Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thomas Wharton, the Son by Bob Atkinson


Thomas Wharton, the Son

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

with his father's skill in words
he set goals with which to earn
honors of a learned scholar
telling stories of the older men

documented histories of
those poets a half millennium
told tales of the writers who had
deeds performed by their kind fathers

moved in and out of Colleges
grand positions held his love in
setting motions here upon
the language of our dreams

rose above his rivals, peers
a great honor one believes
poet laureate of England for
the last five years of life

another lesson to us all
work hard, stand straight and tall
dreaming, giving, taking from
past mistakes and observations
of what has been and gone

thank you, Sir, for your efforts
know more now than we did ever
because you led the way for us
to read those old refrains in books

we're charged with our own duty
bring it to a higher purpose
help the children of our times
look back for answers in older rhymes

watch with fine attention spent
as if to a movie show we went
are good lessons to be learned
from those who lived before

lessons of brave duty
responsible doings, total unity
kind and gentle to our neighbors
family and friends and community

being worth our salt, truly
not playing at or without usefulness
not hurting others with our thoughts
or callous actions which go for naught

shrinking our mother's pride in us
challenges our being, removes love
we are given by humanity
producing senseless inward vanity

has us lie to ourselves and others
self worth is all we have to give
to lose it leaves us cold
to have it carries us forward still



In Praise of the U of A Tucson's Prize by Bob Atkinson


In Praise of the U of A
Tucson's Prize

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

Poston wanted precedent
to fall into his lap
not used to being taken
as one sitting in the back

firmly, in his Kentucky drawl
spoke with conviction proud
capitol should reside in Tucson
not up north in those new towns

had brought the miners here
way back in fifty-six
brought them to a city
where living all were dead

Tubac, a town like Pompeii
not a living soul in sight
all killed or run far away
from Apaches or from fright

had worked the mines hard each day
up 'till civil war commenced
when soldiers who had kept the peace
left for war in eastern lands

brought civilization's tone
to these sea-less shores
brought his brand of courage
with which he'd been born

oceans full of cacti
towns of predatory men
outcasts of all colors
some red, some white, some tanned

had been the population
of these dry parched lands
along with natives restless
some civilized, some mad

first owned by those who came
to settle in this land
from where it didn't matter
strength held the upper hand

then a part of New Spain
then part of Mexico
then part of Apacheria
then bought by shrewd Anglos

then adopted by all who came
for reasons of their own
as a common homeland
no matter what their first origin

they built a life of brotherhood
with those already here
and those who would come later
all equals and all peers

Charlie printed his own money
was good as far north
as San Francisco's banks
where they sold bars of gold

here at the convention
called to pick a town
new center of the land
and governmental clout

stood before them pleading hard
this man who had got Abe
to split New Mexico in half
and gave Arizona its fine new name

arguments sometimes fold
when the side which you're not on
feels they have the power
on their own path to continue on

a path carved of their selfish needs
if they count votes more than we
so Arizona got its capitol assigned
north of Tucson's greenest fields

Charlie in this fight for us
didn't win his argument
but his stature was so firm
they gave us some great gift

University of Arizona
though not its first given name
became his prize bestowed upon
the town of southern fame

a prize with which we proudly hold
as an institution we all love
a prize we depend upon
to educate our young


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Oliver Goldsmith How Could You? by Bob Atkinson


Oliver Goldsmith How Could You?
(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

you think so softly of desire
your education's light
not in the top of your class
but more so near its base

you go adventure bound
walking Europe with a flute
your only productive endeavor
play notes for drink and soup

an Englishman from Ireland
not fish nor meat nor fowl
you wander over in your mind
that which stands on firm ground

writing of those real events
which caught your fancy now and then
writing poems and articles with pen
that circled heads and came out again

many deeds you mulled over
so many lovely tales to tell
caught imaginations in your grasp
with things you did so well

lines repeated by others
of that you were the master
simple phrases sticking
in all minds were plastered

sayings, words and quick notes
that which fit the mind
so carefully crafted and sincere
were adopted for all time

stories of villages so very nice
turned to gardens by mad barons
because of sultry avarice
and for the poor uncaring

monuments built in your wake
names of towns, statues to honor you
really had them in your hands
joke's on them, not you

the Infant Academy by Bob Atkinson

The Infant Academy
(c)2012 Bob Atkinson
 Oh my the years go by
but thoughts are just the same
getting those together
who have the same game plan

to produce what is of quality
by hard work and strong desire
letting setbacks slide down
into disposal fires

Reynolds was the master
of charging minds with energy
for the purpose of advancement
in all the Arts we see

gathered those who could aid
him on this visionary path
charged them with distinction
if they'd move with skill and grace

taking literary arts to
a plateau above the median
here in the land of Britain
art left for future appreciation

Goldsmith was a writer
Wharton the Poet Laureate
Burney wrote of music
that had come and past

Paoli thought of Corsica
that land of his birth
Burke brought skills in politics
Garrick brought his mirth

Doctor Johnson
brought the proper words
to those here in this room
and Boswell wrote biographies
so deeds would live forever

Reynolds organized this bunch
as he did the Academie
all these men are not forgotten
by poets such as me

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the Letter by Bob Atkinson

The Letter


(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

eyes not blinking, open still
frozen for a space of time
no tears of joy, no tears of pain
simply love locked minds

the war could take some lives
they hadn't thought of who
would find the greatest sacrifice
of young men sent for duty

wrote them thoughts of his trials
knew they held his love sincere
told them of his duty fulfilled
upon the sea of frozen tears

wished he could be sailing
with them around the cape
no cares, no worries thrown upon
them by the winds of rage

wanted all to love him still
although he was far away
giving love to country
as his love to them he bade

sought to fill his duty
in this war of misery
boats built to swim far under
his fast vessel's long thin keel

saw them nightly, ships destroyed
saw the fires brightly burn
saw explosions tearing steel
from their stems and sterns

would return to Provincetown
someday in flesh again
as had nightly walked the streets
in his worried dreams of them

........say hello to mother
she knows she has my love
as do you my darling women
much love from your father's heart

a captain must command his ship
a different kind of love
from that he gives his family
and gives the God above......”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the Green Fairy by Bob Atkinson



The Green Fairy


(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

at the new Athens night saw the dark
terrible burdens of paintings and verse
carried the methods distorted and terse
could never arrange more rational words

ceded his quest for subject met
she'd sit there and ponder and fret
seen the good day dissolve into chaos
debts upon debts resulted from layoffs

theater posted a notice with which
she'd seen all her good work tossed to a ditch
thrown into bonfires without any water
tied to her station like horse to its collar

wondered why Edgar had offered this work
to paint in the cafe where those minds disturbed
had spent their good fortunes, mental resources
migrating from normal to socially disordered

absinthe, the sponge which softened their brains
removing what little sense they had ingrained
Vincent had tried to remain composed
nutcakes are nutcakes, no matter what form

no money worth the taunts and shame
of sitting for Degas in friendless cafes
talent, he had, his works surpassed peers
others showed always their arses with sneers

those animals who had no good means
like Charles, van Gogh and Henri Matisse
would pass by, taunt her, not giving her peace
treating her badly, like so much free meat


Edgar expected this from his friends
they stomped in and out not smiling at him
she sat there a glass of water to sip
while he painted green what rose to her lips

wanted no part of these ugly folks
they drank absinthe and moved backward at most
from where they had come, their letters of arts
shrank to oblivion because of herb gum

knew they had started their craft in good form
with good lines of paint or verbiage if poems
had driven themselves deep into stupor
the darkness of madness this evil brew caused

moved away from good sense to social disorder
Charles had chosen those words so immoral
about what had been in minds but not tongues
saying those bad things that had round gongs rung

with fines and black listing of his six sets of poems
had chosen to deepen evil in his written discourses
no restraints of morality or rules of behavior
threw to the winds what had been God given

Vincent rejected painting's with form
for some such weird blocked abstracted abnormals
absinthe she viewed as the cause of this mess
seeing it first hand had sickened her temper

Degas must leave this place with this drink
leave it or else will make him sink
into morass of mental decay
caused by a drink with sweetened mint taste

Sunday, April 1, 2012

the School of Athens by Bob Atkinson


the School of Athens (c)2012 Bob Atkinson
taken in such single fashion
each would live everlasting
forever drawing together stations
rational argument and birth of nations

here in one fresco lives
superstars of older cities
teachers of our world today
without which we'd be in disarray

grabbing nothing from the past
leaves us empty, no recompense
voided in our hope for glory
rusted innards, foot stomped stories

back in time when men were kings
thoughts they held close to them
minds let freedom move force to
producing documents for me and you

millenia later Rafael presented
who and what were seeds of lore
bringing forward those good minds
without which we'd say darkness shines

dark of knowing our own minds
dark of seeing links to rhymes
darkness dreary in the past
lends our future circumstances

trails of goodness with good hope
vials of blood with which to cope
tearing wondrous worlds apart
patching hearts within green parks

soft and gentle, wild and hard
thinness thickness hard sawed boards
goodness, evil, in between
forever catching our hidden dreams