Thursday, August 29, 2013

You Call That Poetry? Oh My - by Bob Atkinson

You Call That Poetry?
Oh My
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

give it one more shot
simple benefit of doubt
sally to our Center
to see what Poetry's about

all hoopla rides their banter
quick and slickly shown
a presentation of quality touch
to show us how it's done

he teaches that master's program
fine art of languages good and great
lets students wait for him to speak
comes not quickly out the gate

here to read his poetry book
upon which his ego thrives
that self appointed guiding light
of deep oceans and large tides

none of these words harmonious
no flow of thought he makes
no point in his dissertation
no desire to emotions elevate

those 18 stoic faces written
about such an event of long ago
turned into two-fifty students
were told they had to go

he must have been a failed preacher
learned from the seminary techniques
droned on and on into infinity
no thoughts in words he spake

was like a moving stopwatch
hanging on a golden chain
could see the implementation
of hypnotic techniques again

emotions grew within me
those emotions of disgust
as he threw my genre' to the dogs
kept respect with his language not

thought I heard a statement
cuss word, had he just read?
there again twice repeated
four letter word of sin

"one more and we're outta here
can't stand what he presented"
there it was, "I'm finished
can't take no more of this
 his reading's senseless!"

the cuss words eliminate
any chance of PK-12 inclusion
in usage of these writings
becomes just useless musings

so to those who profess
with airs and pretense made
without profound perception
of why we think with brains

I say with deep conviction
as Wordsworth said to Lucy
"... Poetry, dear should be written
as with normal conversation ..."

else it's not the stuff of legend
as with Plato, Homer and Baudelaire
this stuff of smell begets disgust
and frustration for those who care

Poetry in its strongest form
those emotional words of note
lives through generations
to inform and excite the folks

thus holding a tight bond
between people of today's events
with those not yet born or living
until hundreds of years away

 how we feel about our times
and our history we elaborate
all connected to our descendents
through stories of our mind's state

this is Poetry's legacy

Poem: MFA, CW 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MFA, CW - by Bob Atkinson

MFA, CW
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
she teaches masters program
doesn't know how to write
the, the, the's abound in
her legacy, so hackneyed, trite

she gets accolades abundant
from those who do not know
how words affect the mind
how our life force flows

wake up, smell common thoughts
darned establishment of note
tell all how you devised this
promotion of words mundane

how you took our poetry
to a lower level of performance
how you left emotion and
ideas out of your chattered notions

no explanation of history
art, science or deeds well performed
no telling stories true in form
you've poetry, by yourself, undone

Monday, August 26, 2013

The - by Bob Atkinson

"THE"
"... definite article
(used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an ): the book you gave me; Come into the house ..."
use of this word denotes "lazy"
one who cannot think in terms
beyond banal into deep fissures, or with
broad ideas toward which we burn

simple thoughts of simple minds
throw caution against fast winds
flying back to slap our face
thereby waking us again

time to give this world our best
not bristle with biased phrases
facing forces of simplistic convert
via superficial activity nauseating

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Legacy - by Bob Atkinson

Legacy
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

all feeling brought to truth
all legends held for our youth
all trees that grow within our forests
all days of thunder, light and darkness

that complex maze of our lives
those zigs and zags occupied
with our energies so strong
a past which we now look upon


swims slowly through an open mind
suggestions described of prior toil, sacrifice
old times consumed fast our energies
that life force given to us at birth

we stand and smile
is our impact impermanent?
when we're gone what have we left?
did we bless this world with our lives?
or, did we make other people cry?

Friday, August 23, 2013

To Poet - by Bob Atkinson

To Poet
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

to poet means a lot of things
here in one round land of feelings
conjured by dreams of flowing streams
striving to alter causes sadly imagined

me, I drool upon my desk
with tongue between my teeth
and hallucinate about progress
we could make if astute, tenacious

that is, faithful to ourselves
and our long lost friends of note
faithful to some we've never met
and yes,
to some who frighten us to the bone

we're all in this boat together
this leaky kind of world
where every little thing we do
creates problems, whirlpools

we see ourselves as lucid beings
with hindsight, feelings oh so good
yet we thrust upon each other burdens
with our violent kind of moods

tell me if my dreams of glory
for my fellow man and woman
drift toward the impossible
outside of words that can be certain

to poet means to understand
not all wants, just what comes to mind
to poet means to bring out thoughts
to emerge those tears of crying

living as though in utopia
that perfect kind of world
where all that ever could be
has this Earth encircled

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cream Rises - by Bob Atkinson


Cream Rises
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

cream rises toward the top
beyond that which dissipates
under bubbling opaque liquids
a foam which percolates

wondrous events of nature
those towers of simple threads
lacking purpose or directional tonality
allowing ineptness to show its ugly head

taking from our challenged eyesight
more than we can see in total darkness
up and over into a circled web
beyond eternity's shadowed harness

not complaining of an outcome
not sulking in my chair with pipe
just lamenting overtones of missed virtue
greatness not really there nor bright

how can one deviate toward light
from momentum cast downhill
into a tunnel of darkness
narrow, showing very little frills

without advancing harmony
without defining love
without observing history
or watching push and shove

how can we teach without skills
teach that which we don't know
how can we further action
when we have so little "go"?

here in my observation post
on sidelines on a hidden chair
will watch events profound
get buried by show and tell

The Crabb Massacre - by Bob Atkinson


The Crabb Massacre
(2010)Bob Atkinson

Part 1
Some say it was a hundred
some say it was forty-two
some believe it was fate
some never understood

for those of us who can't believe
that this story's true
I say right now, here in this land
it's something we shouldn't do

Oury saw, from the ravine
the church and its large door
that hid the men who had come
for land and other stores

he saw the people of the town
he saw them shake their fists
he saw the anger in their eyes
he saw them loading Fusiles(rifles)

they were the remnants of the miners
they were the merchant men
they were the farmers of the east
they were sailors of the land

they had their rifles
they had their pistols
they were adventure bound
they had been promised many things
but were at this moment confounded

they had come, not in peace
they had come for war
there in the church they did wait
behind the wooden door

for cooler heads to prevail
and the anger to dissipate
that they might return to Cali
that death not be their fate

their anger was at themselves
for being sold a bill of goods
how they would be welcome
as liberators
not with the edge of sword

Part 2

they traveled through the desert
gathering men, equipment and arms
for a journey into the dark lands
to the town of Caborca, Sonora

there were to be hundreds more
horses shod, men bent on war
yet no men came to help them live
past twenty-seven from Tucson's digs

in that time of new beginnings
south of the border there were feelings
that from the north they should not come
as many, many up there had done

for men seeking battles
not of their light
with intentions unknown
and elbows large as had been shown

in Texas, New Mexico and California
no friends did they have south of the border

that Crabb was a leader there is no doubt
in things he did and ideas espoused
men followed him without expression
his eyes would tame the wildest passion

politics and adventure
was to him the game
the plan, the moves, the situation
brought smiles to his face

he would think long
he would think hard
when action was proposed
his mind was but a machine
when reaching for a goal supreme

his love had him persuaded
that a cause was his for taking
south of the border there was a man
who could give his followers land

in exchange for service true
in overtaking someone who
had governed bad the people there
not giving to them proper care

five hundred or a thousand
were needed for this war
some across the land
some across the shore

they marched east
through the wastelands
past camps of miners
rocks and dust bins

came upon river sands
banks of rubble
that held within
sweet flowing fluid
from high rocky lands

the ferryman took them straight across
counting souls as he pulled the rope
a good haul for a tired man
he wondered the purpose
of these well armed men

they told him they had come to fight
for free men whose lives were held tight
by a tyrant of another culture
whose ways were similar to the vulture

when the good struggle's won
land would be their reward, whereupon
they'd toil and grow crops to prosper
and have wives, sons and daughters

he wiped the sweat up off his brow
looked into their eyes with sorrow
thinking of the land he knew from youth
how he'd broken his Teutonic roots
and missed his chance to sing and dance
in Germanic tones of ages past

the ferryman waved to those who went
north to the Gila before turning east
and stopping at the river bend
to gather more arms and men

on the Camino Real
between Tubac and Tumacacori
the group marched south
an impressive party

they passed an entourage
of pompous men who did not speak
to those below their place in life
the party carried much fine trappings
wagons full of a rich man's things

ladies pretty in the coaches
emerald eyes, dark veils and broaches
horses large, and trained to pull
ornate wagons full of gold

had they been able to understand
that this was the Governor of Sonora land
the man they had come to depose
they would not have gone farther
into the unknown

Part 3
they said that Crabb
had done them wrong
the Americans would come
to do all harm

they did not travel
out of pure love
theirs was a culture
that pushed and shoved

the men marched closer
could see the eyes
of those around them
they were not well liked

from the south, from the east
from all corners of their country
with rifles tall and feathered hats
they came to stop them
at the edge of their lands

the one who had invited them in
became the champion of killing them
he said it wasn't right to bring
arms with ammo to kill his kin

he said they should be put to death
right here, right now, no last requests
no mercy upon these heathen souls
no quarter, or sympathy shown

the brothers who had helped arrange
their sister's husband to come this way
were slammed into a prison cell
not welcomed warmly with respect
but with harsh cruelty subjected

having marched into the town
and hearing loudly the church bells' clang
Crabb looked around for friendly faces
and saw only the anger and fists of rage

seeing far, each way he looked
soldiers marching toward his group
Crabb thought the church
which tolled the bells
would save them from a leaden hell

in they dashed, it took a while
for there were many
none with smiles

fears did show upon all faces
eyes were wide in this disgrace
wasn't warmth they had found
but one who now pounded
his chest in royal indignation
at barbarians coming to their places

when service had been sought of them
by this former ally and friend
the story was they would be treated
not with stones but celebration
as protectors, defenders, future husbands
farmers, merchants and dry goods traders

now they were chased into hiding
surrounded by eleven-hundred pounding
on the sides of a large church
with doors of pine, willow and birch

Part 4

Talk was cheap, each said his lot
about what to do today
should they give up their arms
surrender guns, then walk away?

if they did would they be fools?
would it be the proper thing?
to give up without a fight
leaving fate to those who raged

should they trust what was said
by such a devious person?
as had invited them to come far south
then wanted openly to kill them

some paced the floor, some lay upon
the pews where they had slept
and given future happenings
their thoughts and hopes for the best

yet it seemed, as days had past
there wouldn't be respite
from those who wished to kill them
wanting openly to take their lives

they heard the shots as they were fired
at what they didn't know
why would there be a skirmish
out where the winds did blow?

were the soldiers trying to
fray their nerves somehow?
and give them reason to believe
they couldn't win, no how

no rabbits up their sleeves
this wasn't their homeland ground
they didn't know what to think
should they fight or disband now?

if they should try to shoot their way
back to Tucson town
and get away from this land
where duplicity abounded

would any of them live
through the fire
that would certainly ensue
and rage until one side was dead
or thoroughly shot through?


Part 5

came they did to assist
those foolish in the game
of politics outside the bounds
where puzzles fit their brains

wasn't that Crabb was not astute
not the major problem at all
his was the mind-set of logic
which set him up for a fall

his life had been given to
the honor code he took
to be the better part of life
without which he couldn't live

and here in the southern lands
where culture had been shaken
to its foundations by men who spoke
that strange “English Language”

he stood and paced inside the church
looking for a proper answer
of how to save those who had gone
with him to the edge of their graves

yes, there was in the church
and again in the ravine
men who didn't fit the local mold
in language, clothes or dreams

the culture here was different
had to be raised in it to understand
how every action was interconnected
every move laid before a plan

all these things Crabb didn't know
yet Oury was more astute
neither knew what would become
of their respective soldier crews

these shadows in the dark
moved from here to there
looking for a man to target
as if he were a hare

those who held the southern lands with guns
had lived through the days of shame
when soldiers took from them their pride
by marching to Mexico City

and putting land they wanted
on the block of spoils of war
and giving nothing in return
but peace until they wanted more

when Oury came to assist the men
with more and better guns
caution caused him to proceed
not farther than that ravine

they watched the soldiers march around
they saw the strange talking men
who ran around as if a skunk
had with them moved in

they heard the men shout with joy
when cannons were unleashed
to puff their smoke and make the noise
that robbed invaders of their sleep

was not a good situation
did seem a bit surreal
a church, an army and powered guns
with shots of lead to kill


a rider had to them explained
this frightful situation
and carried vague warnings
how surrender was their only option

fair treatment for the bunch
give up their guns and be escorted
to Tucson with the morning sun
or die and be quickly slaughtered


conquered and destroyed
without any quarter
if that was to be their choice
was the devilish bargain

the same proposal had been given
to Crabb's hundred brave men
had yet no word of agreement
been given back to the Mexicans

would they put their trust in statements
made by some very angry men
who saw them as barbaric invaders
from the northern conquered lands

or, would they fight for life itself
a fight they knew they couldn't win
would be like trading pride for breath
as cannons shot off their heads

Oury sat and pondered this
on the slope of the damp ravine
that kept the Tucson twenty-seven
safe from the bullet screams

safe were the men as they lay prone
upon Sonora's rich fertile soil
thinking each minute could be their last
if heads were raised above the slope

but, the ravine was not too deep
horses it didn't hide well
or give protection from long guns
throwing lead missiles through the air

did not take long for mounts behind
to capture bullets with their eyes
and die with convoluted groans
in front of scared prone former riders

so, a decision must be made soon
no easy mental task to do
give up their freedom in exchange
for promises easily broken

which meant the lives of these men
would hang by a silver thread
of truth or lies of men they knew
would prefer them to be dead

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Library - by Bob Atkinson

The Library

(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
watched him as he drove so fast
winning every race he entered
ran with him, watched his gait
carry him faster than other medalists

looked toward him for empathy
and knowledge of old stories
saw depth in his thoughts
and complex dreams of glory

watched him steady in his studies
of themes so well devised
theories understood in detail
morality both good and wise

watched him trip and fall
over railing of that bridge
into the raging current
of an angry stream's content

saw him build a city
of gardens green and lush
where all could understand his thoughts
and rich goodness he had brought

goodness retained so easily
by libraries of books now read
thoughts, passions and understandings
of those so good, but dead

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sloth - by Bob Atkinson

Sloth
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

trials of the disadvantaged
build upon self doubt
over and above those drab
circumstances of virtue not

money has no value
when usage not redeemed
while purpose overcomes the bad
with broadest hopes and dreams

you say you're poverty stricken
no bread upon your table
then out to that fabled street
get yourself enabled

help someone carry loads
for which ill equipped are they
ask not for reward
ask not for some good pay

ask only that you filled a need
of someone else's trials
ask to become useful
in that struggle we call life

if you have a power of your hands
to help someone in need
and sit there on your backside
you're nothing but a weed

a dandelion grows unwanted
on soil another made
as a weed cannot thus understand
giving of self for humanity's sake

but,
in some other circumstance
becomes a medicine of note
that same unwanted plantlife
into the useful itself transforms

a weed devours nutrients
not returning what's been fed
a weed lives without feeding
another's belly or humble head

money has no value
when purpose there not shared
money doesn't replace kindness
deeds of thought or simple caring

No Poet - by Bob Atkinson

No Poet
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

saw a trailer on TV
a party at somebody's castle
in NY, where money flows
OP's that is, nothing anchored

fellow asked the beauty what
she did in life, that small talk stuff
said to him in sincere tone
"I'm a Poet," he winced, groaned

asked again same question there
"a Poet, yes," she replied with airs
"hmmm...." he said and pondered this
what this meant escaped his head

his thoughts raced back to a phrase
he'd read on somebody else's page
".....a Poet, huh ... what does that mean?
A Poet, lady are you just dreaming?

who told you this
your P.O. or your lawyer
your barber or dog's groomer
or, your fortune teller Roma?"

taught CW for years at U
doesn't mean you're stuff's not goo
saw some words written such
five "the's" in two lines of muck

no purpose in those lines of junk
just 'azure skies,' the older stuff
fuzzy words on a stained page
nothing good, simple ego raging"

so, you're a Poet, huh?

what does that mean?
simply put, it's in your dreams
Poets lift our world above
by helping us survive the lust

it's something you do
not who you are
it's part time musings
not to the bar

not a title bequeathed by blood
just a simple labor of love