

'he wasn't the man you think
his patch was a dern disguise
for he knew that they'd find him out, d'you see
if they looked him in both his eyes

'he was twice as big as he seemed
but his clothes were cunningly made
he'd both of his hairy arms alright
the sleeve was a trick of the trade

'you've heard of sperrits, no doubt
well there's more in the matter than that
but he wasn't the patch and he wasn't the sleeve
and he wasn't the laced cocked-hat

'Nelson was just-a Ghost
you may laugh! But the Devonshire men
they knew that he'd come when England called
and they know that he'll come again

'I'll tell you the way it was
(for none of the landsmen know)
and to tell it you right, you must go a-starn
two hundred years or so

* * * * * * *

'the waves were lapping and slapping
the same as they are today
and Drake lay dying aboard his ship
in Nobre Dios Bay

'the scent of foreign flowers
came floating all around
'but I'd give my soul for the smell o' the pitch'
says he, 'in Plymouth Sound

''what shall I do, ' he says
'when the guns begin to roar
an' England wants me, and me not there
to shatter 'er fores once more? '

'(you've heard what he said, maybe
but I'll mark you the p'ints again
for I want you to box your compass right
and get my story plain.)

' 'you must take my drum', he says
'to the old sea-wall at home
and if ever you strike that drum, ' he says
'why, strike me blind, I'll come

''If England needs me, dead
or living, I'll rise that day
I'll rise from the darkness under the sea
ten thousand miles away

'that's what he said; and he died
an' his pirates, listenin' roun'
with their crimson doublets and jeweled swords
that flashed as the sun went down

'they sewed him up in his shroud
with a round-shot top and toe
to sink him under the salt-sharp sea
where all good seamen go

'they lowered him down in the deep
and there in the sunset light
they boomed a broadside over his grave
as meaning to say 'Good night'

'they sailed away in the dark
to the dear little isle they knew
and they hung his drum by the old sea-wall
the same as he told them to

* * * * * * *

'two hundred years went by
and the guns began to roar
and England was fighting hard for her life
as ever she fought of yore

''it's only my dead that count '
she said, as she says today
'it isn't the ships and it isn't the guns
'ull sweep Trafalgar's Bay'

'd'you guess who Nelson was
you may laugh, but it's true as true
there was more in that pore little chawed-up chap
than ever his best friend knew

'the foe was creepin' close
in the dark, to our white-cliffed isle
they were ready to leap at England's throat
when-O, you may smile, you may smile

'but-ask of the Devenshire men
for they heard in the dead of night
the roll of a drum, and they saw him pass
on a ship all shining white

'he stretched out his dead cold face
and he sailed in the grand old way
the fishes had taken an eye and his arm
but he swept Trafalgar's Bay

'Nelson-was Francis Drake
O, what matters the uniform
or the patch on your eye or your pinned-up sleeve
if your soul's like a North Sea storm '

have removed excess capitalization and punctuation
in order to illustrate how these tools distract the reader
the effect of poetry on emotions is cumulative
and capitalization and punctuation
give the reader's mind fits and starts
resulting in a jerky mind flow
whereas without the agitation of them
the poet's thoughts and emotions become expanded

try reading this poem as presented here
then find the poem in its original form
see if you don't agree with this premise

Many a Sailor
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

many a sailor went to sea
to find adventure there
many went by force of arms
or on respectful dares

many a man lost his life
on waves of heightened fury
many fought and died for fame
or for their country's glory

most knew they could be killed
so tattooed their bodies well
so their loved ones could be told
they, for sure, be dead

all loved the grand adventure
for ever since time began
men of iron sailed the ships
that swept the lands beyond

beyond their homeland shorelines
beyond the languages known
beyond the tides of fury
then again they came back home

Saturday, October 4, 2014

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - by William Butler Yeats

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
poemwriter: W.B. Yeats

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

what a wonderful premise
too bad his technique doesn't match his imagination
terrible form for such a potentially good poem
Modified by Bob Atkinson

had I heavens' embroidered cloths
enwrought with golden, silver lights
blue and dim those dark cloths of night
lighted by inner fire of purpose bright

I would spread these cloths
under your feet
but I being lowly poor
have only dreams to offer
beyond a shadowed door

have spread my dreams
under your feet, tread softly as you see
you stand not on cloth of time
you stand upon my dreams

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Poet's Sorrow - by Bob Atkinson

The Poet's Sorrow
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
"... he is praised by all, read by a few, and soon forgotten ..." Oliver Goldsmith

to be read becomes the poet's dream
a fast approaching lovely stream
of sweetened insight or lamented screams
this shining light of unlit streets

poetry on the face of time
begins a process circumscribed
into a mist filled night we find
that pen and paper of rhythm, rhyme

rhythm fills a void in heart
softly pressing as required by art
to sink gut into a pool
unfilled by this moment's attitude

reflexive as our lives become
standing still requires none,
no complexity of a wandering tongue
a simple brain of mushly dung

we mostly tread waters still
retreat to couch, no excess frills
trading worth for quietness
protesting loudly we've done our best

when this leisure fortifies
we click the vision, games of pride
and watch as those people there
score touchdowns, followed by prayer

no effort in this wasteful gruel
satisfies need for flying fooled
beyond sincere accomplishment
on coffee table poetry rests

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Poem of the Month - November 2014 - The Boxer - by Paul Simon/Tribute to The Boxer - by Bob Atkinson

The Boxer- poemwriter: Paul Simon

well I am just a poor boy
though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
for a pocketful of mumbles
such are promises

all lies and just
still a man hears
what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest

when I left my home
and my family
I was no more than a boy
in the company of strangers
in the quiet of a railway station
runnin' scared

laying low
seeking out the poorer quarters
where the ragged people go
lookin' for the places
only they would know

asking only workman's wages
I come lookin' for a job
but I get no offers
just a come on from toy stores
on Seventh Avenue

I do declare
there were times
when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

then I'm laying out my winter clothes
and wishing I was gone
going home
where the New York City winters
aren't bleedin' me
leadin' me
to goin' home
in the clearing stands a boxer
and a fighter by his trade
and he carries the reminders
of every glove that laid him down
or cut him 'til he cried out
in his anger and his shame

"well I am leaving, I am leaving"
but the fighter still remains
it still remains

now the years are rolling by me
they are rockin' evenly
I am older than I once was
and younger than I'll be
that's not unusual.
nor is it strange

after changes upon changes
we are more or less the same

after changes
we are more or less the same

an amalgamation of experiences
Paul and Art concluded this piece
after 100 hours in the recording studio
and much experimentation
with guitar sound purrs
to accompany a great poem

Tribute to the Boxer
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
thank goodness for St Paul
good a place as lives for song
in those halls we found reverb
new feelings we can borrow

instruments gave such a chorus
was long to end this job
as one hundred hours of studio
took to complete, went on and on

yes, words can gather meaning
as the years roll down my back
I'm involved in life's true feelings
as if they're coming back

to the places I have traveled
to the tears that I have shed
as if an instrument of feeling
as I lay here on my bed

was done by bits and pieces
this song of boxer's lust
an instrument of reason busted
should send out for more lunch

here when fall time season
changes colors of the trees
my worth becomes a nickel
as my bones begin to freeze

my character climbs fully
on those walls of ivy leaves
taking only but a moment
to reject my cries and pleas

yes they didn't give me credit
when my credit card was due
yet, with only six string fingers
I have penned these words for you

our youth gives many lessons
when we take those things in stride
which ever finds us pressing
for expansion of our pride

we carry for a lifetime
some great cause for which we're shamed
and expand those open pleasures
of enjoyment for our pain

never entering into visions
which dissipate like fog in rain
just let me soothe my burden
with whatever I have gained

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wit, as in Poetry - by Bob Atkinson

Wit, as in Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

of all manner of eloquence
wit stands out from the rest
by instituting cackling noises
among our crowd of turned up noses

a form of speech inclusive of
a quip or repartee derived
from deep within a consciousness
developed over an expanded chest

wit, as written in poetry
pretends containment of alacrity
into the verse of construct made
to wow senses on a casual page

yet similitude begins to wear
upon the reader's outer ear
like a wolf devouring deer
a part of nature to be feared

metaphors strange, vague in appearance
carry burdens of the useless nurtured
like a train without an engine
not moving fast as intended

these tricks of language aggravate
sometimes useful, mostly wasteful
turn up noses when allowed
to remove wit from poetry proud

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beaux Arts - by Bob Atkinson

Beaux Arts
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
fine art permeates our lives
what we see's therein derived
some good, some bad, some forced
some sickly made in due course

definitions retrograde
or definitions purpose made
to put forward broad extremes
of subtle formations gleaned

culled from inadequate stock
of pompous airs trending upon
an overview of situations
brought on by purchase of station

for us to present a finite goal
in determination, what's overloaded
bombastic open ended remarks by some
who view the process, not what's loved

works this way in all we do
arts, science, construction, food
experts pontificate, nothing else to do
skills so meager in producing good

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"To___" - by Edgar Allan Poe

TO --- by Edgar Allan Poe I HEED not that my earthly lot Hath-little of Earth in it-- That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute:-- I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer-by. 1829

"To___" (Poe) mo poe, please

I heed not that my earthly lot.........the word "that" is redundant. (used 4 times, poor form)
Hath little of Earth in it,..................the word "it" shouldn't be used, (vague, no meaning)
That years of love have been forgot ..........the verb "to be" in all it's forms verboten
In the hatred of a minute:..........the word "the" shouldn't be used at all, (laziness)
I mourn not that the desolate ......."that, the" no no's
Are happier, sweet, than I, ......verb "to be (are) verboten
But that you sorrow for my fate.....there's "that" again
Who am a passer-by...........the verb "to be" (am) again, verboten

Critique of the Masters by Bob Atkinson

E-Mail your suggestion as to the poem from a poetry master you would like critiqued.   Those selected will be given credit for their suggestion, and the poem will be critiqued on this site.


The Tempest of Poetry - by Bob Atkinson

The Tempest of Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

there blows in stiff wind
created by the word
an everlasting frozen
collection of nouns and verbs

like a whirlwind of change
these letters spell the thoughts
of minds evolved to think
and report facts back to boss

here, in an open world
where flies the dust of change
we find restitution
in words thus re-arranged

cannot give to the giver
much more than we have done
for in an underlying thought
he knows what we have spun

stories of our past
tales of our future deeds
garnishment of life
on all we can agree

freeze emotions for all time
let thoughts be translated then
into a world evolved from us
as simple mortal men

let them know all we were
let them like us some
let them know we tried our best
as we from danger run

let them see what we were
back when we were young
and how we gathered wisdom
when older we'd become

trade our sincerity
for that truth of which we knew
let them see our tears of pain
when success we couldn't view

hopefully they will exist
if we don't destroy their seed
for if we continue on this path
we'll be devolved by greed

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Realm of Humans - by Bob Atkinson

The Realm of Humans
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

holding wonder, amazement
here in our palm of hand
we view a life disjointed
as if just grains of sand

we flow down when picked up
we blow in solid winds
we fly when thrown across the room
we slide when stepped upon

we're only one of many who
can't force much here in life
but when we stick together
we become that slab of granite

a solid piece of architecture
which stands for eons to
tell of those left behind
our timeless brooding moods

we can gain togetherness
with those not yet born
if we leave emotions for them
for those who become forlorn

our poetry describes our being
tells of feelings deep
tries to explain our rationale
our deepest inner seed

so, to those of distant future
we say hello to their hearts
present what we can of our times
of how we lived and thought

why we did those actions
how we viewed our situation
how we stood upon the earth
seeing planets in wild gyration

simple in our makeup
we're a link from history
to the future unknown
that finite mystery

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

500 Miles - Song

500 Miles
poemwriters: (unclear) Hedy West, Curly Williams, John Phillips, traditional folk songs

if you miss the train I'm on
you will know that I am gone
you can hear the whistle blow
a hundred miles

a hundred miles, a hundred miles
a hundred miles, a hundred miles,
you can hear the whistle blow
a hundred miles.

Lord I'm one, Lord I'm two
Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four,
Lord I'm 500 miles from my home.

500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles
Lord I'm five hundred miles from my home.

not a shirt on my back
not a penny to my name
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way
this a-away, this a-way, this a-way, this a-way,
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way.

if you miss the train I'm on
you will know that I am gone
you can hear the whistle blow
a hundred miles

Additions by Bob Atkinson

if you feel I've been alone
you're mistaken in all I've done
but my time away has taken
all my strength

I've made it to the top
but then upon my butt I've plopped
no need to pity me in this role
it's all been fun

my lust for fame developed fast
when my skills were at their best
excess of habit tore from my chest
that place of honor I had won
on my own

500 miles divide me from
my home and family, where I come from
I'm out here traveling toward a future
quite unknown

did it once, ran to the top
no reason now to try and stop
my simple faith says
"try again, it can be done"

from where I stand there's not a lot
which can't be taken from the pot
will try to find good purpose
to go on

trade in effort where I roam
let mother nature's will be done
then jump on a train for home
be with family, friends and son

now I'm so many miles from my home
see it sometime 'fore I'm done
if I'm not out there on the run
buried six feet underground
in lands unknown

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Need You Mister Goldsmith - by Bob Atkinson

I Need You Mister Goldsmith
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
having now a dearth of thought
my concern for inspiration's broad
Mister Goldsmith come talk to me
need more ideas on which to breathe

to me your deep ideas impart
all you believed in all you garnered
you learned so much from your long walks
recite to me what happened on

this trek beyond those national borders
from here to there, then in reverse order
people you met, all they spoke of
where did you find food, warm beds, clothing

who called you the smartest idiot
who couldn't understand your whims
who knew you to be absurdly prolific
who sat with you and spoke indifferent

here in my waning years
my desire to accomplish perseveres
no rest at all for a wicked man
not in my desires, not in my plans

Mister Goldsmith tell me true
has all you've learned been set to music
so we might study your perspective
while driving in our horseless carriages

wish I had been there in your crowd
to absorb the meaning of your frowns
to feel the purpose in good sayings
and forever languish in saving

all the wisdom of your time
brought forth with and without rhyme
set in that small type font of book
an everlasting wall of good

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sir - by Bob Atkinson

(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

Sir, can we sit and talk
so I can give you my concerns
about this life
and all its worth

no, not for something profound
just for my own device
to keep me centered in my life
satisfied and soothed by pride

thank you

softly, I see the scene, displays a dream
velvet in its touch, smooth, sweetly draped
across my eyes visible, told with pride
as if a work of art derived from emotion

prevailing winds keep this life
upon an edge, as if a knife
whispering go on, keep your mind
centered on your dreams

brave in your leaning
toward your constant dreaming
all arranged so elegant
from dusk to dawn visible in effect

then, during the night
dreams fold as if so frightened
afraid to show their openness
asleep or under sheepskin carpets


Sir, if you will pretend
that my meaning has recompense
can use some support
thank you for all your help

I'll sleep now

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Narrative Poem - Clayton Delaney - by Tom T Hall/ The Bus Fare Quandry - by Bob Atkinson

The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
poemwriter: Tom T Hall

I remember the year that Clayton Delaney diedthey said for the last two weeks that he suffered and criedit made a big impression on me, although I was a barefoot kidthey said he got religion at the end and I'm glad that he did

Clayton was the best guitar picker in our town
I thought he was a hero and I used to follow Clayton around
I often wondered why Clayton, who seemed so good to me
never took his guitar and made it down in Tenn-o-see well, Daddy said he drank a lot, but I could never understand
I knew he used to pick up in Ohio with a five-piece band
Clayton used to tell me, "Son you better put that old guitar away,
there ain't no money in it, it'll lead you to an early grave."

I guess if I'd admit it, Clayton taught me how to drink booze
I can see him half-stoned a-pickin' out the lovesick blues
when Clayton died I made him a promise, I was gonna carry on somehow
I'd give a hundred dollars if he could only see me now

I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died
nobody ever knew it but I went out in the woods and I criedwell, I know there's a lotta big preachers that know a lot more than I dobut it could be that the good Lord likes a little pickin' tooyeah, I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died
this is a prime example of the narrative poem
full of information on an event/subject
describes in detail what happened/feelings
the absolute emotional content of literature

The Bus Fare Quandary
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

from ten years old to eleven
a time of fun on beaches of heaven
a ten cent bus ride, alone for the day
here in the city, on edge of bay

birthday came that summer day
early August's heat wave displayed
a Saturday in fifty-nine
on the bus for beach to ride

fare for one of ten a dime
fifteen cents for eleven's pride
should I pay the extra nickel?
stood at the bus stop in a big pickle

difference be a candy bar
enough for a show at the movie house
a ride next week to sandy shore
a soda for the thirsty soul

might have to walk if can't afford
next week's fare, no source for coins
stood there in my worn tennis shoes
a birthday boy in somber mood

what should I do
how much to pay
bus driver could care less
either way

was between myself and guilt
which fare to pay
which age to claim

keep my pride or keep my coin
a nickel means much to a boy
what do you think I did with it?
pride or cash, which did I keep?