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12/22/2014 5:47:52 PM
River's End (poem)

Graphite Drug
Posts: 9
River's End

Somewhere on the Colorado River’s delta there is no water,
only miles of cracked earth.
Far into the distance the dry delta spreads.
Crags, low mountains, stretch across horizon,
separating empty sun baked clay from high desert clouds.
Dark clouds, life giving rain, appear to float,
migrate over the low mountains.
Darkness covers this portion of the earth: shadow of cloud,
depth of retreated water,
vast emptiness expanding from neglect.

Some light penetrates openings in the clouds.
Pink and purple illuminates their edges.
Sunlight reveals side of mountains.
Atmosphere lends interest to an otherwise barren plane.
It is unusual to see a photo with limitless potential and no life.
Potential has not been drained from this place yet.
In time countless people will have bled all water from the river,
leaving a truly empty place.

Sun reflects on the hardened clay:
a halo of light from a solar source,
like staring at a portion of Saturn’s rings.
No ice crystals here.
Baked earth where water ran,
a river’s end until it shrinks again.
12/22/2014 5:45:02 PM
How Blue

Graphite Drug
Posts: 9
The writing here is good regarding the subject and feeling. Rhyme is also good. Things begin to stray at the seventh stanza. It could end at the ninth stanza. The end seems clunky. Try changing "the solution must not involve" to "suicide is not a solution." Suicide seems implied at the end.
12/22/2014 5:33:08 PM

Graphite Drug
Posts: 9
There is a good flow to your writing, not much to gripe about here. Other than this work seems common, "Poetry is. . ." Many people seem to write about what poetry is. The end is a bit clunky. It contradicts your philosophy, you love her, but complain about her ignorance.
12/22/2014 5:24:56 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

Graphite Drug
Posts: 9
Atkinson, this poem holds reader's attention. It seems to progress better than the last one of yours; yet, there is some difficulty understanding your meaning and your writing. The language is not direct. Taking a chance, Graphite Drug wrote:

Poe’s poetic approach
led to a generation’s empty banter
of form over function

As minorities beg to differ,
truth is defined by democracy
and Poe lied using fiction

The alcoholic bumbler
The lazy stoic
hid from truth in his decline

Poetry at its simplest
understands reasoned time
and that measured empirically

Not like your first four stanzas, there is a differing approach. Don't know if this helps to understand differences, but thought it may be interesting.
12/20/2014 9:00:39 AM
Tribute to the Boxer - by Bob Atkinson

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
"For What It's Worth" was not a political protest song, was about a protest about curfew being imposed on a Nightclub in Hollywood of 10PM because of noise. Peter Fonda was busted by Sherman Block and other notables were involved:


(c)2012 BobAtkinson


Barry pried the plate he'd seen

off the cab of a big machine

nailed it to the wall with spikes

pulled up many lips from teeth

Steve and Richie saw the kid

who sang those good high notes

drive by in a car of death with Bruce

a bass guitarist with talented strokes

the stars stood in alignment

Barry held the master's card

he worked for Doug at the club

Troubadour of Hollywood

this club had so many helped

careers rise from meager starts

a stage of magic giving spotlight

before Doheny on that wide street

the Santa Monica boulevard

of the many famous names
who went there for their fun
John and Harry had a laugh
at Tommy and Dickie's run

those bouncers who
showed strong and brave
kicked them out with gusto
throwing them on the street
got their bottoms dusty

Barry's in with Doug gained hold

worked for them like a magic lamp

their music sang tunes respected

vibrations cast for fame and cash

gave to the audience

a song about protest benign

presented such good lyrics of

that street with marching signs

knew their talents were supreme

Atlantic took them in sixty-six

Stephen wrote that song about

a protest on the Strip

Fonda got his iron bracelets

when busted for his part by Block

for venting anger at curfew set to

keep Whiskey quiet late at night

wasn't politics or such displayed

or even 'cause of war then on the rise

was about their right to yell and play

loud guitars and drums at night

so Richie, Neil, Steve and more

headed into the history books

with song of an enduring nature

as I joined the Army's Corps

Last Time Around

didn't know them then, but I

had bought their last go 'round

from it gleaned a background tune

used when my head hit feathered down

had all done their thing
egos all engaged
went on to successful gigs
when tempers dissipated

then as the years went by
they thought so much of it
got together again for sport
and softly gained good spirit

for what it's worth they did regret
all dreams not fulfilled
but then, there's time for all to make
their peace with banded frills
Touring Again

For What It's Worth

by Stephen Stills

There's somethin' happenin' here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun, over there
Tellin' me I got to beware

(I think it's time we)
Stop, children, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down

There's battle lines bein' drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speakin' their minds
Gettin' so much resistance from behind

(It's time we)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down

What a field day for the heat

thousand people in the street
Singin' songs and carryin' signs
Mostly sayin', "hooray for our side"

(It's time we)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep

starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line,

the man come and take you away
12/19/2014 8:33:22 AM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
Paul, outstanding discussion, enjoying your insights, although believe you grew up at a higher economic station than I did. Will match you 10 for 1 in our respective poverty experiences. Although, in adulthood, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum when viewing poverty. You see it as a lack of wealth, I view it as a lack of purpose, and laziness.

Poverty and Privation

(c)2014 Bob Atkinson


give me a break you who wail

about your current station

don't understand this world of ours

has many, many layers?

to groan and mumble words of woe

when you're healthy in your body

tells me you've a selfish streak

see wealth as all that matters

how does that align with deserving

to go where you look upon

when you, there in your feelings

care not to help us all

purpose stays for those who know

how this world evolved

from hunter gatherer stalemate

to farmers working with their plows

not so much size of your tv set

that says how you resolved

to join a mainstream culture

more said of how you charge

charge those around you

to learn of life with energy

and feed that passion burning

within your heart felt need

push back on that which holds

your toes from tapping sounds

of progress in your station

with efforts wild, unbounded

push back on your community downers

who keep others from your streets

and feed that morass of hopelessness

which holds back your brothers' seed

12/18/2014 11:04:12 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

paul martin
Posts: 9
this the kind of poetry that gets people interested
no bland stuff here

Patrick H Pearse

(Poet, Irish Rebel, Gaelic scholar and visionary)

The Rebel

I am come of the seed of the people,
the people that sorrow,
That have no treasure but hope,
No riches laid up but a memory Of an Ancient glory
My mother bore me in bondage,
in bondage my mother was born,
I am of the blood of serfs;

The children with whom I have played,
the men and women with whom I have eaten,
Have had masters over them,
have been under the lash of masters,
And, though gentle, have served churls;

The hands that have touched mine,
the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me,
Have worn shameful manacles,
have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,
Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers,

I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly,
I am bone of their bone,
I that have never submitted;
I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people's masters, I that have vision
and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,
I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.

And because I am of the people,
I understand the people,
I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:
My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,
My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,

I have yearned with old wistful men,
And laughed or cursed with young men;
Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,
Reddened for that they have served,
they who should be free,
Reddened for that they have gone in want,
while others have been full,
Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors
With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,
Men mean and cruel!

I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision;
I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people.
I say to my people that they are holy,
that they are august, despite their chains,
That they are greater than those that hold them,
and stronger and purer,

That they have but need of courage,
and to call on the name of their God,
God the unforgetting,
the dear God that loves the peoples For whom He died naked,
suffering shame.
And I say to my people's masters:
Beware, Beware of the thing that is coming,
beware of the risen people,

Who shall take what ye would not give.
Did ye think to conquer the people,
Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free?
We will try it out with you,
ye that have harried and held,
Ye that have bullied and bribed,
tyrants, hypocrites, liars!
edited by The bad seed on 12/18/2014
12/18/2014 9:59:52 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

paul martin
Posts: 9
of course those poems i referenced are not suitable for children and you win the arguement hands down if that
is the perspective your are coming from,but to say poems
like chicken town and beasly street show a lack of culture
just mean you don’t undetstand the anger and poverty
people suffered in nothern england during the thatcher
years,as i said poetry belongs to the people not just to middle class culture vultures who want to wrap it up
in cotton wool and present a utopian world veiw,that is
fine for children as they take first steps in to poetry
but not for critical fuctional adults ,beasly street was added to english school syballus for 16- 18yrs and cooper
clarke is regarded as national treasure ,i presume your
comment dosen’t apply to kavanagh epic poem "the great
hunger" a portrait of rural isolation,teenagers and young
adults ought to readind poems that give a honest and true reflections on life not trapped in moral judgement
that confines their reading and writing to sedate inoffisive
12/18/2014 7:56:52 PM
new to poetry soup...

Philip J. Curtis
Posts: 1
hello i am a performance poet that travels out of town to perform from time to time but not all the time ...the 9-5 is needed to take care of home...just wanted to know if there is a chat forum on this site and would i have to become a premium member to post poems, leave comments, etc
12/18/2014 12:56:53 AM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
"........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, heed 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'..........."

(c)2013 Bob Atkinson

down deep, 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


edited by Bob_Atkinson on 12/18/2014
12/17/2014 11:34:37 PM
How do I report stolen work?

Kaiyen Vatra
Posts: 1
I was very upset to discover one of my poems on this site not 10 minutes ago under someone else's name. I had previously submitted this work:
to a poetry contest on's poetry subreddit. Is it possible to have this taken down? I put a lot of work into what I write, and would rather not have someone take credit for it.

EDIT: Here's a link to the original post on Reddit:
12/17/2014 9:38:09 PM
Historical Poetry - Apache Pass

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53

done in APA Style

Apache Pass

- by Bob Atkinson

Donehogawa (Ely S. Parker)

Hogawa stood in silence

sickened by the news

Pease had informed him

of the tightening of the noose

Battle of Washita River

eight score of his brethren

mostly ladies and the young

had left this world by sparks and fire

that came from bluecoat guns


Cochise was then invited

by Parker's lifelong friend

to the center of the valley

to meet and make amends

President Grant

far from the summer sun

his spirit would recede

no desire did he have to see first hand

the white man's treachery

Bascom Affair

a lesson learned at Apache Pass

when Bascom murdered three

taught him skills and caution

in avoiding misery

Red Sleeves (son)

with her father as an ally

and hatred in his gut

they went on the offensive

kept invaders on the run


soldiers from the east

in gray coats or blue

lost their lives trying

to replace the old with new

wasn't 'till the column marched

from the western side

did they find a way to make him pay

for his arrogance and pride

James Henry Carleton

led by the star the thousands came

with blue coats on their backs

giving no warning

of their new plan of attack

Battle of Apache Pass

clear waters did they want

but they were driven back

by rings of arrows flown from above

through wool and leather tack
edited by Bob_Atkinson on 12/17/2014
12/17/2014 4:29:39 PM

Kathleen Quinlan
Posts: 1
I have loved poetry since I was a very young girl. My Mom has saved a lot of them. Although they are not very good, the fact that I like to Rhyme was good and now I get a laugh or two with them. I took Poetry in High School, then realized that rhyming was not a law to poem writing. But still I tend to prefer a rhyming poem. I am 57 years Old and do not write poetry at this time. But I love reading it. It is kind of Ironic that my favorite High School teacher was my Poetry teacher, Mrs. Hill, and ended up being her caregiver towards the latter part of her life. I miss her and always think of her.. I had actually moved in and helped her. I think God sent me to her as I substituted caring for her for a friend of a friend and ended up taking care of her for over a year))
12/17/2014 1:59:17 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
Great points. Being Celtic myself, shamed by my culture that lost control of 80 percent of Europe through social disorganization and backstabbing. Hardly the source for social progress we need.
they stood proud in that hall of fame
their words professing honest gain
no simpleton's remarks had they made
in letters naive, profane

Your referenced "works" were laced with profanity, exhibiting lack of culture, lack of restraint, and removing them from consideration by children if we want to "teach our children well". Your comments have merit, although I fail to find the lack of utilization of a powerful tool for progress relegated to the discussion of the sea lapping the shore a good thing. I'm with the mainstream public. Don't usually read poetry. This is the situation I wish to change by altering the genre's current course of stupidity.
edited by Bob_Atkinson on 12/18/2014
edited by Bob_Atkinson on 12/18/2014
12/16/2014 11:00:58 PM
Please critique this poem, it made me write it!

Kate Ginsberg
Posts: 14
Thanks this is very valuable insight. How do you research for your poem? Assume if it's historical, you research the subject? What else, I want to learn more. I actually have not written much for many years. Finally unemployed and disabled and I have some time now. Take care and happy Holidays!
12/16/2014 10:40:21 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

paul martin
Posts: 9
sorry about grammer and spelling typing. this on phone
edited by The bad seed on 12/16/2014
12/16/2014 10:37:59 PM
Poe vs Reality or Revitalization of Poetry

paul martin
Posts: 9
you have to read chicktown by John cooper Clarke ,you will have a fit,he also wrote the best poem written in last thirty years imo Beasly street,no formal eduction no college no fancy art courses just naturally gifted,it seems to me your moaning about the collapse of elitism in poetry and how dare it be open to the masses,poetry espically in ireland was used to poke fun at authority,to spread news and gossip,poetry aiways belong to the people before the elitest elements from mainly the victorian era turned into acadamic pursuit,
poetry must be given free expression and not turned into
technical excerise that removes passion lightness of touch
i be interested to know what you think of paddy kavanagh
and brendan behan as writers,The great hunger probaly
the best irish poem ever written no formal eduction no elitism
edited by The bad seed on 12/16/2014
12/16/2014 6:06:39 PM
Please critique this poem, it made me write it!

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
Kate, believe us to be in total agreement... advancement of poetry is a good thing.
Have written and published 800 poems (some epic, which Poe wouldn't like), all of which are geared for PK-12 learning, and are online (did I say for free?): plus.... come up at or near the top in a web search for ... poetry critic
Have presented my site to the state education department as a common core textbook for the discipline of English, (would be the first APA Style online site poetry to do so). All my sites are "G" Rated, no profanity, positive in outlook and many, many poems are researched.
Keep writing, in the Poe style you're pretty good.
Regards Kate... Bob Atkinson
12/16/2014 3:55:20 PM
Please critique this poem, it made me write it!

Kate Ginsberg
Posts: 14
That certainty clarifies things. I respect your view. I believe in freedom of expression. Love history and science and I suck at math. I guess it depends on your purpose in writing. Some poetry is just self-expression (ok indulgence too) and other poetry can be instructive and enlightening, especially if accessible to many others. I also write rhyming children's poetry, which I'm sure you'd hate. But it's not for grim adults, it's for engaging kids and instilling in them a love of language. And not everyone can read Homer. What about people for whom English is a second language or those who haven't been fortunate enough to afford a formal education? I do enjoy this discussion though. We need poets like you too! And we aren't moving forward in the evolutionary cycle until all people are treated equally regardless of skin color, etc. The revolutionary cycle. Sorry feeling very political these days. Maybe I'll try writing about that! Nervous about "form" after all those years of medical transcription, ugh that can ruin a writer's English undoubtedly! Funny my job was so exacting. Maybe my writing rebels against that!
edited by Emkatster on 12/16/2014
12/16/2014 1:02:38 PM

Bob Atkinson
Posts: 53
Justin, an amazing poem, full of purpose. Love it, a classic, (but, as always, rewrite to dump the many "is")
Regards, Bob

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