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Best Poems Written by Robert Morris

Below are the all-time best Robert Morris poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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My Night on Thunder Road - A Parody

A profession that's not the norm.
It borders on the absurd.
In the mountains and down the hollers,
powerful engines could be heard.

I decided to try something new.
Put my driving skills to the test.
Driving from Harlan County to Asheville,
It didn't end well, you might have guessed.

The city fathers got together,
figuring how to make it all work.
Everyone involved in this illegal trade,
from the mayor to the town clerk.

The hillbillies brew the dew.
Most of it safe, some burns red.
Uncle Jessie tried it once.
His eyes rolled back and he dropped dead.

Billie Ray had a hot rod '50 Ford.
Was a race car, lost more than it won.
We popped the trunk, man it was huge.
Perfect for the nightly Asheville run.

In the trunk was a steel tank.
Loaded hooch made the car ride low.
Truck springs took care of the problem.
Now the truck no longer hauls cargo.

Beneath the rear bumper were nozzles.
A switch inside made the oil flow.
When a revenuer was chasing you,
in the rearview, was quite the show.

I always wanted to drive.
Thought this life would be exciting.
Told to keep away from this game.
It's dangerous hauling white lightning.

Blazing out of Harlan County.
At first, it went fairly smooth.
Problems I planned for didn't happen.
I got settled into a groove.

Bo Duke, he would've been proud,
when I jumped the gap at Cumberland.
Crossed the stream at Maynardville.
The engine died, it's not going as planned.

I finally got it restarted.
Pretended I was driving the Grand Prix.
Ahead, I saw the tail lights of the g-man.
Oh, snap! they're supposed to be chasing me!

I pulled off the exit for Knoxville.
Checked the map, found Kingston Pike.
I heard this in a song before.
Outside of Bearden, they were planning to strike.

Kept going in spite of the tune.
There they were, waiting to spring.
Blocking the road, no way to get by,
I lost control, spun into this big electrical thing.

The car quickly caught fire.
The door was jammed, options were few.
It was like an atom bomb going off,
when the flames caught the Mountain Dew.

The next night, my funeral was held.
Played a song about some bird in a tree.
The car lights, they stretched for miles.
This life I guess was not for me.

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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Racing Time Has Forgot

Off to the junkyard we go.
The racing season is over.
Must build a car for next year.
Let's see what sitting over yonder.

Like I've woken from a 50-year coma.
Nothing here I can recall.
None of these cars are useful.
None of these suitable at all.

The lot is filled with Toyotas.
Nissans and Mazdas in every slot.
Can't build a dirt car out of these.
Where's the good one's time forgot?

Where are '55 Chevys?
Where are the Fastback Mustangs?
Where are the really cool Falcons?
Where are mid-'60's Fairlanes?

A Ford Focus, uh-huh, no way.
A Chevy Cavalier will never work.
What's that box over there, a smart car?
For the love of god, Captain Kirk.

Never ordered from a catalog,
or paid a shop to install a part.
What's happened to cutting and welding?
Building one's car is now a lost art.

What happened to the 327's?
Where did the 351's go?
Even a 289 would be cool.
A 4-liter Eco-boost, I don't think so.

There was a '37 Ford Fastback.
Sitting on a Thunderbird frame.
Had a 312 cubic inch V8.
A quick change upped the game.

None of the parts of that car,
were meant to be brothers back then.
Every piece forced to work together.
It not only had to run, it had to win.

Where are the top loader 4 -speeds?
Where are the super T-10's?
That high rev burning clutch smell.
A dirt racers cologne, can I get an amen?

I'm told it's all over now.
No one builds their own car.
Kit cars now from pro shops...
GRT, Rocket, today's dirt track stars.

The new kids smirk at the old days.
They laugh at the '60's dirt cars.
Don't understand and never will.
Those were the real dirt track stars.

R. S. Morris

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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The Last Checkered Flag

What's happened to racing today?
Real racing, not a smart TV app.
I fear the end is not far away.
Who will drive that last victory lap?

No more battles behind the wheel.
A new generation is coming along.
Internet racing replacing the real.
To think virtual is real is just wrong.

Cars built for a purpose.
Built by their own drivers to drive.
To the junkyard for the basics.
Then built for the win and high five.

Dirt cars are where it started.
Dirt cars are where it will end.
Everything else now ruled by money.
Everything else, just racing pretend.

Nascar is killing the sport.
They've forgotten what racing's about.
No one cares who's their next star.
They go straight to the camera and pout.

Formula One, about the dollar.
Mega yachts and the Swiss chateaux.
Elites and hot pants in the owner's box.
No one watching the racing below.

Electric cars, oh no no no.
Humming engines just not the same.
V-8 noise is a glorious sound.
Silent is just boring and lame.

Drivers battled on the track.
What's inside, always revealed.
It added to the drama and strife.
Now Twitter is the new battlefield.

Racing today is just business.
Everyone is just an employee.
Working from nine to five.
Not racing, I think we all can agree.

When will the last checkered wave?
I don't think it's too far away.
Who will take that last victory lap?
Will the new kids care anyway?

Bring back the roots of the sport.
Driver and car was all that mattered.
No cameras, just living for the win.
Smiling, while bruised and battered,

R. S. Morris

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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The Rebel Flag Flies Alone

Driving from Florida to Atlanta,
snapped an image with my phone.
Crossing the Georgia state line,
I saw the rebel flag flying alone.

Had seen this flag before.
Used to fly with two others.
Georgia and Tennessee,
were its pole flying brothers.

Don't see these flags much longer.
Some people yelling loudly.
We should no longer be sighting they say,
a rebel flag flying proudly.

Represented the Confederate.
Was a southern unifier.
Things got all twisted up,
became a country wide divider.

Must be from the south to get it.
Must be from the south to understand.
Don't focus on the present,
but where the downfall began.

Nascar had it in their ads.
Slick Willy honoring it was heard.
It flew proudly then.
no one said a word.

Bo Duke had it on his roof.
Removing it would have been absurd.
The battle flag of Northern Virginia.
No one said a word.

The flag represents evil.
Anyone flying it, a racist.
It recalls venom and hatred.
Is the mantra of today's new leftist.

A quiet morning in Charleston.
He killed while they prayed.
A more vile human could not exist.
Most basic social contract betrayed.

Would he have done it,
if the flag was not on the wall?
I have no doubt he would've,
Wouldn't have made any difference at all.

The flag still flies on the pole.
I still have the image on my phone.
State flags were taken down,
leaving the rebel flag to fly alone.

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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'32 Ford Five Window

An old hulk sitting on barren land.
Many times it was sold and bought.
A '32 Ford Five Window,
now all rusted and left to rot.

At one time this old car was new.
At one time it was washed every week.
At one time it was waxed and shined,
before it became an antique.

Changed hands many times in its life.
The next buyer was proud of his find.
With each new owner, it became more worn.
It's condition in a state of decline.

A boy in grade school at his desk.
His young mind starting to wander,
A hot rod he saw while driving with dad,
when he yelled, hey son, look over yonder!

The young boys eyes as big as saucers.
A car like that he would drive one day.
He would build it himself and win trophies
in car shows at the local cafe.

He spent days drawing his hotrod.
Drawings to show how it would look.
Drawings were made of each part.
Drawings he kept in his hot rod book.

As a teen, he worked three jobs,
saving money to build his dream car,
He sold everything he cared about,
even his cherished old Gibson guitar.

It was winter and bitterly cold,
while driving through ice and deep snow.
Among scrap metal and objects of rust,
he saw it, a '32 Ford Five Window.

The car that once was new.
The car that gave all its owners pride.
The car that was dumped in a field.
Would become a kid's dream ride.

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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Paper Gangster

I can't handle pretenders.
Something someone is not.
No 'spect for a paper gangster.
Living a fake life until caught.

A lawyer watching Son's of Anarchy.
Blue jeans with vest, will be looking phat.
Uber delivers him to a Harley shop,
wearing golf pants and Fedora hat.

He plops down the gold card,
for the latest Heritage classic.
Then next door for "biker" duds,
leather chaps and leather jacket.

The look, not yet complete.
Fake tail and studded earrings.
Must have a wallet on a chain,
tall black boots, stylin', and profiling.

He thinks he is now a biker.
No one will ever know.
The look is now complete.
Time to hop on that bad bike and blow.

He admires himself in the mirror.
His real look put on the shelf.
Needs some place to ride,
to show off his new big bad self.

A chick magnet and envy of men.
The first stop, Buster & Dave's.
Once a windscreen is added,
to shield the wind a real biker craves.

He's never ridden a bike,
on a winding highway at night.
Never felt rain hitting your face,
like small bullets blocking your sight.

Never set points with a matchbook.
Never kickstarted, or jockey shifted.
He thinks you just press and go,
A fake hombre who thinks he's gifted.

He is the King of the Road.
A big bad biker dude.
All his courtroom adversaries,
know they're over and screwed.

Bad biker barely misses the bumper.
After the car in front stops hard.
Breaks into a sweat gets the shakes,
Has a small mishap, now forever scarred.

He pushed the bike to a Stop and Go.
Never known such anguish and fear.
Already done with the biker life,
never even got out of third gear.

Can't handle the pretenders.
Something someone is not.
No 'spect for a paper gangster.
Get back in your Range Rover, big shot.

R. S. Morris

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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The Dirt Race Track From My Youth

The anticipation mounts,
Marty Robbins in the air.
No cement, no asphalt,
there's only dirt, it's everywhere.

The trucks are pulling in,
their trailers tucked in tight.
They come ready to race,
it's gonna be exciting tonight.

Every driver at the wheel,
is here to state his case.
The win is all that counts,
no one cheers second place.

The flagman at his altar,
his flags run the show.
You don't like what he says,
in the pits, you'll go.

The fans know the drivers.
They are who they come to see.
Bob, Fletcher, James, Bud,
Charlie, Billy, Leon, and Curley.

The announcer starts his spiel,
It's finally getting close.
Can hear the engines running,
noise to some, but poetry to most.

Cars in parade on the backstretch,
the green flag in Weyman's hand.
The engines roar to life,
dirt is flying, every fan stands.

The winner takes his victory lap.
Checkered flag waves from his car.
It's what every racer lives for,
this driver is this weeks star.

The other racers leave their mounts,
from each one can be heard.
Next time, will get them next week,
always says, second and third.

But wait, there is no next week,
there's nothing on this ground.
The track has suddenly closed,
race cars nowhere to be found.

The announcer's mic is dead,
The flags no longer wave.
The stands bare, the pits empty.
Marty Robbins no longer plays.

Standing on this sacred backstretch,
many, many years ahead.
It's eerily quiet and still outside,
But ...... not in my head.

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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Our Little Garage in The Back

A two car garage of cement blocks.
The tools we needed on the rack.
Winter was cold, summer was hot.
In our little garage in the back.

Many race cars built.
Everyone winners at the track.
All designed, built and fixed.
In our little garage in the back.

Go-karts, minibikes, and coasters.
Music supplied by an 8-track.
A replica of Coweta Raceway.
Next to our little garage in the back.

Learned to build what we wanted.
Must be done right, cut no slack.
Fast but safe, before it could leave,
our little garage in the back.

Lives shaped in the home they say.
But I believe it to be fact.
Boys become men while building,
in a little garage in the back.

The workers just doing their job.
Came down with a sudden loud crack.
They tore it down and hauled away,
our little garage in the back.

An older man now, thinking of my past.
All the cars built and painted black.
I finally have to call my very own.
A little garage in the back.

R. S. Morris

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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Rusty Old Chain

While hiking in the woods.
I found a tired old shack.
It was hidden, covered with weeds.
I found an opening in the back.

While on my hands and knees,
I saw it lying on the floor.
Was covered with dust and webs,
under a rickety chest of drawers.

A chain of flaking rusty metal. 
Colored a crude muddy brown.
Probably worth nothing to anyone,
nor to any shop downtown.

A beaten wooden frame on the wall, 
the picture inside, faded and smelled.
A young girl, clothes ragged and torn.
Around her neck, the chain I now held.

Inside the chest of drawers,
was a fragile moth-eaten book.
It was a diary by the young girl, 
in the picture she so proudly took.

He was poor and toiled hard.
Her father worked the land.
The rusty old chain, a gift from him.
To her, it was regal and grand.

She cherished that old chain.
She wore it smiling with pride.
Since, as a child, she received it,
until old age, on the day she died.

Her family never got it.
They could never understand.
They removed the chain from her,
for it was not regal and grande.

The metal worth nothing,
she wore it from young till old.
To her, the contents of its cheap ore. 
Was worth more than any gold. 

R. S. Morris

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019

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My Conversation With The Mighty Oak

Today was crisp and clear.
But a slight nip was in the air.
Decided to steal a few hours.
I grabbed a chair to sit over there.

Found a spot under the mighty oak.
In shade under it's whispering leaves.
I thought I heard a low voice.
Just wind swirling around my knees.

I heard it again loud and clear.
I looked around but no one is there.
It said "Robert", I heard from the tree.
This tree is talking to me I swear.

I heard your poem you wrote of me.
I liked the words that you wrote.
I read of the history I lived through.
More to it though, so please take note.

It’s been touch and go, don't you know.
In my young days, I was not as grand.
I was here when Lincoln was President.
Cattle herds were grazing this land.

You wrote of the Alamo falling.
To burnt embers, this land was turning.
My brothers were dying around me.
But rains came snuffing the burning.

I played a part in your civil war.
Union soldiers took over the square.
The horses tied up in my shade.
But Tidwell ran them out of there.

While Orville made his first flight.
Stretching from Florida to Tennessee.
Was a new railroad track coming through.
Men with saws were all around me.

I thought, oh no, this is it.
All this time I have stood.
But land was cheaper a bit west.
So they ran it through the town of Kenwood.

I remember your town council.
Wanted to put a useless road through here.
They were just lining their pockets.
My owner fought to keep this land clear.

I’ve weathered strife and storms.
I have these cuts and bruises you see.
I also have my own history to write of.
While your history unfolded around me.

I like our talk we just had.
Come here anytime and sit with me.
I know your dog Bingo is buried here.
I feel like I'm part of the family.

Copyright © Robert Morris | Year Posted 2019