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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)........................no 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.

E-Mail

bob_saltzer@yahoo.com

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
or
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


Sir
(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

dormant

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
Commentary
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?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Poem of the Month - October 2014 - Running on Empty - by Jackson Browne/The Statement of Youth - by Bob Atkinson


Running on Empty
poemwriter: Jackson Browne



looking out at the road
rushing under my wheels
looking back at the years gone by
like so many summer fields

in sixty-five I was seventeen
and running up one-on-one
I don't know where I'm running now,
I'm just running on

running on, running on empty
running on, running blind
running on, running into the sun
but I'm running behind

gotta do what you can just
to keep your love alive
trying not to confuse it
with what you do to survive

in sixty-nine I was twenty-one
and I called the road my own
I don't know when that road turned,
into the road I'm on

running on, running on empty
running on, running blind
running on, running into the sun
but I'm running behind

everyone I know, everywhere I go
people need some reason to believe
I don't know about anyone but me
if it takes all night, that'll be all right
if I can get you to smile before I leave

looking out at the road
rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you
all just how crazy this life feels

look around for the friends
that I used to turn to
to pull me through
looking into their eyes
I see them running too

running on, running on empty
running on, running blind
running on, running into the sun
but I'm running behind

honey you really tempt me
you know the way you look so kind
I'd love to stick around
but I'm running behind

you know I don't even know
what I'm hoping to find
running into the sun
but I'm running behind
Commentary:
travel if you will with me
to the years of youth
when one comes to grips
with reality of self determination

The Statement of Youth
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
where do I go?
what do I do?
how do I fit in?
where am I of use?

what do I need?
to whom should I plead?
where is it all going to?
am I in an endless dream?

or am I just another soul?
lost as if a soldier
facing bullets of the enemy
which can tear arms from shoulders?

do I really live this life?
or is it a side-stepped dream?
carrying duties unimagined
into that life force stream

maybe never revelations
will wander through my heart
only pleasant salutations
giving nod to what God wrought

Prarie Dawn - by Willa Cather/To Forever Roam - by Bob Atkinson


Prarie Dawn
poemwriter:  Willa Cather
 
A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars;
A pungent odor from the dusty sage;
A sudden stirring of the huddled herds;
A breaking of the distant table-lands
Through purple mists ascending, and the flare
Of water ditches silver in the light;
A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world;
A sudden sickness for the hills of home. 
 Commentary:
A useless collection of tripe
which demeans
the institution of poetry.
Here we have the reason
people crinkle their noses
when the word "Poetry" is spoken.
We should delete this method
of nauseating the public
from our language patterns.
Nothing useful here.
 
Bob Atkinson, September 6, 2014
 
 
 To Forever Roam
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
twelve thousand years the sun
rose on an unchanged world
soft grazing of the woolly bovine
left meat for all his purpose

wild passions next to nature
blew feathers in the wind
a knife, a lance a bow
to him his god had given

fierce struggles left some helpless
unable to continue life
fear of death ignored so long
wild violence his own respite

some lived upon the table lands
some swam those rivers wild
some found a future making children
collecting hard working wives

in camp under a fire
as they danced for three days straight
some had told of strangers
waiting at the eastern gate

how could, he thought, this be true
they only roamed this land
because it had been given
to the hand of man

no, there were no demons
out beyond where his life evolved
beyond the river wide enough
to keep him from a fall

some day he might be challenged
for right to kill sweet buffalo
but should that ever happen
good results be ever known

no need to spend much time
spitting on the stone of change
for here in the prairie country
he was the strongest man

he had the lance, he had the bow
he had the knife of stone
he had this land been given
by his god to forever roam

Friday, August 29, 2014

Poem of the Month - September 2014 - Lyin' Eyes - Poemwriters: Don Henly, Glenn Frey


Lyin' Eyes
Poemwriters: Don Henly, Glenn Frey

city girls just seem to find out early 
how to open doors with just a smile
a rich old man and she won't have to worry 
she'll dress up all in lace and go in style



late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
 
and it breaks her heart to think her love is only
 given to a man with hands as cold as ice 

so she tells him she must go out for the evening
to comfort an old friend who's feelin' down 
but he knows where she's goin' as she's leavin' 
she is headed for the cheatin' side of town


you can't hide your lyin' eyes
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize

there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes 

on the other side of town a boy is waiting 
with fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal 
she drives on through the night anticipating
'
cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel 

she rushes to his arms, they fall together
she whispers, "It's only for a while"
she swears that soon she'll be comin' back forever 
she goes away and leaves him with a smile 

you can't hide your lyin' eyes 
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize

there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes 

she gets up and pours herself a strong one 
and stares out at the stars up in the sky 
another night, it's gonna be a long one 
she draws the shade and hangs her head to cry 

she wonders how it ever got this crazy
she thinks about a boy she knew in school 
did she get tired or did she just get lazy? 
she's so far gone she feels just like a fool 

my oh my, you sure know how to arrange things 
you set it up so well, so carefully
ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things? 
you're still the same old girl you used to be 

you can't hide your lyin' eyes 
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
 
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes

there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes
honey, you can't hide your lyin' eyes

Commentary:
have seen, myself, ten thousand people standing and cheering upon hearing this poem
a sophisticated piece of literature, capturing drama and emotion, where current fare does not
the wispy mindless writings of so called "Poets" makes one cringe, and makes none stand and cheer
how can we purge the chaff from the wheat in Poetry?
good question! good question!

Wonders of the Sun
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
 
time plays all around us
a saga of delight and gloom
bundled with diversity
of ever present moods

circumventing directness
we dance upon our toes
feelings lightly touching skin
a throbbing outer glow

or so, that's how it goes
when we interact our minds
sending pleasures to the surface
which then dive back down inside

here with odd simplicity
we strengthen when enhanced
by nearness of devotion
without which we can't dance

we see sentiment divided
when we go our separate ways
simple salutations buried
in the calmness of our rage

sunlight feels so powerful
light burns upon the skin
but,
does it light an understanding
of the places we have been?

Poem of the Month - August 2014 - Get Together - by Chet Powers/ Outstretched Grasp - by Bob Atkinson



Get Together
Poemwriter: Chet Powers

love is but a song we sing
and fear's the way we die
you can make the mountains ring
or make the angels cry
though the bird is on the wing
and you may not know why

c'mon people now
smile on your brother
ev'rybody get together
try to love one another right now

some will come and some will go
and we shall surely pass
when the one that left us here
returns for us at last
we are but a moment's sunlight
fading in the grass

c'mon people now
smile on your brother
ev'rybody get together
try to love one another right now

if you hear the song we sing
you will understand listen
you hold the key to love and fear
all in your trembling hand
just one key unlocks them both
it's there at your command

c'mon people now
smile on your brother
ev'rybody get together
try to love one another right now



Outstretched Grasp
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
we come to fear nature
when it's at our command
for in this world of evolution
we've got a helping hand

progress requires thinking
and a tender touch
else we've divided our species
into forks of man's disgust

take me now to the future
when we have aligned
all the souls who've ever lived
into a single file

take us to that place and season
where we stand up tall
finding good hope and reason
has kept us from a fall

we'll survive this journey
holding each others' hands
in step with all who walk
call it brotherhood of man

tell me if this dream's a fiction
of simple sadness, not real or true
or can we find doing good for people
produces that of which we're sure

come on people live to the fullest
care for your fellow man
take that selfish purpose
stuff it in a sack

don't let those who feel
freedom's gone and past
rise to take thoughts we treasure
from our outstretched grasp

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Spell of Language - by Bob Atkinson

The Spell of Language
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

Webster brought an idea home
thoughts, verse, prose, tomes
should all be written faithfully
in a language with spelling honed

designed to give this nation pride
a method evolved, an invariable guide
production of all books of page
made with prideful letter placement

produced the "speller" for us all
to keep our spelling uniform
a way to say we've come of age
allowing ownership of the page

no longer centre but center stage
we go to theater, not theatre's play
with moral fiber not fibre's way
in defense produced, not defence, OK?

so if you're lax in spelling's toil
Webster didn't get your blood to boil
you have no feeling of pride involved
in separating from an island's culture

a wave here takes on the tone
works toward more union then on our own
toward connection to other men
then back toward independence again

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Statesmanship - by Bob Atkinson

Statesmanship
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
"... we hold it to be the first task of statesmanship to develop the stength that will deter the forces of aggression and promote the conditions of peace ..."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

here in that time of crisis
those wayward days of mud
when those who would be powerful
gain fashion with use of gun

not seeds of perfect charity
no love do they possess
just overriding purpose
by thumping of their chests

here in our development
nature has our crossroads made
do we digress to the point
where progress reverses trend

back to a time when people lived
a life so badly blessed
with slavery, toil and pestilence
given to their masters' whims

or do we define the nature
of progress to be made
a simple organizing statement
which carries to the grave

all we seek of accomplishment
all love grown for our friends
no enemies designated
we're all just mortal men

so first we can define
the void of useful souls
that underlying demon
we can't allow to grow

when some seek to gain power
by force or use of gun
intimidation, recklessness
they need to understand

society cannot fathom
such willful negligence
needs of the many for peace
herein takes precedence

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Materials of Criticism - by Bob Atkinson


The Materials of Criticism
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
to look upon a word fixed art
for value of the whole or parts
begins a journey demonstrated
to frustrate each of five senses

do we? could we? can we?
here in the "here and now"
produce our cultural standing
by lining up words in a row

can we? do we? could we?
put value on our art
or would it suffice to percolate
ingredients in a pot

that which makes up the whole
contains some parts plus simple hope
many seeds of doubt, some blind faith
loose fundamentals warmed to percolate

boil this stew in an open pot
wander over meanings uncovered
string appetite of mind along a line
of selfish devotion to an adept mind

thus craving credentials and accolades
with independence of well written pages
try as nature creates a need
molding most to firm fixed greed

avarice dependent, an encircled fire
aspiration drawn toward life's desire
direction fielded, ego supplemented
when open rawness becomes regimented

broadcast to those who care about
this person's rage who loudly shouts
simple signals of directional flow
mixed with endless personal selfdom

all nuance transmitted within the hope
of mending what's perceived as broken
broken carries diverse meanings
when seen with eyes of different teachings

broken, to some, fits life so tight
the critic's words lie dormant, unlighted
when not in tune with rational heart
words have no meaning, a useless art

art fulfills some need of nature
to analyze for form and flavor
tenderly we read their stuff
then regurgitate our lunch