Best Odin Roark Poems

Below are the all-time best Odin Roark poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Candle Whispers

Candle Whispers

Moths and other creatures
find peril in hovering
especially above seductive candle flame


We sentient beings
hover not
keep vigil over imagined messages
awaiting the magic
the comfort of vision

As we stare

Buried passions
encouraged by flame
make sacrificial
the walls of insulation
while our fortressed barriers
forfeit protection
dissolving resistance
becoming a river of liquefied defense

We wonder

Is the flame but deception
subtle weaponry
seducing the innocent
destroying the gullible


Is it pure light
ignitable by will
extinguishable by nature
its essence of imagination
weaving a ribbon of warmth
among the unlit kindling of love

For just as the cynical enemy
bounces its cold shadows of hurt
restlessly about the wall
waving its determinant position
one's heart beats echoes of defiance

Such are the candle's iconic images
empowering the ether of life
ever simple
ever flexible
even as its waxen folds
melt into mounds of spent energy
awaiting recycled resurrection

Darkness questions

But if we listen

Flame's inner glow whispers its promise to return

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2013

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          by Odin Roark

Like a tree’s dark shadow
Knows only the absorption of all colors
Rendering the din of senses
A cacophonous silence

How gentle the process
Once resistance abates
The mind’s own deprivation tank
Engendering trust void of fear


So hesitant are many
To embrace the white light
To wait out nature’s tintinnabulation
The white noise becoming aphonic

To lay oneself down
Afloat atop the water
The grass
The ethereal reality of consciousness
Where leaves of brown
Beneath the awaiting orange of 
Red and yellow repeat nature’s cycle

Where jasmine lures the mulch of life
Into purity’s gateway
Patiently biding time’s eternal truth
Preparing one with zero

The hush of peace
The quiet of love
The mutation of hate
Conjoin in harmony’s sublime reward
The circle of quietude

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2013

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Toxic Cake

Toxic Cake
       by Odin Roark

How drippingly fine
The words that coat
Such layered density 
Icing thick enough
To entice the fool
Along with seasoned critics
Into toxic waste goodness

Persuasion chefs united
Gourmet salesmanship
Learned minds 
Street smart minds
Tribal and nepotistic minds
All hawking hidden contagion
Beneath their ever sweet glazing

One day
A global cake will be rolled out
For all to gorge on
Unaware from the top
Might explode layered poison
Well surpassing avoidance 

Our own demise
A recipe created by sentient impotence
The giant bite
The final swallow
The sweet tooth seduction
That never was

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2013

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Grease Monkey

Grease Monkey Rainbows
                                by Odin Roark

How colorfully the reflective smears ignited the senses.

How sinuous the undulating slick remained forever permanent,
its unintentional abstracts made prescient.

Dank syrup of engines idle,
spilled upon aged concrete
where the mechanic beneath rusted warriors
drained yesterday's tensile stress,
fresh loading tomorrow's fluid to live.

How focused his oily footprints remain,
now aloft riding the escort of Valhalla,
gliding upon colors of other-world palettes,
yet remaining forever heroic,
forever indelible,
in a little boy’s perpetual memory.

Yesteryear’s ever present ether continues embracing,
bestowing a blinding courage for the senses to endure,
even as the buried vestige remains dark.

The smell revered.
The smooth touch esteemed.
The unbridled colors forever a reminder of love.

Diesel rainbows,
still rippling in this man-child’s quiet ebb.


Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2015

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Love's Symphonic Passion

Love's Symphonic Passion
                                by Odin Roark

Shimmering whispers urge forth,
A beginning seeks release from darkness,
The voicing of struggle proclaims arrival,
Like miniature cymbals of resolute announcement,
The humble cries of emergence
Clash ever so quiet with air and space,
Once portending grace,
Now its melodic genesis.

The matrixes of parent/conductor
Anxiously hum nursery rhymes
Through white enameled side-rails,
Vertical portals to unfettered ears,
Absorbing even when sleeping,
Evolving passion's invitation.

The precious first movements
Grow from those one-finger dissonant phrases,
Sometimes pounded upon the black and white landscape
Where an merging piccolo's infant smile
Finds support by paternal contra bass and maternal cello echoes.

Remembrances of tinkling melodies
Soon enjoin its pure and simple
With conflicted movements of trial and error,
Evolving the inevitable adagio of growing up.

Hence forth
The scherzo's innocence of adolescence
Crescendos into threatening measures,
Where layered tones of choices
present challenge,
counterpoint to independence,
or sympatric harmony.

The family of voicing
Develop love's thematic material,
And more complex harmonies,
Creating the free fantasia,
A coalescing of passion's varied workouts.

Its strings worn thin,
Arriving at life's largo movement of peace,
That place of reflective consonance,
The weight of its chambered containment
Rests forth its closing bars,
Housing now but the waning echo of a baby's chorus.

Its shimmering whispers
Float upon one last wave of the baton,
Stirring life's ethereal essence
Into heroic chorus
A higher bonding…

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2014

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Energy's Suffocating Gallop

Energy’s Suffocating Gallop
                                  by Odin Roark

Ancient blood soaked sand
Plumes its sticky residue
Beneath rapacious hooves 

Dust storms of evil stampeding beside pipelines
Goad flow to tankers
Where ubiquitous black gold addiction 
Steers toward pervasive profit-docks  

Behind sweat lathered greed
Winds of historic baggage
Tether their historic words and song
Blessings and curses
Exciting swirling vortexes

Windmills of molten fire
Entitlement’s rape and pillage of breath
Of pores once absorbing purity
Evil’s global bubble
Appearing as mankind'

Robed in white zealotry
The blinded hawk-minds
Embrace the Middle East predatory contaminant
Wallowing in solipsistic riches forgotten
Awake only to pick tomorrow’s gluttonous prey

The world turns on turbine propulsion
With oceans bowing to its slavery
Delivering liquid smokestack suffocation
Silent killers preparing ghosts 
Of time’s new-century-plague 

As oil gorged tankers find port  
Release their pandemic sleight of hand
A destruction as innocent as rabbits from a hat
Charms the ignorant
Beguiles the wannabes

Wheeled transport
Delivers the demise of children’s hearts
Left to take a number
Unaware there is no lottery
Only loser-consciousness 
Adult indulgence clinging desperately
To evil’s mane and tail
As it whips gullible eyes
Into cataract submission

Alien life hovers above
Grieving the minions destined
To find black energy’s ashen dust
Sprinkling its fool’s gold
Upon a barren planet

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2013

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Recycled Wisdom Lost

Recycled Wisdom Lost
                       by Odin Roark

How common to recycle today
or bubble wrap.

How rare the regard for pleas from
wishing also to amend anew.

How satisfying,
To arouse the sleeping heart,
thrusting its comfort-beat
upon new rhythms made aware,
ensuing  musical notes of clarity
not yet upon the staff of boundaries,
affording dissonance where only
harmony's familiarity once reigned.

To revisit memory
offering bygone experience,
wiser tools of perception,
scrambling dog-eared indexes
cross-referencing fact and fabrication,
allowing waste to fall free,
encouraging truth to persevere.

To sort through mind's many strategies,
discounting some,
discarding others,
dismantling exhausted cogs that
advance little the unknown begging at the door.

Such is…

To complete one's desire to remain conscious,
allowing distinction for that worth rebirthing
from chaff heretofore but a friction urging resolve.

How obvious to some:
the take-to-the-curb days of consciousness.

How misunderstood by others:
the smothering effect of effort
to treat excess destined as garbage.

How aware
those who
like the winged flights on high
weave today's nest
from yesterday's exhausted remnants,
knowing well the destiny of permanence
is but to replant where burnt forests once thrived.

And yet…

We often think recycling is confined to aluminum,
plastics, glass and other fabrications of man’s intellect,
but what of...

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2014

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X Continues Marking Many Spots

X Continues Marking Many Spots
                        by Odin Roark

Anonymous living suits many,
gypsy fever of the brain.

Seldom hiding in the shadows,
the glare of klieg-light attention
forever glares upon responsibility,
a disease to many,
a growing malady for most,
a welcome invitation to others.

Even back then,
at twenty,
the waking age,
at least for this X,
a Midwest-ignoramus,
a miscreant not even aware,
experience was about
to render raw and tender the face.

The vengeance proffered
gloriously fait accompli,
needing not the klieg light focus,
better mere awakening
by simpler means
a few beers,
so liberating,
so embarrassing.

This '56 student of students,
bathed in the drenching of
damned near drowning
in flailing need to see
and survive.

After all…

This was education,
totally missing
from cult religious dogma,
not offered in Aristotelian mode.


Here X was,
always at the Plaza screens,
or the Waverly,
Saturday nights,
lasting forever.

X along with some buddy Y's and Z's
exited the art houses and made their way,
oh yeah,
to the Russian Tea Room.

Saved up rations of money…

Black Russians,
minimal water,
more Black Russians,
the world as we discovered it,
not the world as professed
All around us.

in Italy,
life seemed somehow more real
not caked over with candied syrup
like American’s urban seduction.

Oh how we longed
to be part of it…
make films.

But more important,
discover what it was all about,
this life
that for many

Was but professed by a God.

Those were times,
magical times
where peeling away the facade
was so delicious,
while we got wasted.

Along about 2 AM
Columbus Circle Books.

Sit on the floor,
thumb through 25 cent paperbacks,
always a Nietzsche,
a dog-eared Menninger,
a used Baldwin,
treasures we could afford.

We had to careful to save enough
for the subway.


The X Y's and Z's hugged,
kissed with manly disregard,
we didn’t care who was watching.

We were happy.
We were learning.
We were happening.

X dragged his weary ass up
the 4 flights
screwed back in the light bulb
old man in 4f always unscrewed,
figuring no one's gonna rob
a dark floor.

Simple shit.

love him
to this day.
He was wise.
My first introduction to street cred
in spite of his oldness.

Next morning…

Sunday New York Times,

Growing up.

Learning the hard way.

One’s x’s.

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2014

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Thrift Shop Foreshadowing

Thrift Store Foreshadowing
                              by Odin Roark

Inventory of past life inventories
Poised in dress-parade attention
Obliging his obligatory inspection,
Seeking the suit that would fit him well,
Avoiding the over-priced,
Cleaned and pressed,
Yet with frayed collar conspiracy
Luridly foisting their prominence
Beneath overhead fluorescents.

About the store,
Bathed in mist-like dust mites and hidden cobwebs,
Dummies dressed in street-window conceit,
Stood like Nutcracker soldiers
Their Mona Lisa eyes tracking his every move.

As rickety fans stirred the summer’s air,
Racks of faded dresses sashayed to and fro from hangers,
Not knowing he was of manly preference,
Even though…

Racks of shirts and ties waved
As he hurriedly sought an exit.
Dead men’s boots and shoes vied for his attention,
As sweat-stained Stetsons rolled along the floor,
Chasing him back to his slumber,
Where his time to wake meant quashing the noisy Big Boy alarm,
Following his ritual of shit, shower and shave,
And the daily venture into the real world of fear.


His analyst, the only known confidant, gave little credence to the dream,
Until having to identify his still body at the morgue,
Her doubt developed a bit more dream consciousness,
Insomnia becoming her constant companion.

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2015

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Ollie Ollie Oxen Free

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free
       by Odin Roark

Corners to peer around
The harlequin of angles
Where peeking
Where being stuck
Where feeling trapped

Our remembered child stands
Eyes squeezed shut
Face buried where two walls meet
Counting to one-hundred

While confidence sought
To play out our innocence
A trusted game

Time passed
Shorts became pants
Pants became suits

Nostalgia echoed once more
“Ollie ollie oxen free”

Still we remained
Unwilling to believe
The forged sincerity
Baited with fiendish smile 
Enticed with charm
Was but to set up
The next furtive trap

Acquiescence lay naked
Villainous schemers
Knowing but numbers
Who lured
Our reluctance to cave


We dragged ourselves away
Kicking and screaming
“We only wanted to play the game
Not be the game”

Emptiness invaded
Freedom to respond
To return home
To trust a voice
Wasn’t so

Ollie ollie oxen free
So simple
So everlasting
Now but an epitaph

Copyright © Odin Roark | Year Posted 2014