Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tunnel Rats by Bob Atkinson

 Tunnel Rats

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

rather than scar the land
why don't we dig below
follow tunnels we can build
build walls like hard packed snow

allowing us to shape our world
for our peculiar needs
in lengths extended for miles
wide but not too deep

seems we settle temporary
upon soil that's packed by nature
not building cities of usefulness
just up, not from here to there

up has no purpose
it doesn't settle those
problems of commuting
from our well warmed homes

up just doesn't do it
means well, but causes grief
scars the land with glass and steel
and forms not so unique

connect we can these linear
cities on magnets no wheels
flowing over top of us, swoosh
stopping directly where is needed

follow grace and conscience
people on moving chair lifts
twenty minutes travel max
from anywhere to here

would take time to build them
have to hire those who craft
all things needed to make the living
comfortable in their new pads

would have to pay the wages
from profits we'd accrue
by selling to those wise men
merchants and bankers too

and oh, there would be taxes
from wealth created such
so many workers working hard
have to build a larger box

to carry all these coins
to pay off all old debts
giving to the past our thanks
for saving the best for last

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gotta Have a Reason if You're Gonna Write Poetry by Bob Atkinson

Without a reason to exist, poetry is merely vanity run amok.
Funny words and abstract thought just don't get it !!!!!!
That's a "who cares?"  moment, sorta like a story told by
a stranger about their friend.....not of interest to anybody
but the story teller....!!!!

Here are some reasons to write can add something
to the list:

1.  Creating an Historical Record from Current Events
2.  Understanding History
3.  Appreciation of Art
4.  Appreciation of Architecture
5.  A vehicle for those in mental crisis to bring their feelings to the surface.
6.  A strong anti-drug message
7.  A strong anti-violence message
8.  The inclusion of song lyrics as poetry, (current establishment denies this relationship).

9.  Describing the emotional content of our lives.
10.  Psychological Comfort

Poetry is the Emotional Content of literature.  As such, form is irrelevant.  If it is the written word, and if it evokes an emotional response, it is poetry.  
If not, it's prose.  
"Prose Poetry?"  That's a dumb statement.  
Haiku?  Nonsense.
Azure sky hovering over the deep blue sea?  Trite nonsense.  If it has purpose, it is poetry.  If not, it's just junk words. 

Challenge me on this....let's begin the discussion !!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A House of Straight Walls by Bob Atkinson

A House of Straight Walls

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

why am I so nervous
in a house of straight walls
is it I'm not seeing
how this all evolved?

senses tell me otherwise
this seems so out of place
can't you see beyond the trees
which block so large a gate?

straight and simple are my walls
which stand for me erect
giving good shelter when needed
and keeping out the pests

they serve a simple purpose
do duty as was intended
but oh, without some roundness
my life remains suspended

now that we've evolved
to produce all we require
why don't we tear down all walls
not made round to suit our desires

everyone would have a job
employment at full tilt
since we've come to the end
of what we've done forthwith

prosperity requires purpose
we've seen this in the past
sulking in our self pity
lags when duty asks

us to get up and become
masters of our simple fate
doing that which was intended
building houses roundly made

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Finest of Arts by Bob Atkinson

The Finest of Arts

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

how would we describe to all
the finest of our arts and culture
would we be subjective dealing in
the calculation of those numbers?

appreciation beckons forward still
what mankind tenderd to the universe
in total form of new creations, those
pleasing objects proffered with chagrin

painting, sculpture, architecture
drama and poetry written also
with music, dance and theatre
combined with films of knowledge

place themselves at center stage
of this normal, natural world
becoming focal points of light
broad chaos not left undisturbed

must hold some meaning here
this thought of nature's progress
how do we place ourselves at core
with no reference for good judgment?

only flies into the face of reason
and of simple common sense
as we move forward grasping
this hard told moral question

do we have a mission here
to create from nothingness
forms which denote our existence
showing appreciation for life's gift?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh, Mister Poe by Bob Atkinson

Oh, Mister Poe

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

you say a poem cannot be long
we should not allow its length
to go beyond one's attention span
to keep one out of breath

then Mister Poe would you define
what is a poem now and ever?
and give us sense of balance
benefit of your know how's intentions

you say that poems must elevate
the emotions of the heart
and cannot, will not maintain
this useful tool for long

well that is quite a statement
how do you know this fact?
when all that really matters is
understanding why we all react

react to the inflation of our minds
of dispositions beyond our hearts
artful choice of words depicted can
carry on those old tradition's progress

you seem to infer utility
in shortness of words and lines
claiming long and drawn out works
never serve, but cloud our minds

you believe your first read
conflicts with your last
stressing good now perceived
and good things have gone bad

if we continue on your path
if we follow you again to meddle
we'll find no one to read our thoughts
no one will understand our private hell

how we felt when we did
those deeds we performed of late
how we saw ourselves as men
or women if that's our fate

you do not see the broader world
that which I ever profess
in it function triumphs over form
when the subject of poetry we address

since you died, there has been much
written and labeled such without
credentialed locks of names applied
or emotional content grounded

within the name of poetry
for some the name has stuck
to mean trite, useless phrases
contained within a vanity book

because of this you professed
because they followed your name
poetry has lost its pride and purpose
been trumped by other games

because of all you attacked
some have grabbed your form
and forgotten what in history
had been the steady norm

...the azure sky hovered over
the deep and dark blue sea.....”
this cliched phrase gives my example
of why you missed the meaning

of poetry that subtle form
of words that do equate
to all we leave behind to others
of our described emotional state

so Mister Poe, please come back
and dine on your fateful words
so that when I mention poetry
to others, they won't smirk

there is so much to document
our feelings should be heard
so that solid meanings to our lives
can be related and observed

Monday, May 14, 2012

Enniskillen by Bob Atkinson

"........FARE THEE WELL ENNISKILLEN....."  Irish Folk Song, author unk.

".......A beautiful damsel of fame and renown
A gentleman's daughter from Monaghan town
As she drove through the barracks this beautiful maid
Stood up in her coach to see dragoons on parade
Fare ye well, Enniskillen, I must leave you for a while
And all thy fair waters and Erin's green isle
And when the wars are over, I'll return in full bloom
And they'll all welcome home their Enniskillen dragoons
They were all dressed up the like of gentleman's sons
With their bright shining rapiers and carbine guns
Their bayonets fornemst them, oh she saw them full soon
Just because that she loved an Enniskillen dragoon
She looked to the bright sons of Mars on the right
Their armor outshining the stars of the night
"Oh Willie, dearest Willie, you have 'listed full soon
In the royal, loyal Enniskillen dragoons"
"Oh Flora, dearest Flora, your pardon I crave
Both now and forever, you know I am your slave
But your parents they have slighted me, morning, night, and noon
Just because that you loved your Enniskillen dragoon"
"Oh Willie, dearest Willie, head not what they say
For children their parents must always obey
And when you've left Ireland, they'll soon change their tune
Sayin' 'The good Lord be wi' ye, Enniskillen dragoon'..........."

Enniskillen by Bob Atkinson

down deep is the soldier's way
we fight as always for our pay
but pay isn't that which gives
us pride in who we are

oh, lovely Enniskillen
we've marched for you a while
given you grand folk songs
you can teach your child

we drove into battle wild
some with sabre, some with lance
never giving quarter, never stepping back

always looking for the time
when we would end our lives
wildly charging forces strong
formations of the other side

oh, we fought against Napoleon
his best we breasted bravely
gave his ranks some hell with fire
then died with smiling faces

bugle talked of recall
back to older lines
but then we continued on to prize
and broke his solid files

eagle captured heretofore
not an easy task be done
but when the Irish fight in line
battle's wild and forward run

we drove into battle heartily
some with sabre, some with lance
never giving quarter, never stepping back

always looking for the time
when we would end our lives
wildly charging forces of the other side

lived the soldier's way of life
our hearts be filled with pride
trampled all fears we've seen
and caught the devil's bargain
sometimes with our lives

toughened up our bodies for
to toughen up our minds
fighting where and when we could
loved to see our banners fly

we drove into battle wild
some with sabre, some with lance
never giving quarter, never stepping back

always looking for the time
when we would end our lives
wildly charging forces of the other side

yes, we're from Enniskillen
tradition carried on for brothers gone
believe in our love of home
singing old fighting songs

seeds of tomorrow's young
birth of those adventure bound
filled with lovely fighting nerve
hardened on the battle ground

we drove into battle wild 
some with sabre, some with lance
never giving quarter, never stepping back

always looking for the time
when we would end our lives
wildly charging forces of the other side

shown our heritage be strong
by adding to the Celtic lore
of fighting men and the women
who welcome their men back home

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Symphony in White by Bob Atkinson

Symphony in White

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

she stood there not moving
so pensive in that strange way
not given to her usual disposition
with upset, hard and angry rage

no telling why she did this
simply wasn't in her makeup
to go along without complaint
could be seen as a big shakeup

perhaps she liked the dress
perhaps had chosen it herself
white cloth and lace attire
was sewn with lacy cuffs

painting carried an aura
a life fully all its own
rejected by the Academie
and too, rejected by the Salon

entered at last in Edouard's show
the one with noses thumbed
at the fixed establishment
by upstarts who carried on and on

with pleasantries on the surface
objectives hidden down below
to progress art beyond mundane
discarding traditional forms of old

backward institutions panned
fine art with pedigree abused
caved in not so easily these men
who openly changed art's mood

rejected fully the establishment
those learned men of power
who kept deliberations to themselves
not sharing decisions with the others

the young who looked for leadership
which way was art to go?
should they carry on as always?
or make it nouvelle forme?

some defied conventional wisdom
with wisdom of their own creation
setting forth new standards
gathering those old men's alienation

no hot air they did blow
they knew it would be loved
this form of painted scenes
with new techniques of brush

protecting the name of art
the old men didn't move
progress not their goal for portraits
renaissance their preferred mood

openly pompous shows presented
only that which tradition loved
but left desire in young hearts
for changes with their names above

Whistler had done her proud
she said when asked of her
he'd painted what she'd wanted
an edge of their bedroom scene

with floor of blue and green
bear skin rug, a soft brown fur
walls of white cloth blowing
gently from the outside inward

because of Edwin's scandal
wasn't Jame's fault, you know
the painting became rejected fully
not to be shown publicly at all

then the Salon of Losers
allowed this good work a position
humble beginnings surely made
for this priceless oil's evolution

Manet's thumb to his nose
at the stuffed establishment's ear
took it to the heart and gave
prominence to its form that year

a place for it to show
more favored by the crowds
who looked to see what these
upstarts had created now

Emile had written about it
Gustave and Baudelaire too
thought it wonderful in form
both moved by its simple beauty

over and above its form
a magnet for the written word
that simple portrait of a woman
showed her quiet and undisturbed

many since tried to tell the story
how this piece was conceived
you now know in all sincerity
was only to keep domestic peace

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pink Carnation by Bob Atkinson

The Pink Carnation

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

tied with ribbons on her dress
she seemed a bit reflective
Francisco promised her perfection
his skills she believed extensive

the dog obeyed his mistress
as did all who held her small hand
she was artful aristocracy 
in this home of Spanish lands

the pose took many hours
was not a simple task
to stand upon the grasses
while he moved as if molasses

a woman who could make him
center of the stage at court
a woman who knew his name
and bantered of his art

he thanked her in his own way
making strokes of delicate touch
so as to give respect deserved
to her station and her looks

now we see in her emotions
what she saw in his deft hand
looking back to solid advancement
in the arts and culture of Iberian lands

Half the World by Bob Atkinson

Half The World

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

half the world saw them
for what they really were
barbarians not acquainted
with social skills to serve

the other half enamored
the other half excited
other half saw themselves
wanting status, but uninvited

anxious to avail themselves
of riches they'd not earned
wanting respect not to be
for lack of hard work done

unkempt in their daily duties
lazy in their heathen ways
not jumping up to opportunity
disgustingly vacant in their tastes

no energy given to produce
something not there before
something of greater value
no great willingness to serve

takers all defined in course
if examination done closely
not givers to others a little bit
heads dedicated only to absorption

sponging that which doesn't fit
with their lazy ways
shows why respect for highwaymen
toasts their simpleton brains

they see the rotten in triumph
over those who labor slave
those providing us all our bread
by creation of much larger game

the seedy cannot see the way
we all could benefit profusely
by including more passion
in our daily movements

have not sense of duty
to their fellow man of late
no will to get up off their arse
no sense in smaller brains

no willingness to rise above
petty criminal pursuits
sticking needles in others' arms
to them becomes the useful tool

so when you see attacks on those
who have worked and labored hard
be they grand in manner
or small in wealth charged

give them a tip of your hat
let them know you do respect
success in any manner
for it always trickles back

if we settle down and rest
taking from others what isn't ours
nothing comes from nothing
no gold in moist wet clouds

Thursday, May 3, 2012

End of the Republic by Bob Atkinson

End of the Republic

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

confusion reigned with iron fist
no stability on this island
Corsica teetered beyond oblivion
soldiers marching, locals dying

should they go with the Genoese?
had claimed four hundred years the land
rights to govern this fine patch
dark mountains rising above light sands

should the Republic continue on
or would others take control
British, French, or Genoese
a confounded four way taffy pull

no fault found in wanting
the richness of this fine land
conquest rattled loudly when
greed required quick satisfaction

local spirits not born of idleness
Bonaparte would later show
carried strength of conviction
which laid many below the soil

the British muddled in again
application of remote irritation
French had always found a foe
in open fights or quiet subversion

sores with which to bleed an enemy
devious at most any opportunity
the British provided cash for arms
while denying all close associations

causing pain with which to gloat
over pain which had been caused
by those who sought to expand
what wasn't rightfully theirs at all

no side wanted more of life
no desire stronger than the ties
which had transpired ever since
the dawn of fighting men losing lives

with brothers to raise a toast
to the victors go the spoils
glasses high and spirits too
forgetting quickly all who died

no one knew what would become
of this island of ancient lore
presided over by wild and angry men
marched on by soldiers of war

to his messy situation
Paoli had been born to lead
in the time of the young Republic
doubtless no way to succeed

wasn't at the battle when
the bridge over Golo's waters
ran red with blood of patriots
who themselves were slaughtered

deferred command to Salicetti
while raising militia for support
of the new Republic's identity
was nearby but not so close

all who fought on their side
gave good as brave a can give
no better asked of these strong men
the same goes for their women

Ponte Novu, the stone bridge
spanned a river defended by
the best this land could supply
with long rifles, muskets, knives

is where a fateful stand against
that strong force of the French
meant some lay sacrificed
to freedom's beckoned voice again

determined for new lands of conquest
French soldiers marched there proud
seeking all violence could purchase
fires of freedom with gunfire to put out

carrying influence of the men
who fought with rifle and with sword
loyalty held more weight in these lands
than decorum, rights, or hopes

a show of ornate designs of war
in uniforms and smashing guns
killing those who would stop the French
from annexing all they marched upon

Serpentini fought her company
well as could be fought in war
a captain mindful of her duty
fierce women soldiers she had brought

Voltaire said of these fine people
.....their courage was not lacking
no humans had ever gone as far
as these in seeking freedom...”

walls of dead and dying souls
became their castle's flesh ramparts
created lasting treasures held
in Corsican minds and hearts

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

History of Music by Bob Atkinson

History of Music

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

in eighty-one Reynolds came
to capture one who loved the game
Charles Burney sought to shine
by pointing light at others' minds

all his life he garnered facts
into volumes in order that
all could know where it had
come from and evolved

Frances and Sarah knew him as
their wonderful outspoken dad
his time spent well researching what
had been the history of music loved

Mister Baker, Doctor Blow
Brother James and Doctor Arne
took him under their wide arms
gave him energy to move far onward

traveled here, traveled there
collecting facts and vacant stares
wrote from his notes what had then
become the new forms played

near the frog pond, on the Alps
over to the boot with hats
hilly towns, canals with water
between those buildings of carved stone

laid foundations upon tree pilings
in a lagoons of watered tides
designed to make it not worthwhile
to burn that canaled town down

in the end he knew a lot
penned into his melting pot
volumes of his words depicted
where the music began to flow

don't profess to know so much
about his life-long path
here and now will be a quest
to learn his inner thoughts on that

how can one be energetic
in finding a niche so fitting
which documents what we have
inherited as joyful listening?

those wonderful concoctions
of instruments, these and those
with strings and all the wild shapes
which fill our hearts full of emotion

when the concert's over
we rave in our review
our hearts bounce within our chests
although was nothing new

Charles reviewed the origins of
sweet symphonies written for
the enjoyment of our hearing
ear canals directed toward our hearts

bypassing simple thinking
straight to our souls and thoughts
directly touching what we feel
with carefully written notes