This is really for myself so I can easily see what poems I’ve thrown up online.  Before I get to them, here are a few links to poetry sites:

tinywords (haiku); dirtpress; Other Voices; Poet Academy; WordPress Poetry.

I usually put up a new poem each Friday if you have come here directly (I really should put the date I added the poems, but I’m too lazy). You can see that I have a really basic layout. You might think this would be easy, but for some reason the software automatically changes it (even if I make the change in html it will sometimes switch it) and sometimes it will change even after it’s been published (it will look fine one day and then not the next)–so if something looks weird (one line that looks like it should be two for instance) blame it on WordPress. Does anyone have suggestions for how this should be set up?

  • Tomorrow when I go
    Tomorrow when I die
    Everything changes
    But the sky.
  • The wallaby
    Was never meant
    To be swimming
    Like manatees.
  • The world is not
    And I am not
    Yet something is
    Though what it is
    I know not.
  • I live under
    A mistaken expression
    Live life.
  • Blood rains on the page
    As my thoughts gather
    And cover my rage
    Drawing strength from me.
  • The world comes crashing
    And so shall we
    We never know.
  • Before your very eyes
    The future I’ll foretell
    Here it comes
    And there it goes.
  • Climb upon the ebon mane that leaps
    Before the eyes a manner and asleep
    Don’t the moving hands expel relief
    Where the eternal waves drive deep.
  • Am I ever alone
    When I wander along
    Towards the blood red sky
    And the sharp divide
    I am never alone.

Can anyone understand
When I reach out a hand
To grasp what I will
As I scramble up still
No one understands.


  • Somedays looking up
    Into the sky
    I laugh
    What is it all
    I don’t need to know
    I don’t want to know.    

Somedays looking up
Into the sky
I wonder
What is it all
And need to know


  • You’re so sure
    What you see
    Is beyond
    It could be
    Swept away.
  • If Atropos isn’t ready to cut
    And the Furies don’t want revenge
    Then may the Muses enter me
    That I may do nothing.
  • I scrub the sky
    With lowered eyes
    And wonder why
    There are no cries
    The buzzing fly
    Takes its prize.
  • Wander into the dark and dreary
    Do you have to be so weary
    Life can wear it’s true
    But I don’t need more from you.
  • Grab your hat
    The sky is falling
    Grab your coat
    The world is dying.


  • The world is not
    And I am not
    Designed to be
    Still you are free.
  • I walk along
    A tattered path
    A blasted song
    An uneasy laugh
    Where will it lead
    This wasted dream.
  • Light streams
    Into love seams
    Under world dreams
    And then crawls up.
  • If you want to save the dolls
    You’ll have to wait in line
    Everyone feels the need
    To care for the ill defined.
  • There’s something about fall
    Leaves aging beyond despondency
    Floating floating through the gap
    Between here and now
  • A little ink
    A little snow
    Blue covers white
    Swirling round
  • If the lord of creation
    Lives without life and
    Feels the longing of the dead
    Should life exist?
  • Pop the wastelands rise about
    With a snap crackle and
    But don’t fret the music shouts
    Here comes the new world.
  • If I’m not real
    If I was made
    Will you reveal
    That it’s your trade
    And that I am.
  • What does it feel like to see the lights of dawn
    Do you feel hated
    Do you feel sad
    Does it feel fated
    You would feel bad
    Why had you trusted
    It was so real
    Now you’re disgusted
    Can’t really feel
    You never knew
    How to look forward
    Never a clue
    You’d feel so much dread
    What does it feel like to see the lights of dawn
    You’ll never know.
  • Been talking ‘bout a hole in the ground
    It’s so big but can’t be found
    It’s both in and out of town
    Now they say we might be down
    That hole.
  • I was hit by a leaf one day
    It hurt so bad it almost bled
    I no longer know what to say
    It’s getting to be trees I dread
    I see that they’re the other way
    If I don’t get to them it’s said
    If I don’t go without delay
    Everything ends.
  • Why is there air
    Inside of my head
    I don’t need.

Why do I shout
When no one hears me

Why do I care
What others might say
I don’t listen.

Will it not be
The someday is here
I’ll find out.

  • Things I hear go through my ears
    Because I don’t want to know
    Please don’t tell me what I’m doing
    I don’t want to know.
  • And now the sky falls
    As the earth rises to meet
    With me in between
    Flattened by the experience
  • I have seen Osiris rent asunder
    Or perhaps Ragnorak to be
    As I gaze inside thunder
    That engulfs the night and me!
  • Five words on a line
    That make you think about
    The bright and the sublime
    Racing to the last why.
  • Numbers dance inside me
    Playing with my head
    Only sometimes I see
    Things that they’ve said.
  • Walking on your heels
    Gives your toes a rest
    And carrying wheels
    Gives my back a break.
  • A petunia spreads
    Its petals so wide
    I look up in wonder
    Can it rain tonight?
  • Falling on my head
    Makes me realize
    That nothing exists
    Unless realized
    Pass me a tall tree
    And I’ll look out.
  • I lie in bed
    And think
    When I awake
    I’m gone.
  • There is a face
    It has no name
    It starts to cry
    We feel no blame.
  • Are memories alive
    Locked up in our eyes
    What are these feelings
    All mixed up inside.
  • I look in the mirror and see
    Not me
    I cringe in terror asea
    In glee.
  • Look to my ear
    What do you see
    And where do you wish
    To go?
  • The lamp shade has got to go
    It clutters my thoughts
    I wish I could get it off
    And let myself be clear.
  • The lights were laid with care
    So all around would stare
    And with money in hand would cry
    Give me all that or die.
  • Thinking is thought
    A wish to be
    More or less
    Is not.
  • Oblivion I hear you
    Everything I say
    Everything I write
    Is meant for you
    And if it makes it not
    To you tonight
    You will not long
    To wait.
  • What should I do
    Run ragged to the world
    Grasp a pearl in my hand
    Or feign indifference?
  • Where is life
    And to what ends do we go
    To find
    Where is life
    All around us living
    And where is life?
  • The person I see is such a stranger
    With such a baleful stare and evil look
    That I get in the mood to kill
    Though I notice it’s a mirror there.
  • The walls were crying
    As I walked below them
    To find my other side
    And I wish they’d fall
    So I might drink dying.
  • Air sweeping beneath the tides
    Follow my dreams
    The immortality of death
    Intrudes upon the illusion.
  • I have no bombast
    For your ears
    I can’t find sparkle
    On your skin
    So I close my mind
    Mouth closed
    Reach out with fingers to
    Find the sky
    But reach only the base
    Of my eyes.
  • If you hit me in the head
    I may fall out of my bed
    And break my leg instead
    Of burying the past.
  • I dread it coming
    I lie awake at night
    Pushing it away
    What I lose
    The minutes of the day.
  • Life the meaning crows cry
    Into an expanse of vellum
    Too wide to be seen
    And too near to be appreciated.
  • Breathe the whites of their eyes
    Reject the sounds of violence
    In precepts that conquer
    Violence will not rise above.
  • The man clambered atop the fly
    Determined to take a look
    At the rush above its wings
    That never were to fly again.
  • I can’t be thinking today
    It’s time to be way away
    Towards the limit of a dream
    Things are not what they be.
  • My life leaks
    In and out
    From some to me
    From me to whom?
  • Up down flowing wings
    Up down punching the sky
    Nowhen and nowhere
    Admiring thirsting anxious
    A straight line perch
  • Falling rocks can not save
    Mountains unmade
    A crisis that seems to be
    Doesn’t need legs to stand on.
  • I look up and wonder
    With the sky so blue
    Can it get through
    Do I have to worry
    Or can I trust the colors?
  • With an ocean behind
    There’s not one in front
    The ache in my soul
    Tells me the middle must go.
  • I feel ever in all the need
    To flay my eyes they bleed
    The warmth of love to read
    The mysteries of life to crush.
  • When I hear that angel sound
    With spots of light going round
    It fills me so full of dread
    That I drive through yellow.
  • Life is just running round the clock
    You go around just to get back
    You go to sleep just to wake up
    And wake up just to make money

Money is made just to get things
Which are meant to make you happy
So you can make it through the day
And you might have time to sleep.  Just. 

  • A jump in the dark
    It’s coming after me
    Hope and hurt drown my brain
    As I see the cat.

Can’t you hear it
The doubt in your soul
As myriad life goes by
But seems like none of that.

  • Some days it’s better left unsaid
    Who you are and what you did
    You’ll never make it til tomorrow
    With a metal bar aside your head.
  • I saw a tree
    And looked again
    It was more
    Than nevermore.
  • Pencil me in for Thursday
    The time is right for fireworks
    In never ascending order
    Towards the rink of disaster
    Skating towards oblivion
    With matches in both eyes.
  • Ah too much
    Too much too much
    You intrude
    You prevail upon
    You partake
    Of me too much
    I will not
    Bury you into me.
  • If you understand the riders in your mind
    You will not see the windows in the land
    Encroaching further between you and what you see
    To keep you safe from dark nature.
  • Sometimes I worry
    What will never be
    Gold upon the horizon
    Circles never reached
    And sometimes I worry
    When time slows down
    What will be left.
  • Climb the walls of maturity
    Drive back the gods of propriety
    Seldom follow and seldom lead
    Respect believe resent love mistrust all.
  • A life walks jauntily
    Through the open rays
    While I watch
    It open up to me.
  • A bit of dust
    In your eye
    Means you need
    To cry.
  • Is it all
    Should I write
    Should I die
    Should I wake
  • Peeling layers one at a time
    Uncovering past and Mortality
    Looking tattered and red
    Do we go further
    Or back?
  • Do you feel the east wind
    Blowing out the fires lit
    When inhibitions flowed like wine
    And clouds leaked the sky?
  • Throw up arms in surrender
    A lost soul crawls past
    Fraying the edges of insanity
    With memories of flash and thunder.
  • The snow glistens in my gaze
    Wishing to be there
    No black or gray to intervene
    As the scene flows.
  • What is life
    And what is death
    What is in between
    Nothing and everything
    And let’s forget the rest.
  • Life it seems is winding down
    Everything and everything
    Everywhere it has gone out
    A consequence of one piece.
  • Venomous snakes cling to the edge
    As people their lines find
    And grasp the scaly things
    And make a sad nature fly.
  • The wind shimmers on the road
    I walk along alone
    The distance seems to hang
    I look up for something
    Nothing before or since
    Look down as my feet walk still.
  • The lazy breeze plays upon
    The many things I’ve said
    They seemed plastered everywhere
    I wish I was alive.
  • Grapes are flying
    Beside my head
    I wander down
    Towards my bed

I grasp the sheets
And pull aside
Me and my dreams
I want to hide

I turn instead
Grapes continue
To pelt my head

I walk through walls
And go outside
Floating through fog

  • What will I do in the morning
    What will I do at night
    What will I do when the day breaks
    Leaving no more light.
  • Will you carry on
    Will I look the other way
    Will we close the door
    Let’s have lunch.
  • In life we walk along a path
    That is made as we go along
    Wandering in separate ways
    Up and down and around inside
    Sometimes our paths happen to cross
    A whisper is heard from somewhere
    But the words can not be made out
    At least by me.
  • Mouth open, sound comes out
    Wisdom of the ages, could it be
    Is life itself, the death bell
    Or is it nothing, or a wave?
  • With more light
    With less insight
    We see all
    And know nothing.
  • Day turns to night
    And asks about the light
    A little mingled conspiracy
    That never reaches the day.
  • A fish swims smoothly through the sky
    An archer gapes and swings towards it
    The sun falls quietly into the sea
    But the fish swims on without a glance.
  • Feel the breeze blow by
    Never is the same
    Do you  notice
    That the air is changed?
  • Looking around I see
    Nothing more than me
    Not blurred by fog
    Inside and out
    I’ll light afire.
  • My cat’s eyes are too big
    I can see too much of her
    Can she see too much of me
    Would you close the window if you could?
  • The tap runs forgotten
    Flowing into yesterday
    The roots reach out
    Growing into tomorrow.
  • The curtain jumps in front of my eyes
    And guides me down the shiny path
    That hides the shadows of the dark
    And make everything black and white.
  • I run aground in the sky
    Never to know
    What to believe and die for
    It’s not ground down.
  • Crying the wild dog drags
    Today’s catch yesterday’s life
    The promise for a new day
    But first the lights ahead.
  • There doesn’t seem time
    To think about the rhyme
    As the world all around
  • The old post does its best
    To hold up the foundation
    The ants underneath survive
    And hope to undermine it.
  • Mushroom clouds running wars
    Profits building hungry children
    And so you see
    I will never climb
    Daffodils in my dream.
  • Fried purple raindrops
    Riding past the sky
    Why won’t you ever
    Stop the end is near.
  • Believing the eyes glance upward
    To see what the ears proclaim to be
    But nothing overcomes all senses
    For it is black as light.
  • The eyes scream
    Unable to see andnot
    Where is the reason
    Where is the logic
    Down into the dark.
  • I watch the window
    The sun is rising up
    Its light reaches round to me
    I do not reach back.
  • The fish mingle
    Impossible to count
    A living cry
    Moving under my feet.
  • Look at me and smile
    The urge to rage has gone wild
    Up and down, in and out
    I feel better already.
  • Pieces of you floating before you
    What can be done
    To go before you
    With much beside you
    12:14 in the evening.
  • Color bleeds me as I see
    Outside in the middle of me
    Blue and red as if taunting
    One to the other exchanging.
  • When I turn the corner
    I get sick to my stomach
    Could I borrow a dollar
    I think I need it.
  • I walk through the world and find
    My socks are wet
    How can I complain
    I yell
    How can I complain
    I walk through the world and find.
  • My window sees
    Colors waving
    A base rising
    Desktops and me.
  • Dive inside
    You will find
    Devils and sheep
    A little behind.
  • Open my eyes catch what’s around
    Closed I see what I make
    Darkness visions randomness conceived
    Today I go with light from which.
  • I wet the insides of my eyes
    My toes seem so far away
    The world inside seems forever
    Are those folds I see?
  • I lie awake at night
    Posturing to myself
    Ambition and dreams
    War with doubt
    I declare I will have
    Everything that matters
    And perhaps believe
    That nothing does.
  • I cry
    With one eye
    It must be
    A good day.
  • Have you seen me
    I watch from outside
    At the things I used to do
    That I left behind
    And stare at from the sky
    Or perhaps only the corner

People don’t see me
As they walk on by
My voice must be in my head
For everyone to ignore it so
Have you seen me
Or what I’ve left behind. 

  • There were some people the other day
    Who lived and breathed and
    Since no one thought to speak
    There were some people.
  • The sun rises
    Where have my options gone
    I feel too good
    To go along
    It’s not my way
    To accost the day
    But it just didn’t work.
  • The sun glides along the sky
    As time rushes behind
    Then night pushes in
    And the little ones come out.
  • I’ve got myself to wondering
    Why the sky never quite reaches
    It embraces the world loosely
    Without letting it know
    That it is jailer not jailed.
  • The carpet crawls to me
    Can’t you ever see
    The walls are closing in
    They won’t never let me be
    And through the windows
    The clouds cry for the inside.
  • Evermore the nights will strike
    Evermore the gods will fight
    Evermore the things you’ve learned
    Will turn out dead.
  • I stay in a square
    To stay positive
    And when I go out
    The outside is in.
  • I need glasses
    To see what’s going on
    Or perhaps an interpreter
    Can you tell me
    What’s it all about.
  • The little round balls
    With streaks of light
    Push aside sensations
    While a river rolls.
  • Ink is leaching through my skin
    Blood and veins
    Light is bleaching my eyes
    And enters my mindless center
    It’s no wonder the entirety
    Is black and white to me.
  • If life be life
    Is it the sun rise
    The earth turn
    The seas move.

If life be life
What does it mean
The point of view
The change to grow

If life be life
Is birth the start
We in turn
Death the end.

  • I rise up through the heights
    To war upon the mist
    Make the way to boundaries
    And enter in its midst.And then I hear its thunder
    And see its lightning wrath
    For now it has awakened
    To throw down its madness.And now comes the rain
    Of dark despair and death
    Don’t try to comfort me
    You’ll only get depressed.
  • The gist of the argument
    Without too much ado
    Is that people are born
    And therefore the end is near.
  • Don’t you think it’s time to see
    Whatever’s ‘round about
    Don’t you think it’s time to do
    The things that someone’s done.
  • See that rusted shadow
    See it on the wind
    See that rusted shadow
    What has it been?
  • I see the letters flowing on the air
    Some come up before me winking at my eye
    Others shadow behind the living trees
    But none inside where comprehension grows.
  • The numbers sit there lonely
    Words go their own way
    Ignoring the fleeting pictures
    That form on the fishes’ eyes.
  • Banana peels, petunia wine
    Molasses waves, sulfur haze
    Or perhaps when I look back
    A gentle dimming of the light.
  • Death came to me the other day
    To see how I felt
    It seemed quite concerned
    As I showed it out.
  • The man swings in the trees
    And can neither talk or reply
    But that’s what happens
    When you dispense with potables.
  • Death is like
    A cover closed tight
    Death is like
    A dreamless night
    Life is as life.
  • I sit and stare as time stretches
    The stage appears and the play unfolds
    Time retreats to its normal stance
    As I climb in and play my part.
  • When you listen do you hear
    The beating of your heart
    Or do you look for other things
    To satisfy your curiosity.
  • Four lines to sum the universe
    Four lines if you look in deep
    Four lines to sum existence
    With nothing left complete. 
  • The rivers jump among
    And sail smooth and slow
    To the end beyond
    As they rip the land. 
  • An artichoke grows upon my heart
    What it does there, I don’t know
    And when I turn my eyes to look inside
    I see it growing in my mind. 
  • Crinkle, crinkle little toe
    Where I wonder will you go
    When I move my foot so fast
    Will you step upon my past.
  • This isn’t for public reception
    So don’t look too long
    And now that it offends perception
    It quietly ends.
  • As I walk upon the edges
    Of the things that I perceive
    I make out lines put there to divide
    But as things fall upward and away
    The things I see take sharper form
    And the lines together fade.
  • It comes to me with lightning speed
    As I look the other way
    And goes on by too shy to wave
    As I glance around too late.
  • Visions dance upon fingertips
    Escaping from out and in
    Where they go and who they see
    Is not the end of dreams. 
  • The land swept under the burning sun
    As liquid fire strolled by in sweet misery
    Through the very same land and wondering
    Where I sat.
  • The walls go by
    The picture stares down
    The ceiling’s down low
    The paint reaches out
    The floor pushes up
    It all goes in
    I’m a bit out of step
    I can’t see a thing
    I go along my way.
  • Hey don’t I see me calling
    Methinks I am ignoring
    The interlude that’s in
    And the people that are out.
  • I hear the cars come crashing down
    The rats as they crawl along the firmament
    Glance in my direction to stop my ears
    From knowing that it’s almost Tuesday.
  • The snow floats down
    As ducks search for food
    Quietly and too loud to see
    That I walk past and stare.
  • And the need that was there
    Never quite found me to know
    The why or wherefore of life
    I just seem to know I’m alive
    Celebrate, please?
  • ‘And so,’ he said,
    ‘Lo there is nothing
    That we can do
    E=mc² and boom.’
  • And then there was other
    But not what it seems to be
    That was not at all clear
    Tell me what it was.
  • The way you read the lines
    Was never more than what you saw
    Should I create myself again
    So then you can miss me complete.
  • And so it came
    The field of life
    Was nevermore thus-
    That it fled the field
    The win was nothing
    And I lost all
    But never knew more.
  • Midnight clangs into the night
    Heavy with dread implications
    Daytime can be smooth and light
    Searing you into submission.
  • When you climb upon the sky
    Be careful not to touch
    The gods that might be there
    Who might not like it quite.
  • The people stare as at a plague
    They swore they could not see
    That didn’t change the way things were
    But it helped to dull the pain.
  • Rolling rocks flow towards nothing
    Glowing green the field remains
    Never knowing the future approaching
    Towards a new day, yesterday.
  • The stones rolled on down the highway
    And the snow fell down to me
    As I wait for their arrival
    I know that tomorrow will be too soon
    To know what’s befallen me today.
  • Milky white seen beneath the gaze
    Climbing towards the upper rafters
    Above the earth, towards the sky
    Explodes and rains down the night.
  • An orange rolls onward
    And captures a highway
    The pavement doesn’t worry
    As the sun bakes the invader.
  • A little lightness of the subtle brand
    Fires my imagination and roasts my soul
    As feet calmly screech down the sea
    Too far away to view and too near to black.
  • Run across the field my friend
    And eat up every rat
    And then you will be my friend
    Very very fat.
  • People wander in the sky
    Blood draining from their mind
    Hear their mouths opening
    And falling down inside.
  • And so the man was not here
    But the woods were not gone
    And the gale winds blew
    But the words were lost no more.
  • The cat sleeps, claws withdrawn
    A melancholy holds the air
    As the orb is clenched tight
    In word, in print, in deed.
  • The green doorbells announce me
    Before I wander down the hall
    And echoes many times behind me
    Before I’m introduced at last.
  •  The man in the moon
    Was feeling rather blue
    The tip of his tongue
    Was feeling pained
    The ache inside his head
    Was never quite dead
    To the vacuum out there
    Just inside his reach.
  • In simple words, it was explained
    In simple words, do pass it on
    In simple words, I tell it now
    The windows are dirty.
  • The man sat on the road that was
    Glaring at the sun and sky that are
    Wishing that all that is was
    Never knowing how long the thought.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ctkathy
    May 12, 2010 @ 08:56:30

    I am a Literature student.. There are definitely flaws in your poems but i would like to congratulate you for your great effort!


    • fredtopeka
      May 12, 2010 @ 15:40:29

      Thanks for the comments. I got a minor in literature way back when and sometimes flaws are put in to get a particular effect (I don’t, I just like the way they sound). As an aside, you do know that admiring someone’s ‘effort’ is usually insulting? And I should note that I wrote many of these when I was bored in a class in undergrad and grad–interestingly, well not really, I never wrote any in my literature classes.

      Originally, I had thought about writing in Latin using dactylic hexameter in the tradition of Virgil, but decided that an epic poem about a petunia wasn’t in me. And now it’s too late to go back as I’ve forgotten most of the Latin I used to know.

      My favorite poet is Emily Dickinson who had lots of flaws in her poems (which is why the poems that were actually published in her lifetime were mostly heavily edited–for the worse).

      I also very much like Dylan Thomas who is a much more structured poet–but is also somewhat unconventional.

      Have fun with the math and science.


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