Friday, December 6, 2013

Observiate - by Bob Atkinson

(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

from the outside looking in
or from the inside looking out
underneath, toward bottom, or the top
left side, right side, directly through a heart

each of us has our way
to see an issue, observiate
which means to judge while looking at
something round, or something flat

another sees reality different
a bended corner or lid for flipping
colors hued in some strange tone
lacking texture or rough as stone

here in our world so imagined
we sometimes modify with passion
or, with ever knowing eyes
observiate what isn't, thus telling lies

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Artistic Creation - by Bob Atkinson

Artistic Creation
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
many objects strive to gain
attention in the artistic game
setting themselves up as central
artistic cores for painted subjects

birds, trees, animals
raging wild snorting bulls
buildings, bridges, royal halls
religions sacred, meant to awe

all these have good meaning
drawing artists' artistic feelings
to the fore of creative minds
standing still for painted lines

when we sit down and ponder
didn't create that scene so wonderful
didn't make the river bend
shallow brook, or sweet red hen

aren't gods who have that power
so how can we claim due honor
without adding something creative
else our talent won't ring true

false talent beyond our measure
tallies points deducted summarily
by those who carry on their drama
claiming that which they do not own

talent casts an angry wave
onto the canvas if not made
with the efforts long and sincere
many critiques voiced by peers

simple forms made to shock
no close looks within those blocks
no lines of worry on the brow
or angry man breathing hard

tell me now and firmly why
graffiti is an art of yours
simple forms and simple lines
do not fine art make

they only tell stories of
your backwards feelings
lack of love
for those you share life with
truly common simple breath

making ugly our environment
taking from us all our pride in
what we've built, what we've made
through deviant cultures on parade

ingrained elegance
that which you do not know
powerful feelings inward hopes
of living a life civilized
beauty ever by our side

if you've not shown emotion
can't claim directness or devotion
need to shrink within your lark
can't hold good form if not good art

in my mind no subject can
rise higher in importance than
history of our sweet green land
or brown earth areas sparse of man

water conquered by design
perseverance, endless trials
confusion of our fellow man
in how to live in tree lined lands

can't freeze ingrained feelings
better than with artistic notions
trained with an eagle eye
pouncing ever upon emotional ties

seeing dates, times and places
brightened eyes and furrowed faces
stances proud, kneeling, crying
solid hope and violent dying

tell me if my idea hits walls
can we line these hallowed halls
with that which we feel inside
always driving through our pride

with time set still, a frozen crystal
down below, our deepest thoughts
flying firmly beyond light's vision
toward that which defines good mission

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Foghorn From a Ship Passing - by Bob Atkinson

Foghorn From a Ship Passing
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
you know proximity from hearing waves
lapping foam beside waterline's paint
you feel a steel bow slice dark water
propeller twisting, pushing bulk farther

a blackened hulk announces passing
with a sound of low pitched passion
bellow forth with large steam whistle
frightening sound so full of misgivings

when an iron creature passes slowly
close by, carries with it heavy emotions
dense fog shrouds this mystery beast
frothy air damp as it again retreats

lights aglow, yet not focused clear
terror carried into your mind with fear
wildness settled for the night
sleeping demons shunning brightness

you came to find your mind confused
bent by this courageous monster's attitude
so suspenseful driving this hazy story
reach out quickly, turn the page slowly

Friday, November 22, 2013

Personality - by Bob Atkinson

(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

saving quiet looks of inner depth
took his skills to a master's test
agonized over how without remorse
time would place his expertise against

those of similar or divergent artistic paths
some with talent, some with brashness
would this technique of impression last
or find unfavorable remembrance fast

would he be seen as little drama
sometimes caustic, sometimes appaling
sometimes finding intensity of heart within
sometimes flat with false facial chagrin

here in Mrs Henriot's spirit
thought he found his best lot's goal
she looks out pleading with large brown eyes
"Please Mr Renior capture my smile"

"Madame, if you will, let me decide
smiles be superficial against inner pride
wish to see your deepest soul's delight
bare your sensual nature via inner brightness"

judge, yourself, what Renior had
brought in vision in this pretty lass
right, wrong, or on false mission
yes, no, or smack in the middle

does her smile show shallow thoughts
depth of knowledge, inner faults
or, has he captured what we all seek
understanding a mind before it speaks

Monday, November 18, 2013

Significance of the Circus - by Bob Atkinson

Significance of the Circus
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

circus events stay in our minds
greatest memories for growing times
we've seen the days of devoted lives
they gave us awe, broad widened eyes

big top, side show, barkers loud
popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy
animals, freak show, tattooed ladies
hearts a'thump with open gaping

lolly pops given by that clown
one who took us, set us down
in the big top, seats out front
oh my,
those elephants had large trunks

lions tamed by a brave man
trapeze artists overhead
clowns of color running all over
faces laughing,
graced and graceless

a bouquet of flowers from nowhere
announcer serious with abundant flair
all devoted to their craft of ages
this event now in my past not fading

taught me lessons of my life
not every person has the same stripe
some do this, some do that
not all people wear the same hat

most folks have sound purpose
long as their intent shows no malice
fun for everyone in this show
good people giving, loving folks

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thoreau, Hawthorne, Alcott, Fuller, Emerson - by Bob Atkinson

Thoreau, Hawthorne,
Alcott, Fuller, Emerson
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
inspiration takes place today
charged in form by yesterday
times of which we're not aware
of all small details of daily fare
poets leave a legacy
calm descriptions of greening trees
emotions so deep, near heart's feelings
all we've got of lucid dreams
in our times, many thoughts
of when, where and here abouts
most ideas pass into oblivion
tragic loss of truth and vision
poets document our lives
not time not dates, but sacrifice
truth in feelings, open display
of useful tidbits, funny sayings
add your feelings to the mix
your experience, your simple fixes
document all you see of life
help those not yet born survive

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Charge Of The Light Brigade - by Alfred, Lord Tennyson / The Meaning of War - by Bob Atkinson

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854
 Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred!


This battle,
one of many in the Crimea War,
was for supremacy of one nation,
or a group of nations, over another.
Fought over religion, empire, influence and pride
it formed the basis for the attainment of glory.
Two thirds of deaths in this war were from disease,
battles being a smaller part of the carnage.
Tennyson glorified war, and indirectly caused the
future deaths of many, many soldiers and civilians
by the promotion of killing as a rational act.
The need to seek glory is built into our DNA.
 Feels good, feels right, but is it?
Bob Atkinson
November, 2013

The Meaning of War
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

sickness raged, sickness stayed
within armies of the land
tearing life from hearts of men
dressed as gentlemen, fancy caps
tokens of their own design
for which they gladly died
in strange lands for different reasons
religion, stupidity and pride
fare thee well those of Enniskillen
you bravely go to death
stories folded into time
with saber or with long lance
dragoons and horsemen, those of cannon
fighting for Victoria's figurehead
red and green and gray suit coats
flags waved upon pole staffs
Lord Raglan wanted victory
against Russia's southern march
opposed by those who held great pride
years ago, in Napoleon's rout
yet freedom didn't reign as thought
in his country of past conquest
where death, destruction, devastation
drooled from mouths of warrior men
Meshikov commanded opposition
some saw this as battle for
religion, that sweet jewel of man
which rots your teeth down to the core

displayed pride herein contained
pushing an empire on the run
beaten down by circumstance
and by the force of gun
 when nations disagree
they struggle as if two men
black eyes become the dying
foes are made of friends

battles grind the souls of men
into that jellied mud thickly spread
pushing lives into the brink
taking the future from our children

this was one of many fights
in the Crimean war of shame
some won, some lost some came away
 in agony and with pain

six hundred fought in this group
brave, though under fire
from all sides of a narrow valley
pushed to their death by pride

light cavalry, not a heavy force
no punch brought for to stay
just charge and find where the enemy
is strong and where they'll break

pride of country, pride of army
pride of the marching man
pride of soldiers astride their mounts
pride of wicked saints of sin

pride of those who gave bad orders
pride of those confused by orders unclear
pride of those who guessed where
to attack an enemy from the rear

fighting for those values all
so close held to their vest
mother, country, attitude
or orders from true gents

with unwillingness to divest
in barbaric travesty
or in destiny of purpose
whatever stood as consequence

minds made only to conquer
whatever lay in front
with guns of fire held in the hand
or saber thrusts at hearts

here in a land so far from home
must prove what could be done
with blazing cannon shooting down
those advancing or on the run

so, six hundred charged the valley
wrong valley here they went
under fire of cannon's thunder
fire from rifles aimed at chests

a brave thing to do
charge on orders given in the dark
a brave thing to do
give up your soul to ambitious tarts

Friday, November 1, 2013

Attitudes vs. Principles - by Bob Atkinson

Attitudes vs. Principles
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

constrained in approach to life
we innovate on a grand scale
implementation desires change
to outlook passed with veils

deceit devolves because of hard
choices made not to alter course
rocks two points on starboard bow
not acknowledged, thus go ignored

ignored until that grinding sound
of bottom on hard granitic bedrock
chaos comes to claim our lives
to hurt all those we love

evolution prefers a course
of deliberation on all known facts
straight through so we don't vacillate
in our purpose to ignore radical tracks

radical simply denotes a group
which seeks to hurt our kin
and give to their selfish purpose
great suffering and chagrin

Read Me Good - by Bob Atkinson

Read Me Good
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

read me good those diatribes
of which you're famous and derided
read me well your tales of woe
those simple messages of thought flow

read me too into your heart
let me feel your inner parts
help me understand your process
well rehearsed or reflexed garbage

tell me of your culture's prowess
your dearly loved simplistic loudness
help me feel your inner pain
or your selfish want of gain

Thursday, October 24, 2013

So You Want to be a King, Huh? - by Bob Atkinson

So You Want to be a King, Huh?
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

"... Humility, the first of all other virtues
 - for other people ..."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

some men got it, some men don't
while some men see themselves as dopes
some men peer out from a veil
of self conscious bravado unrestrained

some men see themselves as kings
without ever knowing what that means
merely want to stand on top
of the mountain surveying all

looking down onto their vassals
understand not what that entails
twenty hours of work each day
organization without hourly pay

seeing to it all are paid
all good workers productively engaged
all wagons loaded proper
all fields plowed and sewn for crops

all crops reaped and sent to market
all clothes mended and worn as proper
all children taught good in school
all roads paved and fences painted

all men judged for breaking laws
all jails cleaned with brush and water
all rivers sweet for thirst of palette
all boats mended along with nets

grievances addressed, all complaints redressed
mothers counseled about stray children
fathers drug out early from bars
street lights lit brighter than stars

so if you don't want to be a king
will understand your discrepancy
from talk easily dropped from your lips
as you sit with cigarette contemplating this

To Lament the Past - by Bob Atkinson

To Lament the Past
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

saw those open laments
bewails of days gone past
where someone infringed upon
a culturally divided view of life

killing to them before this time
not an unknown act
daily fact as they attacked
anyone not of their relation
another tribe another wagon
another body to them not people
another way of gaining goods
for their women and relatives 

what they object to vigorously
that little bit of life's pedigree
which hurt their culture's pride
as their rituals taken so far aback

knowledge lost on bloodied sands
history unknown of their bands
a tree whose leaves fall to the ground
to keep their ancestors unfounded

so who among us tries not to
succeed in what we do
or maybe that's the problem here
effort's not in some imbued

have little patience for those who now
sit on their lazy arches
and bemoan that they are not Kings
when being King denotes the process

Accomplishment - by Bob Atkinson

(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

Jennings said it with eloquence
"there were days when we were hungry ...
nights when we were cold ..."
here in my time agree with him
desire aches deep within my soul

desire for accomplishment
that simple mindless act
which takes from what isn't
and gives something little back

thus edging satisfaction closer
to the center of one's thoughts
and faithfully applying goodness
with that little bit of heart

to gain in satisfaction takes
a special kind of push
which feeds on want of action
with harsh beating of the muscle bush

do not feel an institution as
here in this brotherhood of man
requires great solutions
to everyones good plans

just purpose and direction
those twin peaks of mountains large
which block our path throughout
what we can and can't force on

trick which has been folded
into skills and tools of usage brilliant
convert those twin impediments now
into bricks for roads of further movement

Friday, October 18, 2013

Give it Some Thought - by Bob Atkinson

Give it Some Thought
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

we sailed out on the oceans
we climbed upon the shore
we set our flags upon the sand
'till natives shouted "ours"
we flew up over mountains
we dove down to depths in ships
we circled Earth up there beyond
where no breath has ever been
we filed into their center
after we burned their cities down
turned a cultured world to rubble
then let our own cities crumble down
we take to these adventures
because of who we are
the ones of true perspective
wild men of sharpened claw

these tales of great adherence
to expanded wild man state
drawn from eons percolated
through our musty brains

show frightful pacing of deceit
and movement toward barbaric
then sweetened attitude between
the abrupt force of the caustic

and the centered feeling
of doing some great task
by killing those opposed to us
where understanding is most lacking

yes, we do these things of lore
and smile when we remember
giving more to them when we
brought their final surrender
now we see no purpose
in fighting ever more
we turn to organization
of great cities created for

that life and sweet endeavor
that filling deed of now
where we teach our children good
turn our factories toward making plows

so now I must be sleeping
not heard this desire from them
they let our towns decay to dust
and drugs fill our children's veins

while turning arguments to what
gives left or right or center
meaningful attention
while most of us know better

don't tell me I'm not romantic
don't shut me into corners
of your base descriptions
those simple do's and don't-ers

for I believe in my heart
we've really gotta think
about that direction we will take
to make our thoughts wildly percolate

Active Awareness of Conscious Intention (Purpose) - by Bob Atkinson

Active Awareness of
Conscious Intention
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

count our indiscretions
we all have plenty to
infuse our generation
with devil's attitude

lacking intention to succeed
we lay there on our hay
and fiddle with the question
"... what to do today?"

well, if your soul's so shallow
you do not have firm "... to do's ..."
cannot help you with humanity
no expansion on human views

purpose guides us to our goal
honor be its name
and sets our course for activity
that desire for personal gain

or giving ourselves to others
helping those whom we can
assist in living out that treasure
with which we were born as man

life of potential good
and suppression of what's bad
looking out to see ourselves
enhance all that we can

carries with it goals supreme
that simple kind of stuff
which fills our hearts with charity
and keeps us looking up

Leveraged Power - by Bob Atkinson

Leveraged Power
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
"... when power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses ..."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

leverage held in one's hand
tells not of good intent
only flies beyond the grasp
of one simple mortal man

fleeing toward that false direction
of satisfaction superficially met
only tries to impede that word
which provides most heartfelt lessons

of how we live upon this earth
dream those dreams we plan
and stand up to our brothers
with or without a helping hand

power takes to multiplying
when agreed in substance good
more than don't will follow close
one with a benevolent attitude

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Lost Legion - by Rudyard Kipling////Lost Purpose - by Bob Atkinson

The Lost Legion
by Rudyard Kipling

there's a Legion that never was 'listed
that carries no colours or crest,
but, split in a thousand detachments,
is breaking the road for the rest.

our fathers they left us their blessing-
they taught us, and groomed us, and crammed;
but we've shaken the Clubs and the Messes
to go and find out and be damned,
Dear boys!
to go and get shot and be damned,

so some of us chevy the slaver,
and some of us cherish the black,
and some of us hunt on the Oil Coast,
and some on-the Wallaby track:

and some of us drift to Sarawak
and some of us drift up The Fly,
and some share our tucker with tigers,
and some with the gentle Masai,
Dear boys!
take tea with the giddy Masai.

we've painted The Islands vermilion,
we've pearled on half-shares in the Bay,
we've shouted on seven-ounce nuggets,
we've starved on a Kanaka's pay.

we've laughed at the world as we found it,-
its women and cities and men-
from Say Yid Burgash in a tantrum
to the smoke-reddened eyes of Loben,
Dear boys!
we've a little account with Loben.

we opened the Chinaman's oil-well,
but the dynamite didn't agree,
and the people got up and fan-kwaied us,
and we ran from Ichang to the sea.

yes, somehow and somewhere and always
we were first when the trouble began,
from a lottery-row in Manila
to an I.D.B. race on the Pan,
Dear boys!
with the Mounted Police on the Pan.

we preach in advance of the Army,
we skirmish ahead of the Church,
with never a gunboat to help us
when we're scuppered and left in the lurch.

but we know as the cartridges finish
and we're filed on our last little shelves,
that the Legion that never was 'listed
will send us as good as ourselves,
(Good men!)
Five hundred as good as ourselves.

then a health (we must drink it in whispers),
to our wholly unauthorized horde-
to the line of our dusty foreloopers,
the Gentlemen Rovers abroad.

yes, a health to ourselves ere we scatter,
for the steamer won't wait for the train,
and the Legion that never was 'listed
goes back into quarters again.
goes back under canvas again.
the swag and the billy again.
Here's how!
the trail and the packhorse again.
the trek and the lager again.


Kipling gave us examples of how
to document the emotional life of his times.
He doesn't condemn the actions of his era,
but expresses without commentary
the behavioral options some had taken.

The enjoyment of interaction with other
cultures is pervasive in this piece.

Glad we can find his works today,
as they preserve
the many adventures of his times,
mixing of cultures,
and appreciation of the minds
of those of a different stripe,
with the eternal effort to
influence diverse civilizations
with one's own institutions.

An attempt to grasp the value of "the Lost Legion" for today:

Lost Purpose
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

we set out on the Marne
to correct what had been done
to defense of stability in Europe
put badness of blame on some

we marched as soldiers bravely trained
to kill and die for glory
coming home to enjoy a time
when we could tell our stories

then in penance gave up our drink
as our brothers grabbed from us
that freedom held so dear in hand
that totality of trust

trust of which our fellow men
carried with them in their hearts
that we would give due caution
to deeds for which we sought

they killed our institutions
they pushed us to the brink
on that black day in twenty-nine
didn't hesitate to make us sink

we struggled through the thirties
felt no future brightness gleamed
until we fought for other cultures
those theatres of short-sighted dreams

visions held by some who lurked
in shadows of our lands
like those in merry England
who knew not freedom's hand

we gave what could be given
fought our friends west of Japan
died again in fields of fire
paid repentance there again

for a while we suffered from
smoke of an industrial age
and built our society with roads
spread towns thin across our page

allowed our cities to decay
our morality gathered dust
as those who pushed simple ways
knew not what they had brought

spent energies on the Viet Nam
to protect from viscousness
of those dreamers who didn't find
morality deep within

five hundred died in one week
that's just our boys alone
we add to that the "enemy"
who later became our friend

brought the world together tightly
giving up our prosperity's last hope
bought all goods they could produce
manufacture and ship to us

tried to find our answer
to creation of containment
of energies abundant
no simple force arrangement

then out of the blue horizon
we came upon a dream
build for eons not for years
our cities and our tombs
drive those foundations deep down
drive those walls up high
build what can be lived in
by those who'll know us only

by our writing down of emotion
descriptions of our lives
and how we came together
to live productive lives